New reports detail the impact of
criminalization of clients on sex worker safety
Vancouver, B.C. [June 2, 2014]- On Tuesday, June 3, researchers at the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) of the
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and University of British Columbia (UBC) will release a study on the impact of criminalizing
sex workers' clients.
A second report will also be released by Pivot Legal Society, Sex Workers United Against Violence and GSHI, which provides a human
rights assessment of the criminalization of clients.
The research is being published in advance of the introduction of proposed legislation from the federal government in response to
the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Canada v. Bedford.
The speakers will include:
- Dr. Kate Shannon, Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) of BC-CfE/UBC
- Katrina Pacey, Litigation Director, Pivot Legal Society
- Kerry Porth, Chair of Board of Directors, Pivot Legal Society
- DJ Joe and Chili Bean, Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV)
What: Sex Worker Safety Study and Human Rights Analysis
Where: SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St.
Room 1410 (Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre)
When: Tuesday, June 3
10:00am - 11:00am
Note: Interviews will also be available following the press conference.
For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Hollett, BC-CfE
Phone: 604-682-2344 ext. 66536
Shadi Elien, Pivot Legal Society
About the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada's largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is
internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St.
Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in
close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics
from other institutions, and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS. By developing, monitoring
and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses, the BC-CfE helps
improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV.
About the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative
The Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) is a program of the BC-CfE with the overall mission to ensure research of the highest
scientific and ethical standard informs evidence-based policy and practice in gender, sexual health and HIV/AIDS and reduces
health and social inequities among marginalized populations in Canada and globally. GSHI, on behalf of the BC-CfE, was
an intervener in the Canada vs. Bedford case at the Supreme Court of Canada.
About Sex Workers United Against Violence
Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV) is a peer-based organization of active and former sex workers who live and/or work in the
Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. SWUAV came together in 2005, seeing a need for an organization that could speak directly from the
perspective of women who do sex work about issues of their health and safety, as well as general living and working conditions.
SWUAV is committed to improving the working conditions for sex working women in the DTES of Vancouver, including fighting
against poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, criminalization and other forms of oppression that contribute to the
violence and lack of safety for sex workers. In 2007, SWUAV filed a constitutional challenge to Canada's
prostitution laws and was an intervener in the case of Canada v. Bedford.
About Pivot Legal Society
Pivot's mandate is to use the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion. Our name is a metaphor for our approach to
social change - by making the most tangible violations of human rights the focal point of our efforts, we exert maximum pressure in
order to shift society toward greater equality and inclusivity. Since 2002, Pivot has been actively campaigning for the rights of
sex workers to live and work in conditions that promote their health, safety, dignity and human rights. Pivot was counsel in a
constitutional challenge to Canada's prostitution laws, and an intervener in the case of Canada v. Bedford.
Reproduced with permission - "B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS"
B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
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