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Licensing Sex Work: Public Policy and Women's Lives


  • Jacqueline Lewis
  • Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale


The population health promotion model directs our attention to the impact of public policy, and the interface between various levels of policy, on health and well-being. This model is applied in a case study of the effect of municipal licensing of the escort industry on the health and well-being of escorts in Windsor, Ontario. Attention to municipal licensing and policing practices applied to the escort industry reveals that although the potential exists for such policies to enhance the health and well-being of sex workers, as such policies currently operate in Windsor, they are not healthy public policies. This is in part because of the way police use the information and resources made to them through licensing. It is also related to the ambiguous position in which municipalities and escort agencies are placed, in order to implement licensing without violating federal criminal statutes related to prostitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacqueline Lewis & Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, 2000. "Licensing Sex Work: Public Policy and Women's Lives," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 437-449, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:26:y:2000:i:4:p:437-449

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jackson, Lois & Highcrest, Alexàndra & Coates, Randall A., 1992. "Varied potential risks of HIV infection among prostitutes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 281-286, August.
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