Resources: North America and the Caribbean

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This resource is an example of needs assessment conducted to assess the needs for women (including trans-women) who engage in street based sex work.

Speak Up! Guide to Strategic Media Tools and Tactics to Amplify the Voices of People in the Sex Trades

This 35 page publication shares information, skills, and tactics for engaging with the media for those who want to achieve better and more effective media representation of people in the sex trades. The guide is geared toward people who are interested in engaging with media because they want to make change by and for people in the sex trades – both in the ways we are represented and in the institutional structures that negatively impact our lives.

This detailed resource looks at the Canadian legal system and hierachy of laws from the perspective of launching a court case to prrotect the rights of sex workers. It discusses the Canadian law and your rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, limits to the Charter, and how to challenge unconstitutional laws.

This concise, Canadian resource looks at why we need prostitution law reform, what the decriminalisation of sex work is, how decriminalisation happens, decriminalisation through the court system, and how to support sex workers in law reform. It notes, "decriminalisation alone cannot overcome all of the other injustices that many of us face, but it is a necessary step to protecting and respecting sex workers' rights".

This resource offers a succint introduction to the Bedford V. Canada Supreme Court case, looking at what's at stake and the arguments at play from a perspective grounded in sex workers rights. It looks at 'what is Bedford V. Canada?'; then, the basis of the case, the legal arguments, the court's potential decisions, and finally the interveners in case.

The research project 'Rethinking Management in the Adult and Sex Industry', which led to the resource 'Beyond Pimps, Procurers, and Parasites', highlighted to the researchers that far from the demonised and racialised stereotype of the "pimp", third parties in the sex industry have complex, varied and frequently mundane relationships with sex workers. However, unlike in other industries, third party roles are often criminalised, which impacts upon the ability of sex workers to expect or create a safe working environment.

This resource commences by quoting Ronald Weitzer, who notes "the management of prostitution is one of the most invisible aspects of the trade". It goes on to discuss common prohibitionist discourse around sex work, that situates all possible study on the topic on a continuum between deviance and violence, before highlighting that this limited binary is "diametrically opposed to much of the scholarly literature, and, more importantly, to what sex workers are asserting - namely, that sex work is work".

The article examines how language helps the construction of fictive kinships networks (family-like structures among marginalized populations) amongst Southwestern U.S. street-level sex workers. These networks establish ties and obligations - as well as power structures - between members of the community.

This article offers a historical account and critical assessment of the prostitution-reform debates’ considerable influence on anti-trafficking law and policy development over the last decade. The article exposes the difficulties of translating anti-prostitution ideology, borne out of closely held moral and ethical beliefs, into effective governance strategies.

This concise guide to the difference between sex work and trafficking - and what a response to trafficking grounded in sex worker rights looks like - discusses the key differences between sex work and trafficking; the differences that make the habitual conflation of the two not only inaccurate but also a hinderance to tackling actual exploitation, and a threat to the human rights of sex workers.