Libby’s Statement on Violence Against Sex Workers

House of Commons
December 6, 2011

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Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Vancouver-based community activist Jennifer Allan has been travelling across Canada to raise awareness about discrimination and violence against sex workers. This is an issue that touches me closely in my riding in Vancouver East, especially on this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Despite the ongoing missing women inquiry in British Columbia, sex workers in the Downtown Eastside continue to receive tragically little understanding and recognition. They continue to struggle with chronic poverty and are forced out of public view, leaving them vulnerable to violence.

Jen is calling on political leaders to take action to ensure the fundamental human rights of sex workers are no longer violated. Such action includes the creation of safe houses, reforming Canada’s solicitation laws and improved training for police officers.

I call on members from all parties to confront the underlying prejudices that have prevented us for so long from addressing this issue. We have failed in our responsibility to protect one of the most marginalized groups in our society.