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In November 2018, following the release of Red Light Labour (UBC Press), SWAN held a book launch event to celebrate with fellow contributors, allies, stakeholders and our community.


SWAN staff contributed to Chapter 8: "Misrepresentations, Inadequate Evidence and Impediments to Justice: Human Rights Impacts of Canada's Anti-Trafficking Efforts."


RED LIGHT LABOUR: available for purchase through UBC Press.


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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.


"A thorough collection, it challenges misconceptions and educates readers on many topics, including sex work in rural and small communities, the experience of Indigenous workers, and union engagement with sex work in Canada." 

~  Jessica RoseTHIS Magazine

"Red Light Labour is a captivating and informative read that makes an extremely timely and important contribution to studies of sex work in the Canadian context, with attention paid to a broad range of topics, including the legal context, personal experiences of sex workers, and the sex worker rights movement. I strongly recommend it." 

~  Megan Rivers-Moore, author of Gringo Gulch: Sex, Tourism, and Social Mobility in Costa Rica

"This book will put to rest any misconceptions that sex workers do not have the capacity to make their own choices. It documents the harms that shame-based laws can cause, as well as sex workers’ efforts to resist and challenge the anti-prostitution regime that has developed in Canada."

~  From the Foreword by Valerie Scott, founding member and a legal coordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada