What we do

We offer language- and culturally specific, and non-stigmatizing services that address im/migrant sex workers’ needs in areas of social, health, legal, immigration, and criminal justice.

Services

Outreach

Our outreach teams provide in-person support to women working in massage businesses and other indoor locations from Richmond to Abbotsford.

We address health, social, legal, immigration, criminal justice, and work-related issues – think of our work as a mix between a union and a social service agency.

Netreach

Staff provide virtual outreach to im/migrant sex workers via text message, email, telephone, apps and other internet and communication technologies.

Abuser Alert

Our bad date reporting system provides im/migrant sex workers with a means to report violent incidents or safety concerns to their peers and/or outreach workers. We distribute these reports via text messages to the community we serve.

Programs

Community Peer Program

Our Community Peer Program provides opportunities for social connection and learning.

Activities include English and yoga classes, legal information sessions, and social gatherings, among various other events and activities.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation is funding this project.

Projects

9

Addressing media representations of im/migrant sex workers

This 2022-24 project directly engages with the media to shift their representation of im/migrant sex workers. The project is in consultation with the women we serve and aims to reduce the stigma that misrepresentation causes. The project challenges irresponsible media coverage and encourages evidence-based reporting on the realities of im/migrant sex work, while taking into consideration the harms that come from conflating it with human trafficking. The intended outcome is the adoption of responsible, accurate, and ethical journalism in regard to coverage of both sex work and trafficking.

Women and Gender Equality Canada is funding this project.

9

Community-based, sex worker-led HIV and Hep C services, advocacy, and capacity-building

In collaboration with the Health Initiative for Men and the Centre for Gender & Health Equity, SWAN is part of the Vancouver Sex Work Community Alliance.

This 2022-2027 project provides outreach, training to health care providers, and systemic advocacy.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is funding this project.

9

Increasing access to community services for im/migrant sex workers in Western Canada

SWAN is engaged in a knowledge exchange with the Yukon Status of Women Council and Peers Victoria to increase accessibility to community supports for im/migrant sex workers outside of Greater Vancouver.

In 2023, SWAN will work with organizations in Alberta to reduce barriers to service.

Women and Gender Equality Canada is funding this project.

9

Community consultation to inform law reform

SWAN is conducting a broad community consultation to elicit im/migrant sex workers’ perspectives about law reform, in particular, immigration law reform.

Given the inaccessibility of legal processes for the majority of women we serve, the community consultation gives women an opportunity to engage with the law, justice, and the law reform process.

The Law Foundation of British Columbia is funding this project.

Campaigns

Current Campaigns

You Choose: Seek Justice as a Migrant Sex Worker

SWAN launches ‘You Choose: Seek Justice as a Migrant Sex Worker’ for Victims & Survivors of Crime Week 2022 SWAN has created an interactive campaign called ‘‘You Choose: Seek Justice as a Migrant Sex Worker. This campaign allows you to experience

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Chocolate or Chicken Bones

SWAN is pleased to announce our new Photovoice Project, ‘Chocolate or Chicken Bones’. This project showcases photos taken by the women we serve, depicting various aspects of their lives, including their families, homes, hobbies, dreams, and travels.

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Historic Campaign

Harms of Anti-Trafficking

‘Anti-Trafficking: Harming While Trying to Help’ More and more people are learning about human trafficking and feel compelled to do something about it. Unfortunately, this desire to take action is not always expressed in productive ways. Some campaigns are…

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See a complete list of all of our previous campaigns here.

Mailing Address

#325 - 1101 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 0R1