Beyond Decriminalization: Sex Work, Human Rights and a New Framework for Law Reform

Mary Childs, Sarah Ciarrocchi, Cristen Gleeson, John Lowman, Katrina Pacey, Francois Paradis, Danica Piche, Emily Rix, Elaine Ryan, Elin Sigurdson, Krista Sigurdson, Laura Track, Maia Tsurumi, Megan Vis-Dunbar, Lisa Weich
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This report is the beginning of an important social dialogue about the role that the law will play in governing the sex industry in Canada. Pivot has argued that criminal law reform is the first step towards a shift from the status quo, where sex workers are subject to extreme levels of violence and social marginalisation, to a society where sex workers are empowered to create safe and dignified working conditions. Criminal law reform will be most effectively carried out if all levels of government consider the findings of this research and contemplate how areas of law that fall within their jurisdiction will play a role in creating a safe and legitimate sex industry.

This report also illustrates why sex workers must be provided with a prominent role in the process of law, policy and social reform. Sex workers have a unique insight and expertise regarding their industry, the role it plays in Canadian society, and the ways in which regulatory schemes will impact their business. Above all, law and policy makers should listen to sex workers in order to understand how the laws affect them, which is a necessary step in ensuring that Canada’s laws comply with the guarantees and protections enshrined in the Charter and other human rights instruments.

This document contains:

  • Pivot’s sex work law reform project
  • Scope of this report
  • Pivot’s approach to law reform
  • Pivot’s research methods
  • Current working conditions in various areas of the sex industry
  • Financial arrangements and wage structure
  • Municipal Law and Sex Work
  • Zoning and sex work
  • Employment and Labour Law
  • Employment standards and protections
  • Workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety
  • Unionisation
  • Complaints and grievances
  • Sex workers as independent contractors
  • Sex workers operating as a collective
  • Income Assistance and Employment Insurance Law
  • Income Tax Law
  • Company Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Call To Action  

You can download this 229 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.