In February 2022, the Justice and Human Rights Committee on Bill C-36 began its review of Canada’s sex work laws.
SWAN submitted a Brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Committee and testified at the hearings.
In June 2022, the Committee presented its recommendations to Parliament.
“PCEPA is used as a tool to target im/migrant sex workers. SWAN has witnessed time and time again how a PCEPA investigation into an im/migrant sex worker’s activity can quickly turn on its head and end up incriminating the im/migrant sex worker herself; she either becomes the target of an anti-trafficking investigation or is deported. In fact, we have never had a case turn out otherwise.
When deportation occurs, including to women who have been trafficked, it is a clear instance of crimmigration, i.e. the convergence of criminal law and procedure with immigration law and procedure. The way in which PCEPA is used as a tool to further criminalize im/migrant sex workers is not widely known or discussed, and this contributes to law enforcement using this mechanism without accountability or oversight.“
Criminalization not only creates fear of and adversarial relationships with law enforcement agencies, it also creates stigma. “