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 A “working paper” prepared as background to Building on the Evidence: An International Symposium on the Sex Industry in Canada

This paper is a result of a research programme in Canada’s sex industry: workers and their intimate partners, managers and clients.

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A series of behavioural-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in four districts of Karnataka found that mobilising female sex workers is central to effective HIV prevention programming. Defining community mobilisation exposure as low, medium or high, the study revealed female sex workers with high exposure to community mobilisation are:

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On June 4th, 2014 Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The draft legislation proposes a legal frameworkthat criminalises communication in public for the purpose of prostitution, the purchase ofsexual services, material benefit, and the advertisement of sexual services.

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The assessment was conducted using a community-based research approach in order  for it to be an accurate reflection of street-based sex work. The research team consisted of staff members from the Regent Park Community Health Centre and Street Health and community members who were previously involved in sex work. The survey tool was developed and approved for use by the network of sex workers from Barrie, York Region, Peterborough and Toronto in Canada. A standardised set of questions with some closed and open ended questions was included in the survey. Former sex workers from the community were involved as co-researchers and conducted face to face interviews with current sex workers.

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