ondering what’s been going on in the international landscape re: sex workers rights? The recent incidents on Canada’s parliamentary floor should give some indication.
Below is an excerpt of an article written by the folks at Slixa:
If you haven’t been keeping up with the politics and legislation surrounding sex work, then this month’s inappropriate blowout between MP Arnold Viersen and New Democrats’ Laurel Collins may come as a surprise to you.
What might surprise you even more is MP Collins’ political take on sex work as a whole, and her willingness to talk with us about her views.
New Democrats’ Laurel Collins // Courtesy of Slixa
“I have spoken at length with sex workers I know,” stated Collins, in an interview with Slixa.com, “about their life experiences, and the damage that stigma does. It increases violence and it increases risk, and the laws of Canada, currently, really make their lives more dangerous.”
She’s not wrong. Canada presently enjoys a modified Nordic Model of decriminalization that does little to help or advocate for providers, and instead criminalizes the buying of sexual services. Canada is also experiencing an unprecedented increase in so-called “rescue industry” organizations, littering the landscape with manipulative PR campaigns and unsourced statistics, in endless efforts to fear monger their goals into reality.
“My motivation for speaking out comes from hearing from sex workers about the work they do. Additionally, sex trafficking is a serious issue that needs to be tackled, but the two should not be conflated.”
But, first, let’s look at what happened between Collins and Viersen during parliamentary debate:
Viersen (already infamous for both his questionable views on pornography, and… whatever this is) and the New Democrats’ Laurel Collins were debating a motion calling for a review of the National Parole Board after a murderer on day parole allegedly killed sex worker Marylene Levesque in Quebec City earlier this year.
MP Collins asked Viersen to consider whether previous Conservative legislation criminalizing many elements of the sex trade in Canada could have possibly been a factor in the death.
Which is when MP Viersen asked Collins whether sex work was an area of work she’d personally “considered.” His objective, ostensibly, was to somehow show that sex work isn’t a career choice like any other. “I would just respond to that by asking the honourable member across the way if it’s an area of work that she has considered,” he said, arguing the question itself somehow “makes the point.”