All Resources > ‘Of Course People Will Hire the White Person’: Social and economic inclusion of migrant women in Vancouver, Canada

‘Of Course People Will Hire the White Person’: Social and economic inclusion of migrant women in Vancouver, Canada

Canada FPAR Report

SWAN participated in Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women’s (GAATW) global feminist participatory action research study as its member.

The study examined the challenges that migrant and trafficked women face with settling in, finding work, and building community in destination and countries of origin.

SWAN spoke with 30 local Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American women as part of this study. Their experiences were captured in ‘Of Course People Will Hire the White Person: Social and Economic Inclusion of Migrant Women in Vancouver, Canada’.

SWAN Advisory Board Member, Menaka Raguparan, presented the findings on an international panel hosted by GAATW.


“In 2020, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) initiated a research project to document migrant and trafficked women’s experiences with social and economic inclusion. Some of the questions we sought to answer included: what work, education, and training opportunities are available to migrant and trafficked women in countries of destination or upon return to the country of origin? Are these relevant to the local labour market or do they reinforce gender stereotypes and condemn women to a life of low-wage work? What barriers prevent women from enjoying productive, well-paid, and rewarding work? What, if any, government assistance is available to them? How do women articulate their own ambitions and desires with regards to their work and social life?

This report presents the findings of the research conducted in Vancouver, Canada, by SWAN – a community organisation for im/migrant sex workers in Vancouver. SWAN had noted the limited focus on im/migrant women’s access to the Canadian labour force, which results in a lack of sufficient research on the topic. While social and labour market barriers have always been an issue of concern to the im/migrant women who access SWAN’s services, Covid-19 had exacerbated their social exclusion and highlighted the urgent need to access labour rights. Therefore, the research was an opportunity for SWAN to ensure that migrant (sex) workers are included in the increasing calls for labour protections for migrant workers in Canada.”

To learn more, download the full report here.

Funded by the Global Alliance of Traffic in Women.