The purpose of our research was to identify gaps and barriers in local service provision for persons in the sex industry seeking supports; to develop best practices for coordinated regional response plans in Northeastern Ontario; and to forge the relationships required to make such coordination effective. We thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding this project.
For Service Providers:
- Respect for the agency and self-determination of individuals seeking support, regardless of how they identify their experience
- Clear distinction between sex work and human trafficking
- Avoidance of “rescue and rehabilitation” programming and colonizing or paternalistic attitudes
- Harm reduction and safer spaces
- Trauma and violence informed approaches
- Indigenous knowledges and approaches, including decolonial trauma-informed
- Paid inclusion of experiential persons in the design, delivery and evaluation of programs
- Service provider collaboration for wrap-around, comprehensive supports
At the Policy Level
- Core, sustainable funding for anti-violence supports for all persons in the sex industry, not just those who fit the human trafficking checklist
- Initiatives and campaigns that do not conflate sex work and human trafficking and instead focus on anti-violence measures for anyone who asks for support.
- Increased funding for transitional housing and safer, affordable long-term housing in northeastern Ontario
- Implementation of the Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- The prevention of human trafficking through long-term strategies for structural change including decolonization, anti-poverty measures, and the decriminalization of sex work.