On Monday, the Ontario Superior Court began hearing a challenge to the Protections of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA). The current challenge, undertaken by 25 sex workers and sex worker organization in Ontario, argues that PCEPA violates section 7 of the Charter. The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee stands in solidarity with sex workers in their fight for safer working conditions.
The current legal framework impacts sex worker’s access to safe working practices. While the sale of sexual services is legal under PCEPA, buying sexual services and advertising or communication for the purpose of selling sexual services are illegal. By criminalizing these aspects of sex work, workers have few options for vetting customers and negotiating terms. Further, the PCEPA has been criticized for conflating sex work with human trafficking and limiting sex worker autonomy and agency. Many sex workers also associate the current legal framework with police harassment, despite the sale of sexual services being legal under the current framework. This harassment, as well as the stigma surrounding this type of work, makes it difficult to take action when assault or a breach of terms occurs.
Sex workers rights are human rights!
The Executive Committee of CUPE Local 3906