How a Canadian law meant to protect sex workers is making it harder for them to stay safe (CGSHE)

Kerry Porth fondly remembers the day in 2013 when the Supreme Court of Canada made the landmark decision to strike down laws that criminalized doing sex work.

On Dec. 20 of that year, the top court unanimously ruled that criminal laws prohibiting living off the avails of sex work pushed Terri-Jean Bedford and other sex workers into dangerous underground situations in order to do their jobs, and violated their constitutional rights to security of the person.

Goldenberg and Sylvia Machat were two of the researchers with the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) who conducted the PCEPA study using data from An Evaluation of Sex Workers’ Health Access, an survey of about 1,000 sex industry workers in the Lower Mainland, which has been going on for a decade. It’s a survey of uncommon breadth and depth for Canadian sex workers.

Alex Mckeen reports. 

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