Perspectives on Legal Responses to the Sex Trade III

Monday, April 17, 2017

Perspectives on Legal Responses to the Sex Trade III

 The Shirley Greenberg Chair in Women and the Legal Profession presented two events during the 2016-17 academic year showcasing a variety of perspectives on legal responses to the sex trade. Faculty members, staff, students, alumni and the broader University of Ottawa community hold very different opinions on the appropriate legal response to the sex trade in Canada, reflecting a spectrum of positions from abolitionism to de-criminalisation or legalisation. These events are intended to provide a venue for the respectful expression and debate of opinions along this spectrum.

The first event took place in the fall term, on September 22nd, 2016, and featured three speakers whose positions reflect a diversity of abolitionist perspectives.  The second event, which took place on March 29th, 2017, featured three speakers whose positions reflect a variety of legalisation and de-criminalisation perspectives. The order of these events was dictated by the availability of the speakers, and does not reflect a hierarchy of ideas.

One of the most important roles of a university is to create an environment for the free, respectful expression and exchange of ideas. At the Faculty of Law we aim to foster a space of inquiry, learning, debate and exchange. These two events were designed to educate the members of the law school community on the relevant debates, and to provide a forum for respectful questioning and discussion.

Below you will find the list of speakers from each panel, a link to an audio podcast of each event, any Power Points that were used, and  a series of links to information on the spectrum of proposed legal responses to the sex trade.

Some audio presentations and Power Points contain explicit sexual content and/or describe sexual and other forms of violence.

Panel 1: September 22, 2017
Abolitionist Perspectives on the Sex Trade


1) Bridget Perrier is a First Nations woman and co-founder of Sextrade101 (http://www.

2) Dr. Ingeborg Kraus is a Psychologist and trauma expert based in Germany.

3) Detective Inspector Simon Häggström, Stockholm Police Force Prostitution Unit.

Link to audio podcast of panel.

Power Point Presentation Detective Inspector Simon Häggström.

Power Point Presentation Dr. Ingeborg Kraus.
Panel 2: March 29th, 2017
Advocating for Sex Worker's Rights


1) Anna-Aude Caouette is a sex worker's rights activist.

2) Sandra Chu is the Director of Research and Advocacy, Canada HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

3) Kate Shuetze is a policy advisor to Amnesty International.

Link to audio podcast of panel. 

Power Point Presentation of Anna-Aude Caouette.

Power Point Presentation of Sandra Chu.

Power Point Presentation of Kate Shuetze.


Links to information on the spectrum of proposed legal responses to the sex trade:

Amnesty International’s research and policy work on decriminalization (set in an international context).

Emily Bazelon writes about the history of difficult feminist discussions on the sex trade.  

Janine Benedet offers an abolitionist perspective.

The Open Society Foundations offers Ten Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work.

The Social Action and Executive Committees of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies passed an abolitionist resolution.
Designed by Rachel Gold.