Protesters in front the Supreme Court of Canada in 2013 when the court was hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s prostitution laws are based on the idea that prostitution is dangerous. Legalizing prostitution doesn’t eliminate the risks of violence and psychological harm.
Sex workers protest in Westminster in early July.
The opinions of current sex workers must be sought before any changes are made to the law governing the websites they use.
No one legal 'solution' is right for all sex workers.
It's all too easy to miss the point about sex work in areas hit by conflict and disaster. How about listening to the people who experience it?
Most child sex abuse happens within families, but we still cling on to the Victorian idea of paedophiles as outsiders.
Little Lonsdale Street in the 1870s: a number of brothels were located in the area known as ‘Little Lon’.
State Library of New South Wales.
Rubbish excavated from brothels sheds light on sex workers’ lives in the 19th century. Despite the dangers, prostitution offered an independent living free of male control.
Young victims remain at risk because current laws are focused on concerns over immigration and the economy.
Legislative issues around prostitution have the ability to lead the conversation and determine research priorities. Here, Terri-Jean Bedford makes a victory sign with Nikki Thomas, left, and Valerie Scott, right, after the Ontario’s Court of Appeal struck down a ban on brothels in 2012.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Prostitution is now illegal in Canada. Is prostitution harmful and exploitative? Or is sex work a legitimate form of labour?
A painting depicting a debate between Socrates and Aspasia, by Nicolas André Monsiaux, circa 1800.
In Athenian society, it appears some elite courtesans were better educated than traditional wives. Other sex workers were sold into the role as children.
Sex worker art.
Amanda De Lisio
A unified voice that gets heard.
Contrary to popular belief, sex workers were more likely than not to report that their work enhanced their wellbeing.
The study shows the negative effects of sex work's criminalisation, including a reluctance of workers to go to police and clients using it as an excuse to abuse workers.
Sex workers deserve justice and protection, too.
Sex workers shouldn't be victims of violent crime and murder at work – and yet they continue to face daily dangers.
Technology has provided both sex workers and their clients greater mobility and anonymity, opening sex work up to new markets.
The car, the phone and the internet have changed the way the sex work industry operates, but debates about regulation have not advanced with new technologies.
In 2016, a UK Home Affairs Committee report highlighted that street-based sex work has diminished significantly over the last two to three decades.
Consensual sex work, like non-commercial sex, mostly happens behind closed doors. Yet stigma toward and ignorance about sex workers makes people panic when we try to talk about reform.
Different local or state government laws apply in different parts of the country in Australia, Germany, the US and Mexico.
Understanding laws that govern sex work can be complicated and confusing, especially because laws are not uniform globally, or even within each country.
Cyntoia after guilty verdict.
Cyntoia Brown was just 16 years old when she shot and killed a man in 2004. Under Tennessee law, she won't be eligible for parole until she is 67 years old. Is such a harsh sentence constitutional?
Our views of who’s at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder might cloud who we think deserves to be treated.
When we think of post-traumatic stress disorder, we tend to think of soldiers returning from war. But other sections of society are far more likely to suffer from repeated bouts of trauma.
Nigerian former sex worker “Beauty” at a social support centre for trafficked girls near Catania in Italy.
Nigerian women migrating to Europe are increasingly aware that work hidden in the form of menial jobs is actually sex work, even though they cannot imagine the brutality that comes with it.
The case of tourist behaviour is especially interesting for debates about ethical decision-making.
Meow Meow stars in Victorian Opera’s ‘Tis Pity.
Pia Johnson/Victorian Opera
Victoria Opera's 'Tis Pity brings a litany of harlots to the stage, but doesn't give its female lead many characters to play with. Indeed it risks capitulating to the very 'male hypocrisy' it seeks to address.