Discussing harmful effects of the sex trade

Breaking down the sex trade and its harmful effects on a marginalized population of sex workers is the focus of a Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group presentation Tuesday night.

Fourth-year nursing student, Chantelle Fitton, will present, Sex Work and Society, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 14 in Galileo's Gallery. This free-admission event is open to everyone.


This summer I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Las Vegas entitled Sex, Power and Politics, funded by LPIRG and the University of Lethbridge Students' Union. It centered on the sex trade in Canada and the U.S., with a focus on current legislation and the implications for sex workers, as well as activism and harm reduction strategies.

I went with the intention to learn about harm reduction strategies, as I am a fourth-year nursing student, preparing to enter the world of community health nursing. I left with an entirely different view of the sex trade in general, and with anger over the violence, mistreatment, and blatant disregard for basic human rights that is allowed against this segment of our population.

I will present what I learned from the many sex workers and academics who spoke at the conference about the moral-based policies that shape our current views and treatment of sex workers, as well as some realistic harm reduction and outreach approaches that can be effective to truly pave the way for empowerment and agency.