July 5, 2012
Sex Trade Targeted by New Immigration Rules
Following the new rules laid out by Harper Government this week, temporary foreign workers in the sex trade industry will not be able to find work with Canadian Employers. The change is set to be a positive one, as it is meant to deter foreign workers from setting out to find employment that is thought of as ‘degrading’ by the Canadian government. These will include but not limited to, work in erotic massage parlours, escort services, and erotic dance clubs.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada will be issuing negative Labour Market Opinions on all temporary foreign worker applications from business linked to the sex trade. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley demonstrates that this is not limited to businesses within the sex trade industry, but will also be linked to businesses where there is reason to believe that these workers are at risk of any sexual exploitation and abuse.
The backlash to this decision falls on the fact that many well operated exotic dance clubs do not face issues of exploitation and trafficking, and that this type of decision will only add to the stigma of how people feel about the industry in general. Also, many feel that the restriction should not be limited to temporary foreign workers, but also permanent residents and even citizens of Canada. Some feel the issue must be faced as a whole, and although human trafficking and the sex trade industry may correlate, they must also be faced separately and people already in the industry should not be penalized for their current operations. Executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, Tim Lambrinos, claims that the conservative decision will cost them the closure of clubs on the basis that nearly half of the exotic dancers in Canada are temporary foreign workers, and is seeking to take legal action. Pursuant to this, there has been a decline in temporary foreign workers entering Canada looking to find work in the sex trade industry under the Harper government.
Come July 14th, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will no longer be processing temporary foreign worker applications seeking work in the sex trade industry. The intent is to further protect woman from becoming unintended victims of human trafficking and exploitation in Canada, as government officials are finding a great connection between the sex trade and employment of foreign workers, specifically female. The rules prove positive to many support groups such as the Deborah’s Gate Safe House, a facility in Vancouver that helps woman who have become victims in the sex trade industry. Harper government is hoping to act on the behalf of young woman facing turmoil in this industry, and want to ensure their protection, thus restricting the ability to find work in the sex trade.