Brief submitted to the Standing Committee on the Status of Women For their study on: Human Trafficking of Women, Girls, and Gender Diverse People

Sex workers in Canada face an alarming web of punitive laws and policies from all levels of government that attempt, among other things, to crush the measures and networks that keep them. These include laws criminalizing sex work, including those passed via the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act which prohibit working in public … Read more

Halt the Harm: Ending and Avoiding Criminalization of HIV, COVID-19, and Other Public Health Challenges in Canada

Canada has long been among the global “hotspots” for prosecuting people accused of HIV non-disclosure, exposure, or transmission of HIV. As of the end of 2020, there have been at least 224 confirmed prosecutions. Most cases have not involved any allegation that HIV was transmitted or that the accused person had any intent to transmit … Read more

Report to the 134 Session of UN Human Rights Committee in relation to the review of the 8th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation

In its Concluding Observations of March 2015, the Committee recommended the Russian Federation take all the measures necessary to ensure that: (a) its policies vis-à-vis drug users deprived of their liberty fully conform to its obligation to effectively protect them against the pain and suffering associated with the withdrawal syndrome and that timely, adequate and … Read more

Drug Laws and Policies in Four Regions of Eurasia

There is considerable variance in how countries in the regions of Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, as well as Central Asia and Transcaucasia, are affected by “the world drug problem” and their responses to this public health challenge. However, what they face in common is a high prevalence of injection drug use (IDU) and serious … Read more

Drug Policy and the Fundamental Human Rights of Women who Use Drugs: Briefing paper to CEDAW

Across the world, women who use drugs endure intersecting forms of discrimination related to gender, drug use, HIV status, mental health conditions, and other factors. They are denied basic rights to equality and non-discrimination, life, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, family, information, privacy, and freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. While … Read more


Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) and the HIV Legal Network are providing feedback with respect to the most recent proposed amendments to Newmarket’s body rub parlour bylaw. We urge the Newmarket Town Council to prioritize inclusion and respect as Newmarket community values — rather than promoting systemic racism and hateful perceptions of … Read more

Submission to the 64th Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Promoting equity and evidence in drug policy in the midst and wake of COVID-19 This brief is submitted by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (Special Consultative Status) on behalf of the Canadian Civil Society Working Group on United Nations Drug Policy. It should be considered alongside the submission by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use … Read more

Drug decriminalization and international law: Brief submitted to the Health Canada Expert Task Force on Substance Use

The HIV Legal Network submitted this brief to the Health Canada Expert Task Force on Substance Use as part of their look into alternatives to criminal penalties for simple possession of controlled substances. As we wrote, “Canada has both important latitude under the drug control conventions, and important obligations under human rights treaties it has ratified. … Read more