We, undersigned, join the Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) in building a community of allies who support the rights of migrant sex workers. In signing this declaration, we commit to listen to the voices of migrant sex workers and to taking their leadership towards solutions that will bring about migrant and racial justice, and to improve the health, safety, and dignity of migrant sex workers.
Migrant sex workers are harmed daily by criminalization, racial profiling, surveillance, over policing, stigmatization, and consequential discrimination that compound human rights violations against migrant communities working in the sex industry.
We recognize sex work as work. Sex workers’ labour and human rights should be protect and respected, migrant sex workers should be afforded all legal protections. We should respect the agency of migrant sex workers and stop imposing labels of trafficked victims. We believe in creating opportunity and promoting health, human, and labour rights. Access for migrant sex workers to migrant and racial justice (e.g., anti-racism and status for all) are the best ways to prevent and resist exploitation, violence and oppression against migrant sex workers. We reject criminalization, repressive policies, and efforts to “rescue”, which not only harm migrant sex workers, but also deny migrant sex workers’ agency.
We are making 8 Call for Justice to promote racial and migrant justice of migrant sex workers and protect their human and labour rights:
(1) Full Decriminalization of Sex Work: Remove all criminal laws specific to sex work and related activities (including sex workers, clients, and third parties);
(2) Sex Work is Work: Eliminate discrimination against sex workers. Elimination of immigration prohibitions on migrants who engage in sex work and related industries;
(3) Rights Not Rescue: An end to policing, racial and social profiling and the use of criminal or rescue models;
(4) Sex Work is Not Trafficking: Review existing anti-trafficking policies and programs that conflate sex work with human trafficking, and revise policies to remove assumptions that sex work is a form of trafficking or sexual exploitation;
(5) Fight Racism: Create education campaigns to dispel of the racism which lead to profiling and discrimination. Adopt an intersectional equity lens towards all law and policy making addressing inequality and structural oppression, including racism, xenophobia, whorephobia, sexism, and classism;
(6) No Cops at Workplaces: Stop using anti-trafficking initiatives to justify the intrusion of law enforcement in places where sex work happens, including indoor sex work businesses;
(7) Status for All: Full and permanent immigration status for all: Immediately ensure full immigration status for all migrant sex workers in Canada, without exception; and
(8) Access Without Fear: Guarantee access without fear to all municipal, provincial and federal services, rights and protection to migrant sex workers.
We write this statement in solidarity with migrant sex workers to fight for dignity, equality, and justice.
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