At SWANS we value and respect:
SWANS’ mission is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of self-identified women who work or have worked in the sex industry through innovative, holistic, and effective approaches to sexual health, community inclusion, access to services and supports, and to improve the protection of their human rights. We promote safer personal and working conditions through education, advocacy, referral and peer support. We believe that Sex Workers are valuable contributing members of our community and are entitled to the same rights as all other human beings.
Laurentian University’s Women’s Centre is organizing a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
SWANS is absolutely honoured and proud to have been chosen as the recipient organization.
December 7 & 8
Arrive anytime between 12pm-4pm
Laurentian University Campus
Room P 222
We envision a future where sex work is decriminalized and respected as real work. Where all sex workers are able to live free from the risk of violence, discrimination, exploitation, social stigmas, and any other harms so they may enjoy a sense of happiness and social inclusion while being afforded the same rights as all other community members including the rights to life, liberty, security of the person, and equal protection under the law.
We hope for long-term commitments to social change within all levels of government and individual citizens to eradicate systemic issues that create disproportionate levels of poverty, homelessness, health concerns, and substance use within the Sex Work community, so that individuals can make safe, healthy, and informed decisions in their lives.
SWANS began in 2012 as part of a program with Réseau ACCESS Network in order to increase knowledge and support for people living with or at risk of HIV/HEP C within the sex working community. Through this program a small group of women with lived experience in diverse areas of the sex work industry informally organized as the Sex Workers Advisory Network of Sudbury. We came together as people with some shared experiences of isolation, stigmatization, discrimination, and criminalization all in relation to our work. Our intention was to create as stigma-free space where sex workers could come together and discuss the issues, concerns, gaps in services including sexual health, barriers to protection and lack of law enforcement recourse. We all agreed that criminalization was a barrier to support and perpetuated our risks of violence.
Over the past five years, SWANS in partnership with Réseau ACCESS Network, has organized three successful “Building Inclusive Communities with Sex Workers Conferences”, well attended sex worker exclusive educational workshops including speakers training and media training for sex workers, as well as a very successful educational information exchange event for local sex workers and non-sex working service providers.
We have joined the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, and made invaluable connections with other by and for sex worker groups and allied groups across Canada.
Today, SWANS is incorporated as a non-profit organization, and we continue to seek funding to support our work. It is our intention to support sex workers where they are at in terms of their own self-determined needs assessment. We continue to offer educational training and information to service providers who want to make their services more accessible and relevant to sex workers. We are a by sex workers for sex workers organization who has developed strong allied relationships with community members who understand that sex work is work and who respect people with lived experience as the holders of valuable knowledge, wisdom and experience.
Artwork to provoke discussion
The Sudbury Star