Research

National Evaluation of Canada’s End-Demand Work Laws

This project used a gender and labour lens to conduct a national evaluation of the impact of legal reform and policy on the working conditions as well as occupational health and safety in the sex industry in Canada. Developed in response to a SSHRC/CIHR call for partnership grants on Gender, Work and Health, it seeks to assess the impact of “end demand” sex work laws implemented by the Canadian government in 2014 on sex workers’ safety, health, and human rights.

The research was led by the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity at University of British Columbia and University of Ottawa in partnership with sex worker community-based organizations and transversal advisory groups of Indigenous, Black, transgender and migrant sex workers. This research drew on mixed methods data and interviews with 200 sex workers in five cities across Canada from 2017 to 2018: Montreal, Québec; Toronto, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Sudbury, Ontario; and Surrey, British Columbia. The project holds ethics approvals at both UBC  and University of Ottawa.

Research Questions

How are the working conditions within this transformed legal and policy landscape of the “end demand” approach impacting the occupational health, safety and well-being of women, men, gender non-binary and Two-Spirit sex workers?

How will the legal and policy frameworks at both the federal level (e.g. end demand approach) and municipal levels (e.g. licensing, local policing, workplace safety standards) intersect with other structural and gendered factors, such as racism, migration, stigma, poverty to shape working conditions?

How can we apply gender, labour, and human rights frameworks to develop evidence-based and gender-transformative solutions to improve working conditions for sex workers in Canada to best promote their health, safety and human rights?

Principal Investigators

Dr. Kate Shannon,  Executive Director, CGSHE & Professor, Division of Social Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Christine Bruckert, Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

Core Team

Dr. Anna-Louise Crago, Project Team Lead, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Ottawa

Kerry Porth, Project Coordinator

Robyn Maynard & Anna Aude Cauoette, key expert consultants & Traversal Group Chairs

Partners/Advisory

Stella, Maggies, Butterfly, POWER, PACE, SWUAV, SWAN, Hustle

Funders

SSHRC/CIHR Gender, Work & Health Partnership Grant