What’s New

SWAN to Provide Keynote Speech at Berlin ‘Sex Work & Police’ Conference
In August, SWAN’s Executive Director and Legal Supervisor Frances Mahon will be the keynote speakers at the ‘Sex Work & Police’ conference in Berlin, Germany.  Learn more about the conference here.

SWAN launches harms of anti-trafficking project, ‘Harming While Trying to Help’
SWAN is excited to announce the launch of the ‘Harming While Trying to Help’ project. Funded by LUSH, the project will raise awareness about counterproductive anti-trafficking efforts that inadvertently cause and reinforce systemic vulnerability to human trafficking.

Increasing numbers of people feel compelled to ‘do something’ about human trafficking. However, many well-intentioned people are unaware they inadvertently harm those they try to help through their anti-trafficking campaigns and initiatives.

The multipronged, multi-media project will introduce the concept of ‘harming while trying to help’ in the context of anti-trafficking efforts targeted at the sex industry, raise awareness of the red flags that identify harmful campaigns, and provide tangible tools to stop the harms.

Over the next year, we’ll provide updates on the project’s progress. The project’s completion date is set for April 2020.

SWAN is hiring!
SWAN is hiring an Organizational Development Manager. Deadline for applications is April 17, 2019.

Global Consultation on the Prevention of Trafficking and Unsafe Migration
Between April 3-5, 2019 SWAN’s Executive Director attended Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women‘s Global Consultation on the Prevention of Trafficking and Unsafe Migration in Bangkok, Thailand. The Consultation was an excellent opportunity to learn from global counterparts how they address human trafficking and rights violations in the context of migration for work. Read the Global Consultation’s report here.

SWAN’s ED also visited Empower Chiang Mai. Empower is a sex worker-led group that organises Thai and migrant sex workers to initiate and negotiate policy changes at the regional, national and international levels.

Canadian Alliance for Law Reform Issues Scathing Response to Justice Committee’s Human Trafficking Report
In February 2019, SWAN helped write a response to the Justice Committee’s December 2018 report summarizing their four-month-long consultation on human trafficking. Read the response here.

2019 Podcast
To kick off 2019, SWAN presents a podcast on Talking Radical Radio. SWAN staff talk about SWAN’s advocacy work around everything from law reform to their efforts to challenge raid-and-rescue law enforcement actions that harm sex workers. They also talk about their new photovoice project, which gives migrant and immigrant sex workers a opportunity to tell their own stories and to push back against the powerful stereotypes that inform mainstream conversations about sex work and human trafficking. Listen to the podcast here.

Chocolate or Chicken Bones: A Photovoice Art Exhibition (Jan 8-Feb 5, 2019)
On January 8, 2019 SWAN hosted the opening night of ‘Chocolate or Chicken Bones’. This exhibition used photovoice methodology to address misinformation and stigma about im/migrant women who work in massage shops and apartments. This project provided im/migrant sex workers an opportunity to self-represent their lived experiences and bring forth a dimension, reality and perspective which society, policy-makers and law enforcement have neglected and dismissed. SWAN is currently seeking funding to take ‘Chocolate or Chicken Bones’ to other cities.

Publication Red Light Labour: Sex Work, Regulation, Agency and Resistance
SWAN contributed to Chapter 8, ‘Misrepresentations, Inadequate Evidence and Impediments to Justice: Human Rights Impacts of Canada’s Anti-Trafficking Efforts. Red Light Labour is available September 1, 2018 here

SWAN Launches Respect Campaign for Victims & Survivors of Crime Week May 2018
Based on migrant sex workers’ experiences with police in 2017-2018, SWAN launched ‘Building a Culture of Respect: Police and Sex Workers‘. This campaign is targeted at police and focuses on the fundamental principle that is imperative in any interaction between police and sex workers – respect. Watch the project launch and download and share the SWAN Respect Infographic. SWAN would like to thank the Department of Justice Canada for funding this campaign.