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  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Team

    "Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." ​ ~ Andrew Carnegie OUR TEAM ALISON CLANCEY Executive Director pronouns: she/her/hers - Alison first joined SWAN as a volunteer in 2009. In 2012 she transitioned into a Coordinator position before stepping into her current role as Executive Director in 2014. ​ Steering collaborative partnerships... Read Full Bio KELLY GO Outreach Coordinator pronouns: she/her/hers - Inspired by one of Alison’s community presentations, Kelly began volunteering with SWAN in 2016 before stepping into a full-time outreach role in 2017. ​ Born and raised in Hong Kong... Read Full Bio ALICE XIAO Senior Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - After attending one of Alison's presentations, Alice was also inspired to begin volunteering with SWAN in 2016. She worked in several part-time projects for SWAN before stepping into her full time Outreach Worker role in August 2019. ​ A studious intellect and... Read Full Bio JANE SHI Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jane first joined SWAN as a volunteer in January 2019 and began working as an Outreach Worker in July 2020. ​ Jane is a queer Chinese settler who... ... Read Full Bio ANDI WISEMAN Development Manager pronouns: she/her/hers - Following fifteen years of front line and executive-level management in Vancouver's addictions and mental health sector, Andi came to SWAN in June 2019. ​ An intersectionally inclusive feminist... Read Full Bio Our Board Back to Main Menu

  • Charitable Non Profit | SWAN Vancouver Society | British Columbia

    sex work is work SWAN promotes the rights, health & safety of im/migrant women engaged in indoor sex work through front-line service & systemic advocacy. Read More / 阅读更多 SWAN's signature campaigns challenge, debunk and dispel the dominant narratives that racialize, misdefine and harm im/migrant women engaged in indoor sex work. Read More SWAN critically analyzes mainstream anti-trafficking efforts and discourse, in order to increase protections for persons who are trafficked without harming sex workers. Read More SWAN advocates for evidence-based laws that endow equal safety, rights, freedoms and protections for im/migrant women engaged in sex work. Read More SWAN provides culturally-specialized, rights-based and language-appropriate front-line services for im/migrant women engaged in sex work. Read More

  • Law Reform

    NO BAD WOMEN, JUST BAD LAWS Decriminalization = Safety, Equality & Human Rights for Sex Workers SWAN recognizes sex work as work. SWAN calls for the decriminalization of sex work. ​ We advocate for the enactment of evidence-based laws that uphold sex workers’ rights. The current criminalized legal framework makes it impossible for sex workers to have the same equality, rights and protections others have. There is strong evidence that . criminalization impacts sex workers’ safety, health and human rights ​ In February 2020, parts of the (PCEPA) - Canada’s prostitution laws - were , i.e., advertising (s. 286.4), procuring (s. 286.3(1)), and material benefit (s. 286.2(1)). The advertising law was ruled unconstitutional for violating the right to freedom of expression. Procuring and material benefit laws were both ruled to be a violation of the right to security of the person. Read the full decision Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act found unconstitutional here . ​ The historic 2013 unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision also found Canada’s former prostitution laws unconstitutional. Bedford v. Canada Decriminalization and Migrant Sex Workers Since 2012, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) prohibit any temporary resident from working “with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.” These provisions apply to any temporary resident who has a work or study permit, or visitor’s visa, and effectively bar migrant women from engaging in sex work in any formal capacity. Learn more about IRPR’s specific prohibitions on sex work . here ​ Full decriminalization of sex work includes decriminalization for sex workers who are not citizens or permanent residents. Under current prostitution, trafficking and immigration laws, in addition to municipal bylaws, migrant sex workers are under surveillance and harassment by police and bylaws officers, and under the threat of detention and deportation by Canada Border Services Agency. ​ Combined with prostitution laws, the IRPR prohibition creates layers of criminalization for migrant women engaged in sex work and significantly increases systemic vulnerability to violence and exploitation. Migrant women who do sex work can be targeted. that barriers to reporting violence to authorities include concerns that sex workers have no legal protection from violence under current laws, have a lack of trust with police and the criminal justice system, and have immigration concerns. Recent research has shown ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ In SWAN’s experience, im/migrant sex workers who report violence to authorities also risk becoming the target of trafficking investigations. This is due to over-broad prostitution and trafficking laws which do not differentiate sex work and trafficking, and which are enforced by an overwhelming majority of police officers who themselves do not understand the difference between sex work and trafficking. ~ Lydia, SWAN Client November 2019 (quoted with permission) Support Our Work Back to Main Menu SWAN, along with the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform and Butterfly , calls for the repeal of the IRPR prohibitions on sex work. You Can Help with these Calls to Action "Instead of receiving support or help for the violence I experienced, I was punished with deportation without even having the benefit of telling my story."

  • Covid - Financial Assistance Options | Draft Site

    20 APRIL 2020 : ANNOUNCEMENT "ANYONE WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS CAN NOW BE TESTED" ​ To find a testing center near you, call 811 or use the Collection Center Finder (Mobile & Desktop) 29 APRIL 2020 : ANNOUNCEMENT "AS OF TODAY, THE PROVINCE HAS SECURED NEARLY 300 ADDITIONAL SPACES IN COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT BC FOR PEOPLE LEAVING VIOLENT OR UNSTABLE SITUATIONS." ​ If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, please contact VictimLinkBC at at 1-800-563-0808 or by email . COVID-19: FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION & RESOURCES LAST UPDATED: 22 May 2020 ACCESS TO FINANCIAL BENEFITS ​ SWAN understands COVID-19 is an unprecedented event that has had devastating impacts on your livelihoods. We have been busy exploring financial options and compiling information that can potentially help to address your financial needs. ​ This web page has been created to share information about: ​ 1. Government Emergency Financial Benefits ​ FEDERAL ASSISTANCE : ​ ​ ​ : PROVINCIAL ASSISTANCE ​ ​ ​ ​ 2. How SWAN can help during this time ​ ​ 3. PACE's Sex Worker Relief Fund ​ as the government and health authorities make more information available. SWAN will update this web page as information becomes available. You can also visit the federal government’s for daily and up-to-date information. NOTE: the information on this web page is subject to change on a daily basis Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website ​ Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ​ - Important Q&A re: CERB Canada Employment Insurance (EI) ​ - "Regular" Benefits - "Sickness" Benefits Canada Child Benefit Top Up (CCB) BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program BC Emergency Benefit for Workers The first funding cycle of our COVID Relief Fund is now closed. SWAN will continue to fundraise and will announce when we are able to invite a second round of applications. GOVERNMENT EMERGENCY FINANCIAL BENEFITS: Federal & Provincial ​ Who is eligible for government emergency financial assistance/benefits? ​ Information is changing on a daily basis, and the way to confirm whether you are eligible for government benefits is to visit the government's website or call a government phone line: ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ NOTE: eligibility for government assistance and benefits can only be determined by the government; however, SWAN staff can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, and your online application if translation is required. ​ NOTE: Government websites and phone lines may be available only in English & French. Contact our Outreach staff directly for assistance with translation. ​ The information below describes the different kinds of government assistance and benefits that are available, and may be helpful in determining your own eligibility to apply. can be used for translation of any website to any other language. Google Translate - government website - Application Phone Line: 1-800-959-2019 ​ FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE ​ ​ CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT ("CERB") If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. ​ More important information about the CERB benefit is here . ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION Information about eligibility is located on the federal government’s CERB information website . ​ Information about how to apply is here . CANADA EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ("EI") "REGULAR BENEFITS" ​ Employment Insurance (EI) provides up to a maximum of 15 weeks of income support to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs), and who are available for and able to work. ​ EI recipients are expected to continue to look for work and EI is discontinued when they secure a new job. "SICKNESS BENEFITS" ​ Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income support for anyone who is unable to work because of medical reasons. Recipients can receive 55% of pre-claim earnings, up to a maximum of $573 per week. ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION ("Regular Benefits" ) Information about eligibility and how to apply for Regular EI Benefits is located on the federal government’s EI website . ​ If you are eligible to apply, here is what you’ll need for your application . ​ ​ You can apply online here . ​ There is a dedicated government phone line for any EI-related inquiries: 1-833-381-2725 . ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION ("Sickness Benefits") Sickness Benefits cannot be applied for without a doctor’s note or medical certificate confirming that you are unable to work because of a medical reason. Qualifying medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine or any other medical condition that prevents you from being able to work. More information about EI Sickness Benefits is available here . Information about how to apply for EI Sickness Benefits is here . CANADA CHILD BENEFIT TOP-UP This top-up benefit is being provided to parents who are eligible for or who already receive a monthly Canada Child Benefit (CCB). ​ The top-up will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May 2020. Parents who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION “We are providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20.” Information about eligibility and how to apply is available on the government’s Canada Child Benefit web page . Return to the Top of this Page ​ PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE ​ ​ BC TEMPORARY RENTAL SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM This program is being made available to people with low to moderate incomes who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but who do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs. ​ “To be eligible, tenants must have experienced an income loss or reduction as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.” ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION . Information about eligibility and how to apply is available on BC Housing’s BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program website ​ If you want to speak to someone in person about this program you can call: ​ Lower Mainland: 778-452-2836 Anywhere in BC Toll Free: 1-877-757-2577 BC EMERGENCY BENEFIT FOR WORKERS This benefit is a one-time, tax-free payment of $1000 to people who have lost income because of COVID-19. ELIGIBILITY & APPLICATION BC residents who have been approved for or are in receipt of the new CERB benefits are eligible for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers. ​ . More information about eligibility and how to apply is available here ​ Beginning 1 May 2020, people can call 778-309-4630 (or toll-free within BC at 1-855-955-3545), Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PDT) for general support or questions. Return to the Top of this Page HOW SWAN CAN HELP AT THIS TIME The first funding cycle of our COVID Relief Fund is now closed. SWAN will continue to fundraise and will announce when we are able to invite a second round of applications. ​ SWAN's COVID Relief Fund ​ SWAN has a limited number of $100-$200 payments available to women who need immediate emergency support. Due to the limited amount of money available, SWAN is able to invite applications only from the im/migrant women SWAN serves. To be fair, we ask a few questions in order to determine greatest need. To be eligible to receive a payment (unless you choose to receive a payment by direct deposit to your bank account). you do not need to provide your legal name or other identifying information ​ Any information SWAN collects as part of our COVID Relief Fund application or disbursement process will be used for these purposes only, and will be destroyed once funds have been distributed. SWAN will use the number of COVID Relief Fund applicants in ongoing fundraising efforts but no identifying personal information will be used in those fundraising efforts. ​ such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or police. NOTE: SWAN is affiliated with government agencies not Return to the Top of this Page PACE SOCIETY'S SEX WORKER RELIEF FUND ​ PACE Society is a sex worker supporting organization in Vancouver. PACE has an emergency relief fund available to sex workers who reside in and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Metro Vancouver ​ Through its relief fund, PACE is able to provide temporary funding assistance of $100 - $200, according to applicant needs and based on PACE’s own assessment process. ​ Applications for PACE’s Relief Fund can be completed and submitted through . SWAN staff can provide translation and/or assist you with filling in the application. PACE's website 中文翻译 Top of this Page

  • SWAN Vancouver | Abuser Alert

    REPORTING AN INCIDENT: IMPORTANT INFORMATION ​ SWAN's Abuser Alert & Information Network is a free, confidential service. ​ SWAN share your name, location, phone number, email or any other of your personal or identifying information with the police, any other authorities or anyone who has subscribed to the Alert Network without your express request and permission to do so. does not and will never ​ The only exceptions to this confidentiality are when we have reason to believe that someone under the age of 19 is experiencing abuse or exploitation, or that someone of any age is at immediate risk of harming themselves or someone else. ​ In order to protect the safety and security of everyone involved in any reported incident, SWAN reviews all the information provided in an Abuser Alert report, regardless of whether a request to forward onto the network has been made or not. ​ SWAN reserves the right to withhold from publishing any information we believe to be false or illegitimate. In the event we receive multiple reports regarding similar incidents that appear to be possibly connected, our staff may contact you for further information. WHO IS AN ABUSER? Any person a worker wants to warn other workers about. It might be someone who: ​ refused to pay, withheld payments, or stole from you attempted to remove the condom, or refused to wear one stalked or harassed you coerced you into doing something you didn't want to to do forced or you to do something against your will physically or sexually assaulted you is physically, emotionally or verbally abusive, aggressive or threatening is an authority figure who mistreats you, or is physically, emotionally or verbally abusive, or aggressive or threatening behaves in any way you define as inappropriate, violent, exploitative or abusive. SWAN’s Abuser Alert system provides im/migrant women engaged in sex work a platform to disclose experiences of violence or injustice with a goal of increasing safety for others. Reports are entered into an SMS messaging system that affords instant distribution. ​ Women can share information regarding violent/abusive clients, non-payments, robberies, police raids, employment or management issues, and problematic intersections with bylaw officers. Submit an Abuser Alert Subscribe to the Alert Network Workers' Resources Support Our Work Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Team - Detailed

    OUR TEAM Our Board Back to Main Menu ALISON CLANCEY Executive Director pronouns: she/her/hers - Alison first joined SWAN as a volunteer in 2009. In 2012 she transitioned into the Coordinator position before stepping into her current role as Executive Director in 2014. Steering collaborative partnerships and connections with sex worker and migrant rights groups, Alison also oversees all aspects of SWAN's mission, campaigns, political advocacy, service provision and day-to-day operations. Her extensive experience providing front-line service and individual and systemic advocacy to sex workers fuels her passion for policy and law reform. ​ Alison holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work, and is known for her engaging community presentations and strategic leadership. ​ In her free time, Alison enjoys riding motorcycle while brewing fearless visions for social justice. ​ info [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu KELLY GO Outreach Coordinator pronouns: she/her/hers - Kelly began volunteering with SWAN in 2016 before stepping into a full-time Outreach Worker role in 2017. In the spring of 2019, she transitioned into her current Outreach Coordinator role and now oversees SWAN’s Outreach and Netreach programs, our outreach volunteers, and our quarterly SWANzine newsletter. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kelly moved to Canada in 2008. She speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and English, holds a Bachelor Degree in International Studies and is currently working towards a degree in Social Work. When she isn’t working or studying, Kelly most enjoys hanging out with her dog. ​ netreach [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu ALICE XIAO Senior Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Alice began volunteering with SWAN in 2016. She worked in several part-time projects for SWAN before stepping into her full time Outreach Worker role in August 2019. A studious intellect and helper at heart, Alice assists with the delivery of SWAN's Outreach and Netreach services. Alice creates and sustains contact with independent workers and provides supports, referrals, accompaniment and advocacy as women's individual needs and situations warrant. Alice speaks fluent English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, holds a Bachelor Degree in International Studies and is currently taking part-time Social Work classes. When she isn't busy with work or her studies, Alice enjoys good books and films, and getting out into nature as much as she can. outreach [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu JANE SHI Outreach Worker pronouns: she/her/hers - Jane first joined SWAN as a volunteer in January 2019 and began working as an Outreach Worker in July 2020. Jane is a queer Chinese settler who lives on the unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her interest in intergenerational healing and storytelling motivates her to fight for a world where love is not a limited resource, land is not mined, hearts are not filched, and bodies are not violated. Outside of SWAN, Jane is a writer, poet, organizer, and editor. ​ Back to Main Menu ANDI WISEMAN Development Manager pronouns: she/her/hers - Following fifteen years of front-line service and executive-level management in Vancouver's addictions and mental health sector, Andi came to SWAN in June 2019. ​ An intersectionally inclusive feminist to the core, Andi is a long-time advocate and grassroots activist for safety, equality and human rights for women and sex workers alike. With a wealth of lived experience, as well as working and academic knowledge, Andi assists with numerous projects and campaigns while innovating new means for advancing SWAN's operational growth, capacity and community engagement. ​ Andi enjoys practicing daily, random acts of kindness with reckless abandon and genuine love, and particularly when reciprocation is guaranteed to never occur. ​ development [at] swanvancouver [dot] ca Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver | SWAN in the Media

    RADIO / PODCAST November 2019 (podcast) - Intravenus SWAN's Executive Director discusses issues facing : im /migrant sex women engaged in sex work and SWAN's work here ​ ​ January 2019 (podcast) - Talking Radical Radio SWAN’s Executive Director Alison Clancey and Jessi Taylor (SWAN’s Research Manager) were interviewed in a segment called “ : Support and Advocacy with Migrant and Immigrant Sex Workers ” ​ . Support Our Work Back to Main Menu PRINT MEDIA 9 March 2020, SWAN's ED weighs in on the harms created by self-proclaimed trafficking experts: " Richmond News - Former teacher addresses human trafficking at Richmond council " ​ 6 February 2020, SWAN weighs in on RIchmond's municipal sex work policies and massage parlour regulations: " Richmond News - Sex and the city: Richmond 'body rub' policies scrutinized " ​ Coverage of 'The Police and Sex Work: Then and Now' conference in Berlin, including SWAN's keynote address: " 8 Aug 2019, Der Taggesspiegel - The Powerful Eye of the Police " ​ 6 July 2017, The Globe & Mail - SWAN and Pivot lawyer Brenda Belak discuss the deeply harmful impacts of Operation Northern Spotlight on sex workers: " Sex-worker advocates call for end to B.C. police sting operations " ​ SWAN and Pivot lawyer Brenda Belak discuss Canada's 2014 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act and subsequent criminalization of advertising sex work: 1 June 2017, The Globe & Mail - " Backpage: Sex workers can find safety in online marketplace " ​ ​ 1 April 2016, The UBC Thunderbird - SWAN weighs in on the impacts of Bill C-36 on municipal law enforcement in Vancouver: " New police approach to help sex workers proves ineffective " ​ 10 Dec 2014, The Georgia Straight SWAN joins Triple X Workers' Solidarity Association of BC and others to respond to the passing into law of Bill C-36: - " Canada's new sex-work laws ramp up risk for workers "

  • SWAN Vancouver | Get Involved

    "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." ​ ~ Margaret J. Wheatly CONNECT Stay on top of all SWAN's latest work, plus news and events from across Canada and around the world that relate to safety, critical analysis of anti-trafficking discourse and policy, rights and freedoms for im/migrant women who engage in sex work; and sex worker rights generally. ​ Like and share, join a conversation, share your wisdom, inspire connection and strengthen community! ​ (Click on any icon to connect) Back to Main Menu VOLUNTEER "SWAN's work is so important because women working in massage parlours and private condos deserve support and care - especially when they face so many barriers from immigration, legal, policing and medical systems. I find connecting with the women face-to-face deeply impactful; these connections directly encourage me to re-evaluate and challenge mainstream notions of sex economies that impose such widespread stigmas." ~ Jane, Volunteer Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities at SWAN Back to Main Menu DONATE SWAN's work centers the voices, experiences and lived expertise of a widely misunderstood sex working community - im/migrant women who work indoors. This marginalized community of women contends with extraordinary political, systemic and cultural barriers and challenges. Your support for SWAN's work is invaluable! It helps us continue to serve im/migrant women and mitigate, shift and change the discourse, laws and stigmas that misdefine, exclude, criminalize and harm them - thank you! Learn more about Giving Opportunities at SWAN Back to Main Menu

  • SWAN Vancouver Society | Anti-Trafficking Forum

    2015 COMMUNITY FORUM / TOOLKIT LAUNCH In October 2015, SWAN hosted an evening of engaging presentations, research and community dialogue aimed at addressing the harms of the anti-trafficking rescue industry. The forum also served as the public launch for SWAN's publication, "Im/migrant Sex Workers, Myths and Misconceptions: Realities of the Anti-Trafficked." The publication is designed to inform the general public, police, health care providers, media, researchers, and other groups about practical ways they can each individually and collectively contribute to ethical anti-trafficking efforts. Next Campaign Back to Anti-Trafficking Gallery Back to Main Menu See Presentations Read Presenter Bios

  • SWAN Vancouver | Our Story

    OUR STORY SWAN grew out of a pilot community health care initiative that extended HIV/AIDS outreach to local massage parlours. During the project, we recognized that women working in massage parlours were dealing with a host of issues that were much broader than sexual health. The concerns that were most important to women in massage parlours were issues related to the law, immigration, and safety among others. At the end of the project, we recognized how important outreach work was and decided to continue working together. In December 2002, the outreach workers formed the Sex Workers Action Network (SWAN). In 2008, SWAN incorporated as a non-profit society. We changed our name to Supporting Women’s Alternatives Network to ensure the inclusion of im/migrant women who do sex work but do not self-identify as sex workers. ​ In 2017, SWAN became a registered charitable organization. ​ ​ In the nearly two decades since its inception, SWAN has cultivated and continues sustaining a unique network within a sex-working community that experiences exacerbated vulnerabilities because of the conflation of anti-im/migrant, anti-sex work and anti-trafficking rhetoric, and the widespread municipal and federal laws and enforcement that result. Support Our Work Back to Main Menu

SWAN's services are free and confidential. 

 

For direct services in English, Mandarin or Cantonese,

call or text 778-865-6343, send an email,

or contact us on WeChat.

 

SWAN operates independently from government, law enforcement and faith-based groups.

With gratitude for the wisdom of all First Peoples, 

we acknowledge that we live & work on the stolen lands

of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  

 

 

 

© 2019 SWAN Vancouver Society / All Rights Reserved.

Charitable Registration # 853176295RR0001