The fight for sex workers’ rights and safety is far from over

Back in February of this year, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down three of the countries prostitution laws setting an example for the human rights of sex workers in Canada. There have been discussions about which prostitution model the federal government should adopt – anywhere from the Swedish Model to the New Zealand Model. Right now the federal government is rewriting the prostitution laws and will likely come to a decision by the end of this year. What this will look like for sex workers in Canada has many advocates (even across the globe) voicing their opposition to the Swedish Model, and that this would create an environment of increased danger and unsafe working conditions. Under this model, the clients of sex workers would be punished.

Our team will be completing its final focus group with sex workers in the Downtown Eastside later this month. We will be finalizing device selection with the feedback from the focus group participants in combination with the feedback from the focus groups last summer. We are grateful to our community stakeholders, WISH and PACE, for being incredibly supportive and patient with us over the last year.

Speaking of the Keep Safe team, we welcomed a new team member, Anita Chang, earlier this year, and fondly said farewell to Tim Jen (although, we hope Tim will continue to periodically provide his excellent insight and bookkeeping skills when we need them!). We are incredibly excited about this year and look forward to the momentum around sex workers’ rights in Canada and around the globe!

All sex workers deserve to have their choices respected and be able to work safely, without fear of violence, discrimination and social stigma.

In Solidarity,

The Keep Safe Team

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