All Resources > Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform (CASWLR) v. Attorney General

Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform (CASWLR) v. Attorney General

In March 2021, a constitutional challenge against Canada’s sex work laws—the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA)—was launched to address violations of sex workers’ basic rights. On September 18th, 2023, the Ontario Superior Court dismissed this challenge and declared PCEPA constitutionally sound, despite ongoing harms to the sex work community.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations Sex Work Prohibition

See here for an in-depth analysis of this legal challenge.

Charter Rights:

This challenge states the following Charter rights are being violated by PCEPA:

  • Section 7—the right to life, liberty and security of the person
  • Section 2(b)—freedom of expression
  • Section 2(c)—freedom of peaceful assembly
  • Section 15—equality rights

Criminal Code Provisions:

This challenge addresses the following Criminal Code provisions:

  • Section 213(1)—stopping or impeding traffic
  • Section 213(1.1)—communicating to provide sexual services for consideration (“the communicating offence”)
  • Section 286.1(1)—obtaining sexual services for consideration
  • Section 286.2(1)—receiving a material benefit or financial benefit knowing that it is obtained from the purchase of sexual services (“the material benefit offence”)
  • Section 286.3(1)—procuring, recruiting, holding, concealing, or harbouring a person who provides sexual services for consideration
  • Section 286.4—advertising an offer to provide sexual services

To learn more about the original legislation, see SWAN’s backgrounder & analysis of PCEPA.

for the full list of resources

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