Resources

This Smart Person’s Guide is a tool to support sex workers and their allies in advocating for the recognition of sex workers’ expertise. Sex workers’ have an indispensable knowledge of, and experience with the structural, legal, institutional, socio-economic and cultural barriers which impede their human and labour rights. Evidence shows that meaningful involvement of sex workers is critical to success in tackling inequality and inequity.

You can download this 30-page Smart Guide above. It is available in English, Russian, Chinese, French, and Spanish. 

Funding for sex worker-led organisations is shrinking, as has the space for the voices of sex workers, resulting in sex workers having less influence in programmes, policies and other decisions that affect their lives. Civil society organisations and other stakeholders now feel they have the right to funding and advocacy platforms, either because they work with sex workers and are therefore ‘experts’ who can speak for sex workers, or they wish to exclude sex workers’ voices entirely because they refuse to recognise sex workers’ rights as human rights.

This article focuses on the existing legal approaches to prostitution, the moral and ideological presumptions underlying the different legislative models and their impact on the working and living conditions of women and men working in the sex industry. It will also touch on the current debate on sex work, including the views of sexworkers themselves. Basically, four different legal regimes can be discerned - prohibitionist, abolitionist, regulamentarist, and labour approaches.

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In this article, the author makes the case that the state's proposals for addressing trafficking enable the state to posit itself as responsible for protecting "Canadians" while carefully avoiding any responsibility for the well-being of women who are trafficked; demonize smugglers as the cause of trafficking; and override the concerns and interests of women who are trafficked by making deportation the only "solution" to their presence in Canada.

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