Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Legalize & Unionize the Sex Trade

Prostitution laws under fire

Last Updated Mar 29 2005 07:17 PM PST
CBC News

VANCOUVER – An advocacy group representing Vancouver sex-trade workers is calling for the repeal of Canada's prostitution laws that would make street prostitutes' lives safer.
Katrina Pacey">

Katrina Pacey

The PIVOT Legal Society argued its case to the parliamentary sub-committee, which is holding hearings in Vancouver Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking input on the sex trade in Canada. Prostitution is legal, but negotiating sex in exchange for money remains illegal, as are brothels. Katrina Pacey of the PIVOT Legal Society, which did a study on 91 prostitutes in Vancouver, says the current laws compromise the safety of street prostitutes.
Libby Davies on the left- on tour of the Downtown Eastside">

Libby Davies on the left- on tour of the Downtown Eastside

"The criminal laws place them in a work environment that is extremely dangerous," she says. "…ultimately used to criminalize nuisance and to move sex workers into neighbourhoods that are very unsafe." Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies, who helped establish the sub-committee, agrees that Canada's current laws are making street prostitution more dangerous than it has to be. And Davies says she's also concerned about the escort business – noting it accounts for up to 95 per cent of prostitution in Canada. While several of the MPs on the committe favour decriminalization of prostitution, at least one of them does not. Calgary Conservative MP Art Hanger, a former police officer, calls the concept utter nonsense. "So what does that mean? That all of a sudden, they become professional people? That they be looked upon no differently than a dentist, or a lawyer, or a police officer?" The committee has held hearings in cities across the country, and plans to forward its final report to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

Yes Art that is exactly what it means that sex trade workers are professionals who should be unionized and allowed to operate worker owned and controlled cooperatives as I said in Whose Family Values?

"Sex Workers Union: Whether strippers, prostitutes, escorts, porn actors, etc. women workers in thus unregulated industry face the dual oppression of being exploited by owners and customers, and their banishment by society at large. The exploitation of children and young adults as well as immigrant women is allowed to exist due to this free market. Laws against prostitution need to be abolished and the regulation of this industry be under workers control through a sex workers union."

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