Bedford v. Canada: a paradigmatic case toward ensuring the human and health rights of sex workers – HIV/AIDS Policy & Law Review 15(3)

The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits certain aspects of sex work: the keeping of a common bawdy-house, living off the avails of prostitution and communicating for the purposes of prostitution in a public place. These legal constraints impede sex workers’ ability to practise their profession safely and without risk to their bodily integrity; they also impair their personal autonomy and can lead to their stigmatization. Bedford v. Canada is a groundbreaking case, since the applicants and intervening organizations seek to overturn aspects of Canadian law that specifically put the health and human rights of sex workers at risk.