NSWP, The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, heralded the decision made by the Canadian Supreme Court in December 2013 to strike down laws related to sex work that were recognised to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The striking down of provisions that restricted sex workers’ ability to implement crucial security strategies in their work was seen by NSWP members and allies around the world as a significant step forward in advancing the health and human rights of sex workers in Canada. Following this ruling however, the space that opened for dialogue and debate has been dominated by a misinformed, ill-founded and a moralistic agenda that makes a rhetorical commitment to the protection of sex workers, while conversely ignores sex workers’ agency and experiences and in turn introduces sweeping criminalisation of the sex industry that will serve to undermine sex workers’ human rights including the right to health.
Drawing on international guidelines, irrefutable evidence and the experiences of NSWP members worldwide, NSWP has published a brief that highlights the flawed logic behind such an “end demand” approach and illuminates the harmful implications for sex workers of the proposed legislation in Bill C-36. NSWP urge this brief to be taken seriously in considerations to protect the health, human and labour rights of sex workers and implore the Canadian Government to align itself with governments at the forefront of world interest that have decriminalised or are considering the full decriminalisation of sex work for the protection of those involved and to contribute to the halting of the global HIV epidemic.
You can download this brief below.