Send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and let’s keep all workers safe

September 15, 2022

To: MoveUP Members

MoveUP is proud to launch a letter-writing campaign calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep his long-standing promise to decriminalize sex work.

The time for studies and reports has passed. Sex workers want rights, not rescue. Sex work is work!

As activists, union members, and workers, we understand that every worker has the right to the safety of persons under our constitution.

Please take the time to send your letter by clicking here. We appreciate and thank you for all your support.

Background information

  • In 2007, three Ontario sex workers initiated a constitutional challenge to the provisions of the Criminal Code. They challenged whether these provisions violated sex workers’ rights to the security of person.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided these provisions contravened the security of the person’s rights, and that the violation was not justified. The Bedford decision
  • In 2014, the Conservative government enacted Bill C-36 as a way to get around what the Supreme Court found as violations.
  • In 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada promised to repeal Bill C-36, which they called “a bill that puts people at risk.”
  • In 2019, MoveUP was the first union to publicly support the movement to decriminalize sex work.

Why Bill C-36 is harmful

Bill C-36 criminalized communications, the purchase of sex, and materially benefiting from sexual services.

Criminalizing communication, both street-based sex workers and indoor sex workers experienced decreased ability to negotiate clear terms of services to clients, putting both health and safety at risk, and the decreased ability to screen clients, therefore, increased risk of violence.

Criminalizing the purchasing of sex, street based sex workers in Canada and Sweden report increased violence when clients are targeted. Surveillance patrols aimed at locating clients displace sex workers into darker and less populated areas where they are more vulnerable to violence.

Criminalizing materially benefiting from sexual services meant sex workers were unable to access benefits from health and safety regulations, labour laws, and human rights protections.

Decriminalization is one part of a larger struggle for the recognition and actualization of sex workers’ rights—including the rights to autonomy and self-determination, security of the person, freedom of expression and association, equality and non-discrimination, self-determination, safe working conditions, health, and dignity.

Thank you for taking the time to support this movement.

In solidarity,

Lori Mayhew, President
Graeme Hutchison, Secretary-Treasurer
Rysa Kronebusch, Vice-President, Utilities
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President, Combined Units
Annette Toth, Vice-President, ICBC

File Number: 22-MOVEUP-COMM-BLTN-Keep Workers Safe Sept 15
Union Label: mm:usw2009


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