logo of Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support NetworkThe work of the Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network is the subject of a presentation Thursday.

International Women’s Day event to critique mainstream anti-trafficking practices

An event Thursday, March 9, in observance of Intersectional International Women’s Day, will feature discussion on the work of Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network. The network resists the criminalization of sex workers and challenges mainstream anti-trafficking practices and anti-sex work, advocating for those who lack status and face the choice of being deported or working in unsafe and exploitative conditions.

Participants will hear from Butterfly founder Elene Lam, activist, community organizer, and human rights defender; and law professor Vincent Wong, who specializes in the study of racial capitalism and its relationship to the exclusion and exploitation of undocumented youth in Canada.

Butterfly challenges repressive laws that use the issue of sex worker safety and anti-trafficking concerns to advocate for repressive policing of Asian massage parlours and businesses, leading to further racialization and racism against Asian Canadian communities, and women in particular.

The organization builds coalition with labour groups, community legal clinics, human rights workers, other migrant workers organizations, and sex workers’ rights organizations to support migrant and sex workers.

Women’s and Gender Studies in the School of Social Work, in partnership with the Department of Sociology and Criminology and the Office of the Vice-President Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, will present Intersectional International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 9.

Thursday’s event will run 2:30 to 4 p.m. in room 203, Toldo Health Education Centre, and will be livestreamed via Microsoft Teams. Register here to attend.