The International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers – December 17, 2014

December 17th. International day to end violence against sex workers.

The International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17 by sex workers, advocates, friends, families and allies. The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers worldwide, as well as the need to remove the social stigma and discrimination which contributes to violence against sex workers. Incorporated into this day is the red umbrella which is a recognized international symbol of Sex Worker solidarity and resistance.

On this day, the Provincial Women’s committee calls attention to legislation enacted by the Federal government on December 6, that puts the lives of sex workers at risk. The Canadian government enacted Bill C-36, the erroneously-named Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, which recreates the harms and violence experienced by sex workers under the previous laws criminalizing prostitution.

Bill C-36 replaces the three key provisions of the Criminal Code that were struck down by the Supreme Court on December 20, 2014 in the landmark case, Bedford v. Canada.

The Bill recreates the harms of the provisions struck down in the Bedford case, allowing the epidemic of violence against sex workers to continue. Bill C-36 views all sex workers as victims of violence, rather than understanding that it is criminalization, isolation, and the denial of rights and freedoms that breeds violence and exploitation against sex workers.

In solidarity with sex workers around the globe, the PWC calls for the full decriminalization of sex work to ensure the safety, dignity and security of all sex workers and in recognition that enforcement disproportionately targets Black, Indigenous, Migrant, Trans women and street based sex workers.

The PWC stands in solidarity with sex workers in calling for :

  • The repeal of Bill C-36 and the full decriminalization of sex work in Canada
  • Legal and labour rights for sex workers
  • Provincial and Municipal non-enforcement of C-36
  • The de-stigmatization of sex work
  • The recognition of the dignity and value of sex workers

The PWC also invites you to honour the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers by attending events in your region:

Regional Events

Region 2

Niagara Artists Centre (NAC)
354 St. Paul St. E, Saint Catherine's, Ontario


Region 4

PROUD Centre
216 Murray St Ottawa, ON

Region 5

Fight Back: Sex Workers Respond to Bill C36
Queen West Community Health Centre
168 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON
For more information contact:
Jean at or
Arlene Pitts at

Region 6

Hosted by Sex Workers Advisory Network (SWAN)
Contact Tracy by telephone at 705-688-0500 ext 222 or by email for more information