In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that key Criminal Code provisions relating to sex work were unconstitutional. Canada v. Bedford gave Parliament one year to update the laws. The landmark decision provoked renewed interest from researchers, policy makers, news outlets, and the public but little new insight into sex work.
Red Light Labour addresses Canada’s new legal regime regulating sex work with an advanced analysis of past and present policy approaches, and considers the ways in which laws and those who uphold them have constructed, controlled, and criminalized sex workers, their workspaces, colleagues, and clients. This groundbreaking collection also offers nuanced interpretations of various forms of commercial sexual labour that foreground the personal perspectives of workers and activists. The contributors highlight sex workers’ struggles for civic and social inclusion by considering their tactics, successes, and challenges as they work collaboratively and build alliances with diverse social movements.
Red Light Labour advocates for social and economic justice within a sex-work-as-labour framework. This book is a timely intervention that showcases up-to-date legal, policy, and social analysis of sex work in Canada.
Red Light Labour will be of interest to scholars and students of labour, sexuality and gender, socio-legal contexts, and criminology. It will also find an audience among advocates, policy makers, and researchers in areas related to sex, gender, labour, and human trafficking, as well as with the general public.
Chris Bruckert is a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa. She is the author of Taking It Off, Putting It On: Women in the Strip Trade and has edited several works, among them, with Colette Parent, Getting Past “the Pimp”: Management in the Sex Industry.