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, discrimination and other abuse towards sex workers and facilitated exploitation in the sex industry. The HIV Legal Network’s submission to the Committee provides an overview of research describing how criminalization reduces sex workers’ access to health, social, and legal services, undermines their autonomy, health, and safety, and violates sex workers’ human rights — drawing on our 2019 study The Perils of Protection: Sex Workers’ Experiences of Law Enforcement in Ontario.

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