SWING (Service Workers in Group)

Location

Bangkok
Thailand
Contact email: 
tee_swing@yahoo.com
Who do you work with?: 
SWING works with sex workers of all genders, cultures and nationalities, across three (3) peer-led drop-in centers in tourist "hot-spots" of Thailand. SWING's work includes engaging with highly marginalized sex workers, including HIV+ sex workers, sex workers who lack access to stable accommodation, sex workers who use currently illicit drugs, and migrant sex workers.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
Over 80% of SWING' staff self identify as current or former sex workers. Membership to SWING (which is currently made up of many thousands of sex workers across SWING's 3 centers) is only available to former or current sex workers.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?: 
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face: 
Sex workers face difficulty in accessing self-health healthcare, as many state-funded health clinics are not open during hours accessible to sex workers, or are located in districts far from sex working areas. Migrant sex workers are are not currently covered under the Thai Universal Health Care Scheme and the price of ARVs are prohibitively expensive. Sex workers face stigma and discrimination from broader society. Sex work is criminalized and is not recognized as a legitimate occupation.
Describe other areas of your work: 
SWING facilitates nightly peer outreach to a wide variety of sex work venues and spaces. SWING facilitates peer-led educational programs through its drop-in centers, including English classes and high school certification. SWING also facilitates a self-funded Care and Support program for HIV+ sex workers, which provides material and peer psycho/social support to HIV+ sex workers. Two of SWING's centers (Bangkok and Pattaya) offer rapid HIV/STI VCT with peer pre- and post counseling.