Canada has the third-largest number of recorded prosecutions for alleged HIV non-disclosure in the world. These prosecutions are disproportionately of individuals who are marginalized by poverty, race, gender expression, and sexual orientation – including sex workers who continue to labour in a criminalized environment.
While the Attorney General latest Directive takes steps to lessen the number of prosecutions and allow more consideration of individual circumstances, it does not go far enough. In our opinion, decriminalization of sex work is the only way to fully respect sex workers’ rights and protect their health and safety. We are concerned that even with the new Directive, sex workers may be unfairly criminalized for HIV-related offences that are in actuality related to the stigma and criminalization of sex work. Read our brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights below.