"With few laws to protect them and fewer sympathizers in their corner, sex workers ride a strange line of being physically exposed and socially invisible. The West Coast Co-operative of Sex Industry Professionals (WCCSIP) in Vancouver, Canada, is taking the safety of sex workers into its own hands, reports Joanna Chiu in Herizons... In an ambitious new proposal aimed to reduce violence against sex workers, the WCCSIP is lobbying to start a co-op brothel in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Writes Chiu:
The WCCSIP is offering the City of Vancouver detailed plans on how it intends to create a place where sex workers can bring their clients and rent affordable rooms, starting at two dollars, for the amount of time they need, rather than paying for expensive hotel rooms. The co-op brothel would offer safety features such as emergency buttons in each room, 24-hour security and front desk reception.
...Although, technically, prostitution isn’t a crime in Canada, many aspects of the trade—such as owning a brothel or communicating for the purposes of prostitution—are. By renting private rooms, workers at the co-op brothel would avoid breaking laws and ending up in jail. Beyond increased levels of physical and legal protection, the co-op would provide additional benefits, such as micro-loans for small businesses, school scholarships, and employment counseling for those who want to leave the sex industry.”