Tuesday 30 April 2019

Someone you love could be a sex worker by Valerie Scott

Published on Dec 7, 2015 by TEDx Talks
YouTube: Someone you love could be a sex worker | Valerie Scott | TEDxToronto (17:04)
Valerie Scott is a Sex Worker & Advocate.

Valerie Scott always wanted to be a sex worker and has extensive experience in her chosen profession. She is a founding member and legal co-ordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. She has been a passionate advocate for her colleague's human, civil, and legal rights for the past 30 years. She has testified at Canada's Senate and at several Parliamentary committees. She has spoken at numerous community meetings, colleges, universities, and conferences about the humanity of sex workers and the need for full decriminalization of adult sex work.

Final Word
I recently published a Ted Talk video What do sex workers want? by Juno Mac (Apr 26/2019). Ms. Mac argues for the decriminalization of prostitution.

I will repeat the two points I made about Ms. Mac's speech.

1. Information
We have little or no factual information. We have a lot of moral opinions and personal anecdotes, but few facts.

"We cannot properly address an issue if misinformation prevents us from properly assessing the issue."
-Irene Graham, Australian anti-censorship crusader

2. Legality
Making something illegal doesn't stop it. Drugs are illegal. Speeding in your car is illegal. Heck, murder is illegal! But all three of those things go on all the time. There's an underlying issue to every problem, and if one never addresses that issue, one will never solve the problem.


Wikipedia: Sex Professionals of Canada
Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC) is a Canadian activism group. SPOC was formed in 1983 and campaigns through public education and legal challenges to decriminalize Canadian prostitution laws.

official web site: SPOC: Sex Professionals of Canada
Mission & Principles

1. SPOC is a volunteer run activist network that engages in advocacy and education.

2. SPOC operates on the principle that all forms of consensual adult sex work are valid occupations.

3. SPOC maintains that sex workers have the capacity for choice and our experiences are diverse.

4. SPOC maintains that sex workers deserve labour rights, and occupational health and safety standards defined by sex workers themselves.

5. SPOC members and associates oppose those who seek to ‘rescue’ sex workers using force or coercive measures including court imposed re-education/exit programs, jails or camps.

We stand for the decriminalization of all forms of sex work in Canada. We oppose legalization because it is always exploitive toward sex workers.

Twitter: SPOC @SPOCsexworkers: Sex Professional of Canada
Sex Work IS Work!! We DEMAND **rights** NOT rescue !!

Vice - Jan 22/2014
Valerie Scott Says Your Great Aunt Was Probably a Sex Worker by Angela Hennessy
There has been a lot to say about sex work in Canada this past year. There are ongoing debates about the criminalization of sex work after the monumental Supreme Court decision to strike down three major prostitution laws that were ruled as dangerous. And now a new structure called the Nordic model might be introduced which would criminalize pimps and johns, instead of the sex workers, and in many ways would erase a lot of the progress that has been made on behalf of advocates for sex workers, such as the Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC).

It seems clear there are quite a few misunderstandings about who sex workers are, what they do, and how they operate. Even the clearest of debates seems to have two different conversations happening at the same time: It’s a service! It’s a sin! It’s a right! It’s a crime! We wanted to speak to a pro who has been at it for years who could help shed some light on this mostly foggy subject.

I sat down with Valerie Scott, a former prostitute who works as the legal coordinator at SPOC, at her apartment in Downtown, Toronto. She spoke candidly about her experience in the industry and what she thinks about today’s state of affairs.

She Does The City: An imperfect life guide for women - Oct 14/2015
TEDxToronto Women: Sex Worker and Advocate Valerie Scott
In anticipation for the TEDxToronto 2015 Conference (October 22nd), each day this week Shedoesthecity will post top-notch career and life advice from some of the powerhouse women that will be speaking at the conference this year. Innovative, gutsy, groundbreaking: a lot can be learned from these phenomenal women.

For this installment, we spoke to Valerie Scott, a founding member and legal coordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. For the last 30 years, Scott has been a passionate advocate for her colleagues’ human, civil and legal rights, testifying at Canada’s Senate and at several Parliamentary committees.

She was one of the three plaintiffs in Canada v. Bedford, the landmark constitutional challenge to several of Canada’s laws against sex work. In 2014, Canada’s Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the impugned laws caused catastrophic harm to sex workers and were a violation of their right to life, liberty, and security.

Wikipedia: Canada (AG) v Bedford
Canada (AG) v Bedford 2013 SCC 72, [2013] 3 SCR 1101 is a ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada relating to Canada's laws relating to sex work. The applicants, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, argued that Canada's prostitution laws were unconstitutional. The Criminal Code includes a number of provisions, such as outlawing public communication for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house or living off of the avails of prostitution, even though prostitution itself is legal.

The applicants argued that the laws deprive sex workers of their right to security by forcing them to work secretly. In 2012, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that some, but not all, of these prohibitions violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 9–0 decision on December 20, 2013, that all of these laws are unconstitutional; although, it delayed the striking down of the laws by one year to allow Parliament to update the laws in accordance with the ruling.

my blog: What do sex workers want? by Juno Mac - Apr 26/2019
Juno takes us through four different legal models addressing the sex industry and explains why they -- and sex workers around the world -- believe decriminalization and self-determination are the only way to keep sex workers safe.

An activist with the Sex Worker Open University, Juno campaigns for better working conditions by fighting criminalization and is involved with public education projects around issues relating to sex worker rights.

my blog: Prostitution: People, people, people, what are we doing? - Jun 7/2014
"The vast majority of those who sell sexual services do not do so by choice. We view the vast majority of those involved in selling sexual services as victims."
- Justice Minister Peter MacKay discussing Bill C-36 dubbed the protection of communities and exploited persons act; (CBC - June 5, 2014)


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