Who do you work with?:
Our current co-chair/educational director/ treasurer is a trans woman and a current FSSW. We provide services to and work with other sex workers- including hose who are trans,m BIPOC, street-involved, HIV +, poor, migrant/undocumented, or those who use drugs.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Jelena Vermilion is a current FSSW of 8 year; she is of trans experience. Among our other members are additional trans sex workers who have equal representation and help to provide guidance for overall projects SWAP creates. We encourage leadership of trans and BIPOC folks.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
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:
In Hamilton, sex workers face a variety of obstacles. Stigma is pervasive, especially for street-involved, trans, and BIPOC workers. There is a larger threat of violence to sex workers among these demographics. We also see barriers for sex workers to access secular employment or housing.
Describe other areas of your work:
Jelena provides training to businesses and organizations to educate folks about the legislative atmosphere in CAnada and globally. As a part of this, SWAP demystifies the differences between sex work and hum an trafficking in sex, while acknowledging the exploitation of wage-labour under capitalism.