Maggie’s– Toronto Sex Workers Action Project is a Canadian government-funded institution that has been quietly working to normalise paid access to children for sex by adults since 1982, in part by referring to child rape and pedophilia for profit by the disgraceful term, “youth sex work.” In recent years, they’ve been aggressive political participants seeking to discredit women’s rights activists and organisations opposed to paid sexual access to women and children.
In March of 2012, their quiet support of legalising paid sexual access to children was featured in an issue of Shameless, under the title, “Sex Work Is Real Work.” This article is presently linked on their Library page, under the heading, “Youth Sex Work.” The author, Phoenix Anne McKee, purported to work with Maggie’s, and described herself as having been a “sex worker” since the age of 14.
“I was already having sex with older guys and figured I should get paid for it. … Choosing to do sex work can be a hard decision, but for some youth it is the only option available at the time.”
She described being picked up by Child Protective Services as “the most common risk faced by youth who decide to engage in sex work.”
McKee continues, describing the criminalisation of adult pedophiles as a more significant threat to children’s safety than the rape of children too young to consent. She writes,
“Youth who are 14 and 15 can only consent to having sex with individuals who are less than five years older than them. This puts an adult who is buying sexual services from a youth at risk of being charged with sexual interference or sexual assault. In this way the age of consent laws pose a risk to the safety of youth aged 14 and 15 who decide to engage in sex work.”
McKee’s article concludes,
“The aim is to bring youth sex workers together to demand safer working conditions, provide access to harm-reduction materials and advocate for the full decriminalization of sex work, including the youth sector. Those interested in contributing can contact Maggie’s at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can change the stigma around sex work.”
In plain terms and without the sex industry’s preferred jargon, this article is a call for raped and trafficked children to work with Maggie’s to end laws against paid child sexual assault, using, at the least, an email account issued by the organisation. It’s linked on their website as of the time of this writing, as are their attacks on various activists working against the sex industry’s exploitation of impoverished women and children.
As of their reporting year ending in March, 2014, Maggie’s – Toronto Sex Workers Action Project got 94% of their funding, $176,416, from the Ontario Ministry of Health’s AIDS Bureau.  In 2013 they reported receiving $173,073 in provincial government funds, or 99% of their budget. In their 2012 report, they received $176,066 from the provincial government, and $84,977 from the federal government, or over 98% of their operating budget from the Canadian government. These funds are supposedly granted as part of a harm reduction strategy, tasking the organisation to provide safer sex and safer drug use supplies, along with education, and support.
What public health goal is served by undermining laws against the paid rape of children?
This is especially frightening because The Native Women’s Association of Canada found in a survey of Indigenous women in the sex industry that  half of them “were first recruited between the ages of 9 and 14. More than 87% had been sexually abused, raped or molested before they were trafficked; 75% could not keep any of their earnings; and 85.7% had tried to resist and leave their situation.” We know that aboriginal women are disproportionately represented in the sex industry,  mainly due to poverty and persistent discrimination, where they are frequently exposed to the predations of rapists and murderers. Opening the door to legal child trafficking can have no possible outcome besides increasing the demand for sexual access to children’s bodies from some of Canada’s most at-risk communities.
The government of Ontario must investigate whether public health funds have been spent for the purposes of organising child sex abuse victims to provide political cover for the sex industry, as well as to attack the legitimacy of laws against child sex abuse, mandatory reporting, child trafficking, and pedophilia for cash.