This article explores SWAN’s decision to pursue litigation as a means to challenge and expose harmful crimmigration and anti-trafficking policies, after realizing that working within an anti-trafficking framework was not going to lead to the protection of migrant sex workers’ rights.
“SWAN Vancouver (SWAN) promotes the rights of migrant and immigrant (hereinafter im/migrant) sex workers through front-line service provision and systemic advocacy. In 2019, SWAN began to consider a constitutional challenge against Canadian immigration law, which currently prohibits temporary residents and migrant workers from engaging in sex work. This litigation is designed to at least partially counteract the harmful effects of recent anti-trafficking policies. Mounting a constitutional challenge is a difficult exercise for a small organisation like SWAN, but we have decided that it is nonetheless the most effective pathway for exposing how ‘crimmigration’ enables both labour abuses of migrant sex workers and manufactures vulnerability to human trafficking.”
Written by Alison Clancey and Frances Mahon.