MONTREAL SEX WORKER RIGHTS GROUP DENOUNCES BC SUPREME COURT RULING THAT DENIES SEX WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS

This is a press release sent out from out friends in Canada.

MONTREAL SEX WORKER RIGHTS GROUP DENOUNCES BC SUPREME COURT RULING THAT DENIES SEX WORKERS’ HUMAN RIGHTS

Montreal, December 15, 2008

Today, the BC Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought forward by a group of sex workers from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (“SWUAV”) who are attempting to challenge the prostitution laws using the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lainie Basman, of Montreal’s Coalition for the Rights of Sex Workers says, “This decision is incredibly disappointing. The B.C. Supreme Court had the rare opportunity to hear a critical claim by sex workers that Canada’s Criminal Code endangers their safety and violates their fundamental right to equality. Outrageously, the Court has chosen to close its doors to one of this country’s most marginalized and oppressed groups.”

Joe Arvay, a lawyer working on the case alongside Katrina Pacey, of Pivot Legal Society, says, The government’s argument that the Court should recognize as plaintiffs only those sex workers who are presently active in sex work or who are presently facing an actual prosecution is neither sound law or good policy.”

This court decision affects sex workers all across the country. Recent years have brought attention to the human rights atrocities perpetrated against sex workers in Canada and to the large number of women murdered and missing in recent years in Vancouver and Edmonton.  Anna-Louise Crago, Coalition member, states, “In Montreal, the issue is as pressing as it is in those cities. In our city there are presently at least two ongoing cases involving men accused of the serial rape of sex workers.   Sex workers will not be free of violence or the threat of violence until we are free of the laws that criminalize our work and our lives.  The need to recognize sex workers’ rights to work in safe and decent working conditions is urgent.”

The Coalition wishes to express not only grave concern, but also its strong support for the right to address these human rights violations in a court of law.

For more information contact:

info@montrealcoalition.com

3 international positions open from Scarlet Alliance in Sydney.

Scarlet Alliance Positions Vacant

Scarlet Alliance has three exciting positions vacant –

These positions are part of the new Scarlet Alliance International Program team. The positions offer successful applicants the opportunity to work in exciting roles that promote skills sharing and partnerships between sex workers and sex worker organisations in the Asia Pacific region. By increasing advocacy and leadership capacity as well as strategic partnerships the program contributes to strengthening the sex worker rights movement. Scarlet Alliance is a well respected sex worker organisation, with a strong ethical basis, and a commitment to best practice approaches of sex worker involvement and self determination.

All applicants should read and follow the instructions provided in the Application Kit for the particular position. Note that not all positions have the same closing date and whilst all require international travel some positions are based in the Sydney office and others have the flexibility to be based outside of NSW. If you require more information or are interested in the positions but unsure whether you meet the criteria please call Janelle on 0411985135.

Note: Sex work experience is an essential criteria for all of these positions.

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