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In 2017, sex workers in Canada continue to live and work in unsafe conditions, face predatory and state violence, immigration raids, deportation, surveillance and arrest as well as see their human rights violated. Meaningful sex work law reform in Canada is long due.
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When we see stories of sexual violence against sex workers, we often aren't told that a sexual assault happened. The assumptions are the same: that it's not sexual assault if a person sometimes accepts payment for sex. That you can't rape a sex worker you're paying. That the sex worker asked for it. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
I thought living in the frenetic hustle of downtown would make me less patient and desensitized -- the truth is since moving down here, I've become more empathetic and aware of the marginalized population and my role in that marginalization.
The production's creator is a sister of one of serial killer Robert Pickton's victims.
"It's like there's no escape from this."
Stevenson said she worries Machiskinic's death may be not be treated with urgency because she was an impaired aboriginal prostitute.
Following over two years of consultations with sex workers and human rights experts in member countries globally, a leading human rights organization, Amnesty International, put forward a draft policy in support of decriminalization of sex work as critical to ensuring the human rights of all citizens. The policy recognizes decriminalization as a key measure for protecting the human rights of sex workers globally and will be discussed and voted on at the International Council Meeting to be held later this week in Dublin, Ireland.
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ESQUIMALT, B.C. - There are more groups than money available for the government's proposed $20 million plan to get sex workers out of the industry, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said Friday.MacKay sai...
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In the age of easily accessible online porn, strip clubs just aren’t the draw they once were, and now an industry insider says the establishments are an endangered species in Canada. Toronto had 63 st...
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OTTAWA - The Canadian Public Health Association is calling on the government to regulate the sex industry as a business with rules to protect the safety of prostitutes.In a position paper released Fri...
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An outreach group has issued a "red alert" warning to sex-trade workers in the St. John's area after reports of recent sexual assaults, including gang rape and sodomy. The warning was...
Some of Canada’s strip club operators think they have a better solution for sex workers than the government — and it involves turning their clubs into licensed brothels. The Adult Entertainment Associ...
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Pity poor Peter MacKay. He looks like he's having about as much fun rewriting Canada's prostitution laws as he would be having if he had to perform a root canal on himself using nothing but a crochet needle and a compact mirror. Who could blame him? Trying to find the right law to reflect current attitudes on prostitution isn't exactly easy. The odds are good that Canada's prostitution laws will be back before the country's highest courts soon enough. Why? Because the new legislation fails to address the fundamental problems that caused Canada's prostitution laws to be challenged and struck down in the first place.
The Government released a report on its consultations regarding Parliament's response to the Supreme Court decision last December striking down several prostitution-related offences in the Criminal Code. Regrettably, the information made available about the consultations raises more questions than it answers, and leads one to query whether an informed debate will occur.
Is sex work inherently and irredeemably wicked, as the abolitionsts would have us conclude? Or is it in fact possible to have a morally defensible prostitution? A testing of public values alone will not answer these questions, assuming they are even answerable. Values are an important and necessary starting point for a discussion of public policy, to be sure, but they are only one element of policy. Given that vulnerable lives are going to be affected, the feds are going to need to come up with a solid policy that has something more beneath it than our deeply-held touchy feelies.
OTTAWA - The Conservative government wants to hear from the public about how to rewrite the prostitution laws that were struck down by the Supreme Court late last year.A month-long, online consultatio...
Creating laws that are overly broad and ineffective will just push sex work back into the shadows, and will continue to make it less safe for all those involved. Sex work can be safe, clean, and beneficial to those of us who choose it as a career. It can be conducted ethically, honestly, and freely, with the full consent of all participants. It can be done right, in the privacy of our own homes, without exploitation; we just need to ensure that governments do not restrict our right to choose what we do with our own bodies.
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It's very simple, really. Legalizing prostitution does not mean we're normalizing it or even necessarily condoning it (for those "what has the world come to?" folks), but simply regulating it. Criminalizing sex work (and the related actions required to engage in it) has never eradicated prostitution and it never will. That's just wishful thinking. But better regulation ultimately establishes the conditions for increased protection of sex workers, and isn't that what it's all about? If legislation has the power to prevent or even simply decrease the odds of one less sex worker from being abused or killed, then what are we sitting around discussing?
OTTAWA - Here are five things to know about Friday's Supreme Court of Canada ruling on prostitution:WHAT: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the key provisions of the country's anti-prostitution l...
One of the best practices to transcend these barriers is peer education. The organization that I work for champions this model, equipping MSM peer educators to discretely enter the community and educate fellow MSM on HIV transmission; providing them with alternative avenues to get HIV testing, a cornerstone of effective prevention; behaviour change strategies and, lastly, condoms.
VANCOUVER - Vancouver police are looking for a man who they believe is behind attacks on two sex trade workers.Police say a sex trade worker was approached earlier this week by a man who asked for sex...
As the Supreme Court of Canada begins deliberating the fate of the existing laws restricting sex work, it is vital to examine the suggested alternatives, and expose their weaknesses, before public opinion embraces them without knowing their true consequences. Though it purports itself to be a policy that protects and respects women, the "abolitionist approach" is nothing more than a ruse, and does nothing at all to help those of us who participate in the sex industry.
Self-described abolitionists have no idea how insulting and condescending it is for us to be told we're incapable of making our own choices. One of the principle tenets of feminism is that women should have the right to make our own choices with our own bodies.
A few years back I had an affair with a friend who'd been one of Toronto's most exclusive and expensive whores. To her, prostitution was a job pretty much like any other. She wrote: "Like any other whore I've ever known, I have two lives. One life earns all this money for being available for men and women who want -- and can afford to pay -- for the pleasure of my company. It's the other life, my personal life, that's my real life. The life where I win and lose, behave well or badly, am happy or sad. The part of my life where there's real meaning. ... When I'm working there's nothing womanly involved. Just business. "
TORONTO - Sex workers and their supporters marched and rallied in several Canadian cities Saturday to call for the decriminalization of prostitution, days before a Supreme Court hearing on whether law...
The government has again appealed the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision that current sex worker laws go against constitutional rights. On October 25, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether they will hear their appeal or not. Ultimately, it is my hope that the SCC agrees to hear the case in its entirety, for a number of reasons.
Sex work is a highly contentious issue, but it is a legimate profession that one can freely choose if so inclined. We Canadians all have a right to life, liberty, and security of the person, even those of us involved in sex work -- and no government laws may infringe on those rights. That's exactly what this challenge is all about.
TORONTO - The Supreme Court of Canada is willing to take a look at the country's main laws controlling prostitution.The top court said today it will hear a government appeal of a ruling striking down...
The mayor of Montreal's Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough says the city and province need to provide more resources for sex workers in his neighbourhood. Réal Ménard told journalists at a news co...
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that the federal government would no longer offer work visas to immigrants applying for positions in the sex trade. While this is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of moderating the oldest profession in the world, it's not enough.
Two major government budgets were released this week, by Ontario and the Feds respectively; as widely anticipated, both will balance spending and eliminate debt by the end of the year with no cuts to any social services. Critics from the left and right applauded the leaders for showing such fiscal responsibility while managing to balance the needs of all Canadian citizens. Asked how he expected to deal with the looming crisis with old age pensions, Prime Minister Harper noted that the budget called for the phasing out of seniors beginning in 2016...
Okay, now that I've got my April Fool's joke out of the way, let's look back upon the messy conflagration of human events that constitutes last week's news highlights here at Huffpost.
TORONTO - Canada's anti-prostitution laws entered a "new era" Monday as Ontario's top court struck down a ban on brothels on the grounds it exposes sex-trade workers to added danger.In its 132-page de...
The ban on bawdy houses was struck down Monday, however, communicating for the purpose of prostitution remains in full effect in order to keep sex work off the streets and away from public scrutiny.