How Do Canada's Sex Work Laws Actually Impact Real Sex Workers?
In 2013, Canada's long-standing laws against sex work were struck down in the landmark case of R. v. Bedford. Following that, the Harper government rewrote the Criminal Code to fill the void that these laws had left. Their decision was to criminalize the purchasers of sex, rather than the purveyors. They said that this was necessary in order to protect vulnerable populations and stop human sex trafficking.
But has it worked? How helpful have these laws really been?
I sat down with Carmen, a sex worker, and Caroline, a front-line volunteer at PACE Society, a non-profit organization geared towards helping sex workers in Vancouver's Downtown East Side, to discuss.