In Canada and many other countries, sex workers face extreme human rights abuses. Laws and their enforcement often contribute to the stigma, marginalization, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to basic services, such as police protection and health care, experienced by sex workers.
Efforts to improve the health and safety of sex workers must be based on a recognition of sex workers’ individual agency, dignity, worth and right to organize. Decriminalizing sex work is an important first step. So long as sex work is criminal in Canada, sex workers cannot enjoy their international and Charter rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, security of the person, right to work, and right to enjoy just and favourable conditions of work.
We consult and work closely with organizations run by and for sex workers, and we encourage all governments to do so, in order to bring about reforms that respect and protect the health and human rights of sex workers.
Legal Network News – December 1, 2022
Today, the HIV Legal Network marks World AIDS Day by joining with the United Nations in a call to governments around the world to reform laws, policies, and practices that create and exacerbate the stigma faced by people living with HIV. This year’s theme is “Equalize” and we are recommitting ourselves to working to challenge laws that oppress … Read more
The Carceral Web: Overview of laws affecting migrant sex workers
Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) and the HIV Legal Network recognize sex work is work and respect the agency of sex workers and migrants. We also recognize the harms caused by criminalization, policing, and laws and policies that discriminate against migrant sex workers. We fight for the dignity, rights, and justice of … Read more
Rights Within Reach: Strategic Plan 2022-2027
The HIV Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with HIV or AIDS and other populations disproportionately affected by HIV and criminalization, in Canada and internationally. In 2021, we undertook a planning process that would shape the strategic goals and priorities for the organization’s next five years (2022-2027). To do this, we sought … Read more
Rights Within Reach: Strategic Plan 2022-2027, Executive Summary
In 2021, the HIV Legal Network undertook a planning process that would shape the strategic goals and priorities for the organization’s next five years (2022-2027). To do this, we sought the input of a broad range of stakeholders, from partner organizations to people living with and affected by HIV and criminalization, to staff. All identified … Read more
Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights: Review of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act
In February 2022, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights undertook a review of The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. The HIV Legal Network appeared before the Committee to describe how human rights violations against sex workers have escalated with the passage of the law, which has fueled stigma, … Read more
WORLD AIDS DAY 2022: IT’S TIME TO EQUALIZE, IN CANADA AND BEYOND
November 30, 2022 — Today, the HIV Legal Network marks World AIDS Day by joining with the United Nations (UN) in a call to governments around the world to reform laws, policies, and practices that create and exacerbate the stigma faced by people living with HIV. With this year’s theme being “Equalize,” we are focused … Read more
MEDIA RELEASE: GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO RESPECT SEX WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS FORCES SEX WORKERS BACK TO COURT
GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO RESPECT SEX WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS FORCES SEX WORKERS BACK TO COURT For interviews or a recording of the press conference, please contact Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, email@example.com, 514.916.2598 Sex Worker Legal Media Briefing: Monday, October 3, 2022, 1pm, 330 University Avenue (Ontario Superior Court) September 29, 2022 – The … Read more
MEDIA RELEASE: TOWN OF NEWMARKET TARGETS AND SHUTS DOWN ASIAN MASSAGE BUSINESSES
TOWN OF NEWMARKET TARGETS AND SHUTS DOWN ASIAN MASSAGE BUSINESSES Groups calling on municipality to end the injustice and repeal new, racist by-law For immediate release May 5, 2022 – Toronto – A group of more than 50 allied organizations — as well as community members, activists, academics, and others — who are committed to human … Read more
MEDIA STATEMENT: WORLD AIDS DAY 2021: FORTY YEARS OF HIV, FORTY YEARS OF PROGRESS
WORLD AIDS DAY 2021: FORTY YEARS OF HIV, FORTY YEARS OF PROGRESS The following can be attributed to the HIV Legal Network. November 30, 2021 – Toronto – Tomorrow is World AIDS Day — a day to reflect on the current state of HIV and AIDS in the world, where we started, and how … Read more
Media Advisory: LEADING SEX WORK AND LABOUR ISSUE EXPERTS TO LAUNCH CRITICAL REPORT ON IMPACTS OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING LAWS IN CANADA
Media Invited to Join Virtual Webinar on Law, Policy, and Migrant Sex Workers For immediate release Members of the media are invited to attend the virtual launch of a groundbreaking report, “Caught in the Carceral Web: Anti-Trafficking Laws and Policies and their Impact on Migrant Sex Workers,” that maps the tangled web of Canadian anti-trafficking … Read more