Lawyers for marginalized sex workers set to argue against prostitution laws

Click to play video: 'Policing and the sex industry calls for change'
Policing and the sex industry calls for change
WATCH: Policing and the sex industry calls for change – Jan 27, 2021

Lawyers representing marginalized sex workers will argue existing prostitution laws violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at the Ontario Superior Court Tuesday.

The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform started arguing in a Toronto courtroom on Monday that the laws governing sex work are fostering stigma, inviting targeted violence and removing safe consent.

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Lawyers representing transgender, Indigenous and Black sex workers are expected to argue Tuesday how laws brought in by the Harper-era Conservatives are too restrictive and disproportionately harm marginalized groups.

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the prohibition on prostitution in 2013 after lawyers argued existing provisions were disproportionate, overbroad and put sex workers at risk of harm.

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Advocates say the new laws are more restrictive than what they replaced and continue to criminalize sex work.

The alliance says there shouldn’t be any criminal laws specific to sex work, and it has dozens of recommendations to create a more regulated industry.

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