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Sex work, rights and health: Bill C-36's glaring omission

Photo: flickr/PJ Starr

This month's Justice Committee hearings concerning Bill C-36, the Conservative government's proposed sex work legislation, missed a critical mark. While important issues ranging from the bill's constitutionality and impact on sex workers' experiences of violence, to its impact on sex trafficking and police powers were discussed, dissected and debated, there was a very notable oversight: almost no one was talking about the health of sex workers -- and their right to it. 

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To help or to hinder? Sex work legislation and HIV prevention

Photo: flickr/PJ Starr

In December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the criminal code on sex work violates the constitution because it prohibits sex workers from taking measures to protect their personal security. The government has one year to draft new legislation, and recently held a public consultation on 'Prostitution-Related Offences.' Among the many personal security issues at stake for sex workers, which the government must consider in drafting new legislation, is the risk of HIV infection.

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Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.

Campaigning for Prisoners with HIV/AIDS

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PASAN is a community organization, based in Toronto, that seeks to reduce harm for prisoners and ex-prisoners. Their work is based around AIDS/HIV and hepatits C education, awareness and activism. After 23 years of service, PASAN is one of the only grassroots organizations providing health education to prisoners and ex-prisoners. 

They have an incredible list of health resources on their website, including info sheets on safer drug practices and disease self-management practices. The organization has also developed resources directed specifically to Aboriginals, trans prisoners, women and other minorities.

PASAN also offers the following services:

-emergency financial assistance

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From Winnipeg to Windsor May 1 to 15, 2013, come out to support this tour, cosponsored with OPSEU Live and Let Live Fund and other unions and labour councils.
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New video helps reduce stigma and discrimination in First Nations drug users

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Length: 19:07 minutes (17.51 MB)
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World AIDS Day is dedicated to the memories of those who have lost their battle to the disease but also to honour those who continue to live with it.
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End the Ban: Adrian Lomaga

April 14, 2012
| Mcgill alumnus and lawyer Adrian Lomaga speaks to the blood ban on men who've had sex with other men, why the current policy is outdated and unscientific, and the need for a change in policy in Canada
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ABCs of HIV

a red ribbon for HIV awareness

This workshop is a great way to start to build an understanding of HIV in a community. It's a basic myth-busting workshop guide from AIDS Community Care Montreal. The guide outlines:

What is HIV

How it's transmitted

How to treat it

How to get tested

Minimizing risk

 

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John Bonnar Audio Blog

Groups opposed to the increased criminalization of HIV/AIDS

February 7, 2012
| On February 8, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear two landmark cases about HIV, sex and the criminal law. It is time to stop persecuting people living with HIV who have safe and consensual sex.
Length: 34:26
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