Resources

 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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In relation to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, public statements were made which project an alarming increase in this human trafficking. These claims are inconsistent with the evidence in this research document, that trafficking and mega-events are not linked.

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This report focuses on indoor sex work primarily because, while these sex workers are largely invisible, they face many of the same problems as the more visible street-based prostitutes. The stereotypes of indoor sex workers encompass only extremes of either wealth and glamour or coercion and violence. The true picture reveals a more nuanced reality—the majority of indoor sex workers in this study live surprisingly precarious lives, and encounter a high level of exactly the same problems faced by street-based sex workers, including violence, constant fear of police interference, and a lack of substantive support services. Finding concrete and reality-based solutions to the needs of this invisible, vulnerable, and marginalised community is imperative to helping them create safe and stable lives.

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The BC Coalition of Experiential Women was funded to explore working conditions of off street municipally licensed massage parlors and escort agencies. A series of three focus groups were conducted with individuals employed in these venues as well as those who work primarily on street. This report presents the findings of these interviews.

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This is a formal letter of request that the Ontario Human Rights Commission conduct a public inquiry into discrimination against Ottawa-area sex workers by the Ottawa Police Service.

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This community-based report by POWER discusses the challenges faced by sex workers in Ottawa and Gatineau in Ontario, Canada. They interviewed 43 adult sex workers including male, female, and transgender sex workers and used this research to guide their advocacy efforts. The report outlines, in detail, the context of sex worker in Ottawa and Gatineau, the labour site challenges faced by sex workers, stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers in the region.

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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.

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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.

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This is a brief guide for clients and potential clients of sex workers, focusing on etiquette, safer sex, and anti-violence guidelines.

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This report summarises the findings of a human rights project conducted by the Sex Workers Project in 2007 and 2008 to explore the impacts and effectiveness of  anti-trafficking approaches in the United States. These approaches include anti-trafficking raids and vice raids targeting sex work conducted by local law enforcement agencies in different cities. It is among the first efforts since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to give voice to the perspectives of trafficked persons and sex workers who have experienced anti-trafficking raids. A total of 46 people were interviewed for the report.

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This report examines the impact of law enforcement approaches to street-based sex work in New York City and proposes a series of policy and practice recommendations for reform based on the researchers’ analyses of the data collected. This report also seeks to promote reasoned, fact-based, and informed debate regarding street-based prostitution in New York City. Public discussion of this issue usually occurs in flashy headlines that are meant to titillate rather than to explore the consequences of policy decisions in depth. This is a special effort to give voice to the problems faced by street-based sex workers, using their own words, since this is a voice that is almost always left out of policy debates.

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This paper addresses the persistence of violence against female commercial sex workers in the United States, drawing on the experiences of the Best Practices Policy Project in conducting outreach, research, and relationship building with diverse commercial sex worker stakeholders.

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This report summarises the research compiled by the Young Women's Empowerment Project in Chicago (United States) about violence & resistance for girls involved in the sex trade. It also examines attitudes and practices for harm reduction, self care, advocacy, and empowerment.

Contents Include:

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This report is submitted by the Best Practices Policy Project, Desiree Alliance, and the Sexual Rights Initiative. It focuses on civil and human rights violations of those engaged, or perceived to be engaged, in sexual trade and sex work in the U.S..

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This edition of the Canadian magazine "Constellation" goes into detail on how to stay safe while doing sex work - legally, physically, emotionally, sexually, and financially. It is filled with information & articles including how to work with clients as a masseuse, how to respond to police involvement, and how to plan & save money.

Content is in English and French.

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Letter to the U. S. Department of State. This letter, signed by nine researchers from around the globe and addressed to Ambassador John Miller, provides a response to the facts listed in the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Prostitution and Trafficking, released in 2004. In this letter, the signatories discuss the problems with the fact sheet and it's conclusions,

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