About Us

The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform is made of sex worker rights groups across Canada.  Our objective is to create a unified and cohesive response to law reform, and to strengthening the capacity of our communities to engage with legislative processes that impact on our lives. Together we represent a diverse group of sex workers and allies that have come together around law reform: some of the groups provide front-line service provision to sex workers in their region, and others are grassroots advocacy organizations. The member groups of the Alliance operate differently in their approach and every day work with sex workers. We come together with a unified voice for sex work law reform.

Decriminalization is one part of our larger struggle for the recognition and actualization of sex workers’ rights — including the rights to autonomy and self-determination, security of the person, freedom of expression and association, equality and non-discrimination, self-determination, work (and safe, healthy, just working conditions), health and dignity. Beyond the criminalization of sex work, laws and policies contribute and reinforce inequality, disadvantage and discrimination based on various biological, social and cultural categories such as race, gender, class, ability, citizenship status, mobility, and physical and mental health status, among others. Decriminalization alone cannot overcome all of the other injustices and structural barriers that many of us face, but it is a necessary step to ensure the protection of sex workers’ rights.

Some members of our communities face police harassment regardless of their participation in sex work, particularly Indigenous women and youth, people who are im/migrants (particularly racialized women) and trans folk (especially trans women). The criminalization of the sale or exchange of sexual services gravely exacerbates their stigmatization and marginalization.

Decriminalization is an important first step towards addressing the dangers that come with being criminalized and/or working in a criminalized industry. The criminalization of our work comes with a constant police presence, social and racial profiling, harassment, surveillance, arrest, detention and deportation — all of which contribute to our isolation and vulnerability to violence.

The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform (CASWLR) is an alliance of sex worker rights groups across the country working to reform sex work specific laws and policies.

The objectives of CASWLR are to:

  • Create opportunities for sex workers to be in contact and in discussion with law and policy makers that impact sex workers’ lives
  • Build capacity across the country for sex workers to lead and engage in sex work law and policy reform

Every member endorses CASWLR core values :

  • Support the full decriminalization of sex work as written in Safety, Equality, Dignity: Recommendations for Sex Work Law Reform
  • Support the repeal of all sex work-specific criminal and immigration laws and oppose all forms of criminalization, legal oppression, and disproportionate regulation of sex work and sex workers (including sex workers, clients, third parties, partners and friends)
  • Support sex worker self-determination and self-organizing
  • Recognize sex work as work

Who We Are

We are an alliance of sex worker led and allied organizations working to reform Canada’s sex work specific laws and policies.