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Sex Work

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.

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The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
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