The government has presented Bill C-36, what Justice Minister Peter MacKay calls the "Canadian model." Like the failed Nordic model, this made-in-Canada approach criminalizes the clients of sex workers, while ostensibly trying to convince sex workers to stop commodifying their bodies in a hopeless attempt to end the sex trade. But the Canadian model goes much further, blatantly disregarding the Supreme Court decision as well as studies showing the policing of purchasers puts the same pressures on sex workers, impeding them from screening clients, negotiating transactions, working in safe areas, and accessing police protections.
Erin Seatter is resource coordinator at Positive Women’s Network and a regular contributor to the PWN blog. As Canada’s longest-running women-specific HIV organization, PWN has supported several women through HIV non-disclosure cases and seen the serious impacts of criminalization on their lives.
<img alt="2014-03-06-Womensdaybanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2014-03-06-Womensdaybanner.jpg" width="300" height="50" />Laws requiring individuals with HIV to disclose their status before sex are assumed to be in place to protect people. Often these laws are framed as protection for women. In a 2012 Supreme Court of Canada decision that made the law governing HIV non-disclosure stricter, the judges indicated a particular concern for "the trusting wife." But the intent of a law is one thing. The impact is another.
03/07/2014 06:19 EST
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