In 2013, the SCC in Bedford v. Canada deemed three prostitution prohibitions unconstitutional because they caused harm to sex workers and contravened their rights to liberty and security. In 2014, the government swiftly created a set of laws under the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) that reproduce those same harms, and also aim to eradicate sex work.
Sex worker and allies spent 6 years educating and advocating for the government to uphold sex workers' Charter rights, respect the Bedford decision, and review and reform the sex work offences introduced through PCEPA, to no avail. Despite their promise to review PCEPA and their requirement to do so after 5 years, parliament failed to do so until after this challenge was launched. In March 2021, after years of inaction from Parliament to repeal (remove) the current sex work offences, sex workers were forced to go to court to challenge these laws to have their human rights protected.
Our Constitutional Challenge: Info Sheets
Like Bedford v. Canada, our case is a constitutional challenge to certain sex work-specific criminal offences. This case is about how these offences violate sex workers’ rights, which are protected by the Canadian Charter. We are asking the court to understand how these offences harm sex workers and are unconstitutional, and for this reason to “strike down” these offences which means they would no longer be law.
Our Legal Arguments
The following documents are submitted on behalf of the Applicants including the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, Monica Forrester, Valeries Scott, Lanna Moon Perrin, Jane X, Alessa Mason and Tiffany Anwar.
Applicant and Fact Witness Statements
The following documents are the affidavit evidence from applicants and fact witnesses.
Legal Arguments Demonstrating Harms of PCEPA
The following documents are factums submitted by intervenors in support of the applicants’ position.