Voices for Dignity: A Call to End the Harms Caused by Canada's Sex Trade Laws

Shari Allinott, Judith Boer, Naomi Brunemeyer, Rielle Capler, DJ, Cristen Gleeson, Kerry Jacox, Kat Kinch, Carol Liao, Karen Mirsky, Katrina Pacey, Laurie Pelletier, Julie Shugarman, Elin Sigurdson, Ondine Snowdon, Kim Walton, Lisa Weich, Debra Woelke
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This report presents the expert opinions of sex workers and their experiences working within the current legal framework. The affidavits highlight many ways in which Canada’s sex trade laws worsen the already harmful conditions under which sex workers live, add to the stigma of their employment and social position, and support the inference that sex workers are less worthy of value than other members of society. Given this evidence, it is argued that the laws violate the expression, liberty, security and equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is found that these violations cannot be justified in a free and democratic society. This report also puts forward recommendations for law reform in Canada.

This document includes:

1. Introduction
2. Methods
i. Project Objectives and Design
ii. Demographics
iii. Limitations
3. Key Findings from the Affidavits
i. Findings on the Bawdy-House Law
ii. Findings on the Procuring Law
iii. Findings on the Communicating Law
4. Key Themes from the Affidavits
i. Poverty
ii. Housing
iii. Violence
iv. Health
v. Addiction
vi. Law Enforcement
5. Constitutional Arguments in Support of Key Findings and Themes
i. Section 2(b): Freedom of Expression
ii. Section 7: The Right to Life, Liberty, and Security of the Person
iii. Section 15: The Right to Equality
iv. Section 1: Violations of the Charter Cannot be Justified
6. Call to Action

You can download this 20 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.