On May 12th, the Migrant Sex Worker’s Project and Butterfly, an Asian and migrant sex workers support network, held a forum in Toronto to discuss some of the problems with discourse of “anti-trafficking”. Following the event, CKUT’s Emily Enhorning spoke with Elene Lam, founder of Butterfly, about some of these issues.
Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, has passed in the Senate, infuriating many people who work in the sex industry, as well as their allies. Despite its title, C-36 does everything but protect communities and exploited persons leaving sex workers outside of police protection and more vulnerable to targeted violence and exploitation than ever. CKUT’s Sula Greene spoke with STELLA’s Robyn Maynard about the implication of Bill C-36 and the ongoing targeting of sex workers in Canada.
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Supporters of the health, wellbeing and rights of sex workers reexpressed their concerns about Bill C36. They added to their arguments that the House of Commons’ Justice Committee hearings this summer sidelined the voices of those who oppose the use of criminal law in relation to sex work. Presentations were given by Anna-Aude Caouette and Robyn Maynard from Stella, a sex worker organization for women, Frank Suerich-Gulich, from ASTTEQ, Claude Poisson, from Rézo, travailleurs du sexe, Chantal Montmorency, and Viviane Namaste, with Concordia University’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute.
In December 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada made a historic ruling known as the Bedford decision. The ruling resulted in the decriminalization of sex work in Canada. With one year given to Parliament to write new sex work legislation that does not conflict with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms there are however, many questions still left unanswered. Some anti-sex work groups advocate for a Nordic model while many pro-sex work organizations demand there be no legislation at all. CKUT’s Sula Greene spoke with Julie Grant, exec-at-large of Sex Professionals of Canada about the future of sex work in Canada.