Some sex workers’ income has ‘completely dissolved’ due to COVID-19. Here’s how they’re surviving

Global News

Date Published: May 3, 2020

Source: Global News

COVID-19 has changed the way many Canadian sex workers operate, many of whom lost their main source of income due to reliance on in-person work. Social distancing measures and closed businesses have rendered in-person sex work challenging, if not impossible. Workers are faced with stopping work completely, accepting client requests who want to flout social distancing practices and compromise their safety, or pivoting to online platforms. A COVID-19 relief fund has been started to supplement those with lost income, “prioritizing queer and trans, Black and Indigenous communities of colour, migrant sex workers and those with precarious status, as well as sex workers living with illness and disability, and poor and precariously housed sex workers.” Sex workers face multiple challenges with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, including fear of criminalization or stigmatization, precarious immigration status, social security numbers, and reporting income.

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Summary by: Ming Li