Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sex-Work Activist Calls for Moratorium on Laws

Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

Hi All, I've re-printed with permission from the Georgia Straight a piece done by Carlito Pablo on Increased Missing and Murdered Sex Trade Workers post Pickton charges. For full story please see

Sex-work Activist Calls for Moratorium on Laws
By Carlito Pablo

Twenty-six sex-trade workers have been murdered or gone missing in Metro Vancouver since convicted serial killer Robert William Pickton was arrested in February 2002, according to a list prepared by activist Jamie Lee Hamilton.

In a phone interview, Hamilton asserted that a moratorium on the application of prostitution laws is needed to allow sex workers to come forward and provide more information on the spate of post-Pickton violence—without fear of being charged by police.

“The enforcement of prostitution laws causes displacement, and displacement is historically linked to conditions that lead to violence against sex workers,” Hamilton said.


At 11:04 PM, Blogger baam said...

Say No to Sex Tourism in Vancouver
Vancouver mayor, Sam Sullivan, wants to open a legal “co-op” brothel just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. He believes that normalizing prostitution will help to reduce the violence against women within this industry, but in fact there seems to be other factors involved that concern the mayor and perhaps serve to motivate his position. There is no doubt that money will be plunged into the city once the Olympics kicks off and tourists flood the streets, and Mr. Sullivan wants to have a piece of the action.
“Tens of thousands of men who come to Vancouver during the Games would be searching for sex”, says working prostitute Susan Davis in an article published by The Vancouver Sun this past November. This situation provides a great opportunity for pimps, traffickers and the sex industry to profit; an idea that Mr. Sullivan highly endorses.
Prostitution, by its nature, is degrading to women and causes both physical and psychological injuries to women. Traditionally prostitutes were available so that males could obtain what they could not or did not wish to get from their wives or lovers. Those desires are mostly mortifying behaviors that are inappropriate and unacceptable for anyone to be engaged in. Some women are paid as prostitutes, directly or indirectly, for the use of their bodies to fulfill the most bizarre and demeaning male sexual fantasies. Women in the sex industry are treated in a manner that shatters their dignity as human beings.
Opening a legal brothel in Vancouver does not protect the women in prostitution it is just another trick to maximize profit during the Games and beyond.

Bahareh A.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Jamie Lee Hamilton said...


your position on the sex trade is so rigid that it doesn't in any way assist sex trade workers. This viewpoint along with the continuous displacement of sex trade workers has directly lead to the extreme violence we all now bear witness to.

Regarding Mayor Sullivan, I don't know where he stands because his viewpoints keep changing.

The latest sex workers to have been murdered, lived alone and used their apartments to turn tricks. It is my belief that if these workers had another individual with them, that there would have been less liklihood of violence. I refer here to another person as either another worker, phone receptionist or even a boyfriend or girlfriend. Unfortunately, if you have another person in your working environment besides being charged under section S 213 you run the risk of being charged under S 210.

In terms of legalized brothels, they are legally mandated all over the City and the City reaps significant licensing fees from them. Ditto for advertisers who allow financially rewarding sex trade ads.

Prohibition on many social issues hasn't worked and the various constructed Wars doesn't reduce harm--in fact they only create more harm.

Will the 2010 Olympics bring more sex trade business. Yes it will. But trying to create criminal legislation to address this issue won't work.

Sex Trade workers have already endured enormous pain and your Rape Relief/AWAN position only exacerbates this pain.

Creating another war, this time the War on the Sex Trade is reprehensible and an affront to humanity. How you can claim at the same time to be fighting for Equality when you are Focused on creating a War on the Sex Trade is deeply troubling.

If we want to prevent further violence in prostution, we need a temporary moratorium on S 213, safety programs, job re-training, counselling and de-criminalization.

Your outdated stance of abolition only further victimizes sex trade workers.


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