Table of

This set of six booklets explain in plain English the laws that criminalize sex work in Canada. The laws discussed are federal and apply to the entire country, but court procedures vary from province to province as do the law enforcement practices of different police forces. Trials of the Sex Trade was developed in Toronto with the help of over 40 volunteers, so the references in the booklets are Toronto specific. The paper version of Trials of the Sex Trade is 124 pages in total and features over 650 illustrations. The six booklets cover different areas of the sex trade.

  • Trick or Trap? 'Dick'ering in Public is against the law! deals with prostitution laws that are enforced on the street. (PDF version: trickortrap.pdf).
    • Communicating for the purpose of prostitution, s.213
    • Indecent act in a public place, s.173
    • Counselling to commit a criminal offence, s. 22
    • Common Bawdy-house, s.210
    • Procuring, s.212
    • Carrying weapons, s. 89 & 90
    • Obstructing justice, s. 139
    • Willfulling obstructing a peace officer, s. 129

  • No Bawdy's Business: 'Common house-keeping' is against the law! deals with prostitution laws as they apply to people who work inside. (PDF version: bawdybiz.pdf).
    • Common bawdy-house, s. 210
    • (keeping, inmate, found without lawful excuse in, knowingly permitting the premises to be used)
    • Transporting person to bawdy-house, s. 211
    • Procuring, s.212

  • Who's Jail Bait? What the law really says about sex for young people outlines age of consent laws and is aimed at teenagers who may be involved in prostitution. (PDF version: jailbait.pdf).
    • Sexual interference, s. 151
    • Invitation to sexual touching, s. 152
    • Sexual exploitation, s.153
    • Anal intercourse, s. 159
    • Procuring, s. 212
    • Child Pornography, s.163.1
    • Young Offenders Act (Canada)
    • Mental Health Act (Ontario)
    • Consent to Treatment Act (Ontario)

  • The Bare Facts: How dancers get 'jerked' around by the law! looks at recent court decisions covered in the media and points out the laws that exotic dancers could be charged with. (PDF version: barefacts.pdf).
    • Indecent act in a public place, s. 173
    • Immoral theatrical performance, s. 167
    • Common bawdy-house, s. 210
    • Nudity, s.174
    • Oscenity, s. 163
    • Causing a disturbance, s. 175
    • Communicating for the purpose of prostitution, s.213

  • Holding Court: Harlots, strippers, hustlers & whores tour the halls of justice, describes legal procedures from arrest to sentencing as well as tips on child welfare laws, small claims court, and legal aid. (PDF version: holdingcourt.pdf).
    • Child and Family Services Act (Ontario)
    • Corrupting children, s. 172
    • Duties of persons to provide necessaries, s.215
    • Child abandonment, s.218
    • Willfully obstructing a peace officer. s. 129
    • Obstructing justice, s. 139
    • Pubic mischief, s. 140
    • Personation with intent, s. 403
    • Perjury, s. 131-136
    • Narcotics Control Act (Canada)
    • Food and Drug Act (Canada)
    • Carrying a concealed weapon, s. 89
    • Possession of a prohibited weapon, s. 90
    • possession of a dangerous weapon, s. 87
  • Legal Ease: putting the law in our terms is a glossary defining the legal terms set out in bold throughout the other booklets in Trials. (PDF version: legalease.pdf).

This set of info-cards was also included in Trials of the Sex Trade:

  • If Cops Want To Talk To You.
    The first piece published in Trials of the Sex Trade, this card outlines your rights when you are being interrogated or arrested. This is the republished version from the Sex Workers Alliance of Vancouver.
    Make your own! Print "copcard.pdf" on US-lettersize (8.5" X 10") paper. Paste legal service numbers from your area over the Vancouver information. Copy double-sided on baby-blue card stock, trim and fold.
  • Wanna be a Movie Star? It may be more than you bargained for…
    First published in 1993 by Maggie's in Toronto in response to a series of busts under Canada's then new "kiddie" porn law on the boystown stroll. The card was republished again in 1995 by the SWAV after hustlers had been interrogated by police about a Burnaby Elementary school principal accused of making "child pornography."
    Make your Own! Print "moviestar.pdf" on US-lettersize paper. Copy double-sided on pastel yellow card stock.
  • Beware Entrapment: Dirty tricks from legal dicks…
    Published by Maggie's to dispell the myths on the stroll about legality of entrapment and how you can tell if a prospective client is an undercover cop.
  • Trials of the Sex Trade CoversTrials of the Sex Trade was produced with a double cover. The six booklets had two holes each punched in the spine and were laced together to the covers with red ribbon. The seams of the back of the cover were joined to make a pocket, where the info-cards were stored.
    Make your own! Just print out PDF files for all the booklets and have them photocopied two up, on 11" x 17" landscape, cut, fold and saddlestitch. The covers of each booklet are coverstock, the colour of each corresponding webpage — pastel blue for Holding Court, pastel pink for Who's Jailbait?, pastel lavender for The Bare Facts etc. Then print out these PDF files for the covers: trialscovers.pdf.

How Trials was made… [Legal tips]

Created: January 15, 1996
Last modified: June 29, 2009
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710