The “Know Your Rights” card explains how the VPD’s new Guidelines, which became official policy on January 15, 2013, require officers to prioritize sex workers’ safety over the enforcement of the prostitution laws. The rights card advises sex workers that the “POLICE SHOULD NOT harass, target, arrest or intimidate you for doing sex work.”
Rights not rescue
The card encourages sex workers to contact an organization that they trust or the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner to file a formal police complaint if they are harassed, targeted, intimidated, followed, told to move along or arrested by police for prostitution-related offences.
In the hopes that other departments will learn from the Vancouver experience, Pivot and SWUAV have also written to RCMP and municipal police departments across Canada, encouraging them to engage local sex workers to development of a similar policy.
You can download the card here: http://bit.ly/V6LAho