The Conditions of Area Restrictions in Canadian Cities: Street Sex Work and Access to Public Space

Title: The Conditions of Area Restrictions in Canadian Cities: Street Sex Work and Access to Public Space
Authors: MacDonald, Adrienne A.
Date: 2012
Abstract: “Area restriction” is the umbrella term used for this thesis to consider geography-based, individually- assigned orders issued by criminal justice agents to remove and restrict targets from particular city spaces. This research focuses on 13 Canadian cities that use arrest-and-release area restriction strategies to managing street sex work(ers). Despite heavy criticism for their punitive nature, area restrictions have received little academic attention. This project takes an exploratory and descriptive approach to the issue in order to develop a platform for future research. Using qualitative, non-experimental methods it also critically analyzes the implementation, logic and reported impacts of the strategies while drawing implications for how area restrictions relate to citizenship statuses of sex workers by mapping exclusions onto the city. Multiple data sources were included but the most significant and compelling information comes from interviews with police officers and community agency workers. Findings suggest that area restriction strategies contribute to substantial social divides between sex workers and other community members, but also between sex workers and important services, resources and their community. At the same time, the strategy is reported as a “temporary relief” measure that is ineffective at lessening sex trade activity and often leads to displacement and dispersal of sex work(ers). However, collaborative efforts in some cities show promise for achieving goals of ‘helping sex workers off the street.’ Realistic recommendations for area restriction strategies are made that lead to more inclusive approaches that are considerate of needs and concerns of all interest groups linked to the “prostitution problem.”
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -