BLAC is concerned that the provisions being put forth in Bill 251, Combatting Human Trafficking
Act, 2021 are in keeping with harmful and largely problematic anti-trafficking legislation that
has been and continues to be developed in Canada.
While trafficking is a serious and complex issue that needs to be addressed, BLAC opposes the
reliance on legislation that conflates trafficking and sex work, and that further extends the
power and resources of law enforcement. From our perspective, this Bill has the potential to
increase the criminalization of sex work and sex workers, by distorting the lived realities of sex
workers, who should be supported in order to make meaningful choices about their lives. We
argue that this approach has the potential for particularly debilitating consequences for Black,
Indigenous and racialized people more generally, and it may also result in greater harm for
children, youth, and women and girls, who are most impacted by systemic gender oppression.
Further, it will have the effect of invalidating the labour of sex work as well as the agency and
consent of people who sell or trade sexual services.