Progress with this initiative
Guidelines created how City responds to sex workers
September 4, 2015 – The City of Vancouver Sex Work Response Guidelines were developed to promote a balanced and coordinated approach across City departments when responding to issues relating to sex work.
In 2013, the Vancouver Police Department adopted their Sex Work Enforcement Guidelines that are centered on "balancing the needs of the community and the safety of sex workers".
The City of Vancouver Sex Work Response Guidelines outline a similar approach for all City employees. They promote consistent, nondiscriminatory, and respectful treatment of anyone engaged in sex work when accessing City services or interacting with City employees.
The guidelines reflect our ongoing commitment to address the issues of sex work from a human rights perspective to create safer and healthier communities for all.
The City responds to the passing of Bill C-36
November 7, 2014 – The City responded with concern to the passing of Bill C-36, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, as research confirms that criminalization of sex work puts those involved at further risk of increased violence.
The passing of Bill C-36:
- Undermines the health and safety of sex workers
- Increases social exclusion and pushes sex workers to work in more isolated areas
City sends second letter to Senate in response to Bill C-36
September 5, 2014 – The City sent a second joint submission to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, written in partnership with Vancouver Coastal health Authority, in response to Bill C-36 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.
City asks for new law to consider evidence-based approaches
June 25, 2014 – The City submitted a joint brief in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to the Standing Committee of Justice and Human Rights in response to Bill C-36 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, tabled by the Minister of Justice on June 4, 2014.
In the report, the City and health authority say that law should consider evidence-based approaches that strive to prioritize the human rights of sex workers.
City focuses on health and safety of sex workers in its position on the Bedford Decision
March 17, 2014 – The City sent a response to the federal government's online one-month public consultation about the December 2013 Bedford Decision (where the Supreme Court struck down three provisions that surrounded prostitution).
The response is an evidence-based human rights approach with an equal focus on the:
- Health and safety of sex workers
- Prevention of the sexual exploitation of children and youth
- Mitigation of the negative impacts of sex work on residents and neighbourhoods in Vancouver
City Council approves report on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry and City Task Force on Sex Work and Sexual Exploitation
December 18, 2013 – City council approves the report back on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry and City Task Force on Sex Work and Sexual Exploitation.
- Responded to three recommendations directed to the City in the report “Forsaken: the Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry” (2012)
- Contains actions underway and further recommendations for Council’s consideration
City responds to Missing Women Commission of Inquiry recommendations
January 29, 2013 – The City responded to Missing Women Commission of Inquiry recommendations by:
- Continuing to commit to the priority actions identified in the Living in Community Action Plan
- Hiring two City social planners to implement these actions
City Council approves formation of the task force
September 2011 – City Council unanimously approved the formation of the City of Vancouver Task Force on Sex Work and Sexual Exploitation to carry out actions from the report "Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Protecting Vulnerable Adults and Neighbourhoods Affected by Sex Work: A Comprehensive Approach and Action Plan".