This report summarises the deliberations of a one day event entitled “Labour of Love” held on 17th December 2010, hosted by Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) in partnership with Uganda Harmonized Rights Alliance (UHRA). The event primarily sought to put a human face to the lives of sex workers as well as challenge the public silence on violence against them. The forum was attended by 55 participants, including sex workers, brothel owners and human rights activists. The event was organised against the background that sex workers have continuously suffered from abuse, discrimination and violence which often goes unreported and unacknowledged. In particular, the event illuminated the achievements, coping mechanisms, challenges and recommendations regarding sex work.
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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.