As the provincial government prepares its arguments on a recent Superior Court ruling against prostitution laws, Valerie Scott and her lawyer, Alan Young, helped lead a panel discussion on the status of sex workers at Carleton University Monday.
Scott, executive director of Sex Professionals of Canada, was one of three women who asked the court to strike down sections of the Criminal Code that she argues have forced sex workers onto the street and have exposed them to violence.
“It’s a really significant moment for us,” said Christine Bruckert, associate professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa.
After combing through evidence on behalf of sex workers, Superior Court Justice Susan Himel rendered sections of the Criminal Code unconstitutional.
“It speaks to somebody who actually weighs the evidence and not be swayed by moral considerations,” said Bruckert. “It’s not about morality, it’s about the harm engendered by the laws.”
Bruckert, who also spoke at Carleton Monday, believes that greater safety and transparency will lead to less crime and violence against sex workers.