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Policy Alternatives: Improving sex worker occupational health and safety through legislative reform

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Author: Waters, Ian
This project examines potential policies to improve sex worker occupational health and safety in Canada. Purposive sampling was used to identify relevant case studies (i.e., Netherlands, Queensland, and Nevada) and expert interview participants (e.g., academics, sex worker support organizations, legal experts). Incorporating potential legal reforms in the area of criminal law, I explore the viability of current advertising provisions and their effects regarding off-street sex workers in the Canadian setting. I then provide answers to the following research questions: (1) how do support organizations, academics, and legal experts in Canada view current sex work advertising laws; and (2) are there alternatives to decriminalization, in the shorter term, that would garner stakeholder support? Findings highlight a deep-rooted resistance to the government’s use of the law in trying to control the prevalence of sex work and stress the need for greater sex worker involvement in the creation of policies governing their work.
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