Sex workers claim police are keeping a database in case they 'turn up dead'
An organization that advocates on behalf of sex workers is claiming Montreal police have been carrying out raids of strip clubs and massage parlors in an effort to create a city-wide database.
"They ask for everyone's ID's, they also noted down all over their tattoos and piercings," said Sandra Wesley, Director General of Chez Stella, a group for and by sex workers.
She says the officers who were there for the sex trafficking tasforce RADAR asked the women questions about their children, stamped their wrists and told them they were creating the database of sex workers, among other things, so they can identify them "when they inevitably turn up dead."
"Everyone in society should be outraged at that," she said. "If anyone thinks that this is reasonable, they really need to examine why they don't see us as humans with rights. We would not tolerate that for any other population.
She calls the tactics dehumanizing and dystopian.
A Montreal police spokesman says they're not keeping a database of sex workers, and are mostly trying to identify minors working at strip clubs.
John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Mijune Pak, television personality, judge on Top Chef Canada
Corey Mintz, food reporter for the Walrus, Eater, and Maclean's