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Labour standards and occupational health and safety have been the rights of Canadian Workers for over 100 years. The sex industry and its workers have however never enjoyed the privileges of being acknowledged for providing a safe work space or been able to complain about dangerous conditions. This has forced the system at large to impose what it believes is right for sex industry workers with disastrous results for decades in the BC/Yukon region. The need for a community based process through which the sex industry can govern itself and have input to its future and stability has never been more urgent.

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Knowledge and experience about how to work with sex workers on health issues remains incomplete and controversial. However, by bringing together epidemiological data, operations and behavioural research, project reports and, most importantly, information from communities themselves, practical strategies, guiding principles and measures of success can be identified. A degree of consensus has emerged among frontline projects and key agencies, including many governments, about which combination of policies and programmes reduce HIV transmission during commercial sex.

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