A federal bill was signed into law today further criminalizing sex work, including the purchasing of sex and third parties, with grave consequences for the health, safety and human rights of the country's sex workers, say researchers from the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE). Bill C-36 (Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act) blatantly ignores the Supreme Court of Canada decision to strike down the country's anti-prostitution laws in order to protect sex workers' access to safer working conditions.
"This is an extremely concerning law passed by the Canadian government and stands in blatant disregard of clear evidence on the detrimental effects of the criminalization of sex work," said Dr. Kate Shannon, Director of the GSHI and associate professor of medicine at UBC. "We know all too well from two decades of missing and murdered women in Canada and extensive research by our team and others that criminalizing any aspect of sex work has devastating impacts on sex workers' safety, health and human rights."
For more information, please see the full press release here.
(Attached photo from community press conference, November 6, 2014.)