On January 30th 2024, Pivot prepared brief written submissions to the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls (“VAWG”) for its Report to the UN Human Rights Council on Prostitution and VAWG.
Pivot argues that policing violence must be situated in our understanding of the structural harms of gender violence that sex workers endure within criminalized contexts. Additionally, the implementation and enforcement of sex-work specific laws, like PCEPA in so-called Canada, among other carceral approaches, are not evidence-based approaches that address the root causes of violence, being colonial violence. Instead, we urge the Special Rapporteur to consider the ways in which criminalization, and effectively, the policing of race, gender, and poverty perpetuate gender violence and, disproportionately impact Indigenous, Black, migrant, queer, and trans communities.
Our core recommendations include: (i) to repeal immigration, and criminal laws prohibiting or otherwise, criminalizing sex work, and other “quality of life” offences that adversely impact sex workers, and, (ii) to divest from police as a response to harm and reallocate resources towards non-carceral, adequate housing and community-led support services that respond to, prevent and mitigate the structural harms shouldered by marginalized communities.
Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.