Tag Archive | working conditions

Federal government to appeal Ontario sex-work ruling

Luna Allison / National / Thursday, April 26, 2012
In a statement released on April 25, the federal government announced it will appeal a recent Ontario Court of Appeals decision that struck down two sex-work laws as unconstitutional.
Federal Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson and Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen made the announcement just one day before the closure of the 30-day appeal window.

Landmark ruling on prostitution laws coming Monday


That’s right – it’s here!

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.

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Enforcement against sex workers to be used as ‘last resort’: VPD report


The Vancouver police board will next week consider adopting new sex worker enforcement guidelines encouraging officers to treat sex trade workers with dignity and respect in order to build relationships and increase the safety and protection of vulnerable women working the streets.

Safer Stroll Project empowers sex trade workers

by Justin Skinner

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.

Healing power of sex work

A stripper wants to end the stigma imposed on people employed in her industry By Wrenna Robertson, March 7, 2012

Wrenna Robertson loves her job as a stripper, and just because she has a great university education, she doesn’t feel that she should be obliged to quit.

There’s a story not often told about sex work. It’s a story that most of society would scoff at, write off as a deluded fantasy. Many of us won’t allow it to be true.

I am a sex worker, and even I felt that it was too tall a tale to tell.

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Prostitution sweeps on hold since December

Move followed announcement of ‘pattern’ in homicides


Ottawa police have not conducted any prostitution sweeps since Chief Vern White’s announced in December that a “pattern” had been identified in a number of unsolved murders of prostitutes.

Since Dec. 9, when White warned the city’s sex workers to take precautions because of a potential threat – police have been loath to use the word “serial killer,” but the link between killings is ominous – advocacy groups have been calling for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.

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The sex worker struggle

From Google to Whorespeak: SF’s activists fight a complex, uphill battle but keep the dream of decriminalization alive

02.07.12 – 8:37 pm | Yael Chanoff |

The Lusty Lady in North Beach remains the nation’s only unionized strip club


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.

Community groups seek legal advice on prostitution sweeps

Ottawa police refuse request for moratorium on sweeps while they probe possible predator

Six community groups are seeking legal advice after Ottawa police Chief Vern White last week refused their request for a moratorium on prostitution sweeps.
Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, said a consortium of local groups met with police Feb. 8 to argue that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into remote areas away from circles of support.
Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, said a consortium of local groups met with police Feb. 8 to argue that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into remote areas away from circles of support.(CBC)

“We asked Chief Vern White to prioritize women’s safety by putting the risk to the lives of sex workers over nuisance complaints during a time which he has identified poses heightened risk to sex workers,” said Bryonie Baxter, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, in a press release. “We are effectively asking the police to take one operational tool out of their toolbox and we in turn offered to work with police and concerned citizens to effect longer-term solutions to their concerns.”

On Tuesday, Insp. Uday Jaswal told CBC News the police force can’t choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. Jaswal said prostitution sweeps will continue and he added that police remain committed to discussing the issue.

In a meeting with police on Feb. 8, Baxter said the group argued that sweeps put sex workers at risk by forcing them into more remote areas away from circles of support.

Their request came two months after White issued a warning that police had discovered a pattern in unsolved assaults and homicides on sex workers in Ottawa.

“We believe the Ottawa police owe a duty of care to sex workers which extends beyond merely warning them about the existence of a predator,” Baxter said. “It also involves proactively working to eliminate practices which increase the risk of harm to this group of women.”

The six groups include the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate, Resist), the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC), Families of Sisters in Spirit and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa.


Officer who investigated missing women got scare while posing as prostitute


VANCOUVER – The officer first assigned to investigate the missing women case recalled Monday that she got a scare while posing undercover as a prostitute.

Vancouver police Const. Lori Shenher said she did “John” stings in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and, while posing as a sex trade worker, was grabbed by a man in a car.

The man wouldn’t look at her while he talked to her, Shenher told the Missing Women inquiry.

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