Criminalising clients endangers Asian, immigrant and migrant women in sex work
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee convened in 2014 to review the proposed Bill C-36: Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act
Bill C-36 is the Government of Canada’s response to the Supreme Court decision of Canada (AG) v Bedford (2013), which declared Canada’s previous prostitution laws unconstitutional. The proposed Bill C-36, unfortunately continue to criminalize and stigmatize sex workers and replicates the same harms of the previous laws.
SWAN submitted a brief to the Senate Committee, opposing Bill C-36: Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act and calling for the full decriminalization of sex work.
“SWAN joins other sex worker rights organizations, researchers, UN bodies and allied organizations in supporting a decriminalization approach, or the removal of criminal penalties around consensual, adult sex work. This approach would reflect the Bedford v. Canada decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which found three provisions pertaining to sex work in the Criminal Code endangered sex workers’ health and safety. A decriminalization approach would not only remove legal barriers to justice for sex workers, but would also foster an environment where law enforcement does not become another risk to manage in sex work.”