Sex workers set to launch landmark challenge:

[A new case is] asking Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice to invalidate Criminal Code provisions that serve as Canada’s policy response to the world’s oldest profession.

They argue that prohibitions on keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade force them from the safety of their homes to the insecurity of the street, where they are exposed to physical and psychological violence.

But the women are battling a fortress of opposition from the federal government, as well as religious and conservative groups intervening in the case.

The intervenors contend that loosening restrictions on the sex trade would be out of step with Canadian moral values.

No one has ever succeeded in eliminating prostitution by criminalizing it, so can’t we just think about what’s best for sex workers? How is it moral to uphold laws that make sex work more unsafe for women than it needs to be?

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