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We are individuals, academics, and organizations coming together to express our opposition to Bill S-224. Its proposed amendments to the human trafficking offence will intensify the criminalization of sex workers, racialized people, and migrants under the guise of fighting human trafficking. It also has damaging, wide-reaching implications that extend to workers beyond the sex industry.

In the last few decades, groups that are anti-sex work, racist, and anti-migrant have weaponized anti-human trafficking campaigns and policies to promote their agenda. While claiming to combat human trafficking, they advocate for the criminalization of all sex work, including increased policing and prosecution of Black, Indigenous, racialized, migrants, sex workers, and their communities. Bill S-224 is another example of this criminalization that functions to further erase and silence sex workers speaking to their experiences.

We urge the government to reject Bill S-224 and adopt a human rights-based approach to the violence and exploitation faced by the communities that centres labour rights, migrant rights, and sex workers’ rights. Effective strategies must address structural barriers that lead to exploitation and abuse, including poverty, precarious immigration status, and lack of access to affordable housing, healthcare, and social services- particularly the barriers racialized communities, migrants and LGBTQ2s+ communities experience in accessing these vital resources.

Sign our statement, follow our social media for future calls to actions!

Click here to sign now!

More background information about Bill S-224

Joint submission on Bill S-224 from Butterfly and HIV Legal Network

Read "Behind the Rescue: How Anti-Trafficking Investigations and Policies Harm Migrant Sex Workers"

The following organizations have signed the statement as well as committed to stand in solidarity and fight against Bill S-224:

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