The Ontario Court of Appeal intends to release its landmark decision on the legality of the country’s prostitution laws on Monday.
After deliberating for nine months, a five-judge panel of the court is faced with the task of deciding whether or not to decriminalize three anti-prostitution provisions on the basis that they actually endanger prostitutes rather than adding to their safety.The decision under appeal struck down the laws governing pimping, keeping a brothel and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.
With the dangers inherent in the sex trade, a trio of downtown Toronto organizations have come together to help make the streets safer.
The Safer Stroll Project came about through collaboration between the Bad Date Coalition, Regent Park Community Health Centre and Street Health Community Nursing Foundation. Over the past three years, the group has helped 25 sex workers learn about safety and move toward personal improvement whether they choose to continue working the streets or not.
The Lusty Lady in North Beach remains the nation’s only unionized strip club
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY CHARLES RUSSO
Google has come under fire in the past year for everything from privacy policies to censorship. But in December, some Bay Area residents were protesting the tech giant for a very different reason. The group that marched in front of the company’s San Francisco office was angry over the company’s donation to organizations fighting human trafficking.
Tactic puts women at greater risk, advocate group says
BY CANDICE SO, OTTAWA CITIZEN WITH FILES FROM ZEV SINGER JANUARY 24, 2012
A coalition representing local sex trade workers is urging Ottawa police to stop cracking down on prostitutes in monthly sting operations.
The group’s open letter to police was sent in response to the warning Chief Vern White issued in December, saying investigators had detected a pattern in the deaths of a number of sex trade workers. The police also issued a safety advisory, advising sex workers to work in teams and to avoid isolated areas.
But the coalition, which is made up of six local groups, says this advice only exposes sex workers as obvious targets for arrest. They’re especially afraid of being caught in a street sweep, an undercover operation where officers start conversations with prostitutes, only to arrest them once an offer of sex for money is made.
All Sheila Farmer was trying to do was guarantee the safety of her and fellow consensual sex workers from violence, rape and robbery, that she was prosecuted is a national disgrace…
Sheila Farmer speaks of her fight against being accused of Brothel keeping
It was January 3rd, 2012. Stepping over the broken-winged corpses of umbrellas on Croydon’s pavements, a rain-drenched, gale-battered group of approximately thirty supporters, myself included, approached the Crown Court to witness the conclusion to a landmark case.
Google announced last week that they are making the largest-ever corporate donation to “ending modern day slavery”: an impressive $11.5 million dollars. We applaud and support Google’s desire to fight slavery, forced trafficking, and exploitative labor conditions, but Google’s funding recipients include three NGOs that cause serious harm to sex workers around the world: International Justice Mission, Polaris Project, and Not for Sale. As front line sex worker support services struggle for funding to serve their communities, it is offensive to watch Google shower money upon a wealthy faith-based group like the International Justice Mission, which took in nearly $22 million dollars in 2009 alone. (In contrast, the St. James Infirmary, a San Francisco clinic that provides free healthcare to sex workers, operated on only $335k in 2010.)
As the Missing Women’s Inquiry continues, sex workers and supporters lit candles on the steps of a police detachment yesterday, part of a global day of action.
By David P. Ball
Sex workers and their allies rallied outside the Downtown Eastside (DTES) police station Saturday, calling on Vancouver police to treat women in the neighbourhood with respect, and to put a stop to violence against people in the sex industry.
It’s been 22 years since the Montreal massacre. We talk violence against women, and ways to end it, with survival sex work organizer Jennifer Allan, founder of Jen’s Kitchen. She experienced violence in the survival sex industry first-hand, but today, she supports those in the trade and pushes for change. By David P. Ball.
[Jennifer Allan, founder of Jen’s Kitchen, experienced violence in the survival sex industry first-hand – and today she advocates for those in the trade. Photo: David P. Ball]
Jennifer Allan knows first-hand what it’s like to sell one’s body in order to feed it.
About ten years ago, the 34-year old founder of Jen’s Kitchen – an advocacy, outreach and food relief service for women in Vancouver’s survival sex trade – found herself pacing the streets of Calgary and Vancouver, the pain of hunger in her belly.