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BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) -

Media Advisory:
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
Mobile: 778-848-3420

Shadi Elien, Pivot Legal Society
Phone: 604-671-0212


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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