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Community mobilisation and capacity building

We build the capacity of national and local sex worker-led initiatives and their allies to promote and advocate for human rights- and evidence-based policy and programming, by:

  • Enabling exchange of experience and learning between SWAN members through regional convening and meetings, webinars, social media channels, organising mentorship and internship programs;

  • Coordinating responses in the case of emergency situations and  fundraising opportunities;

  • Providing training and technical assistance to members in their community mobilisation work:

Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) roll-out and capacity building

The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) is the normative  guideline for effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers. The tool is centred around community empowerment, as the most significant criterium for meaningfully involving sex workers in all aspects of programming, implementing and monitoring, as well as  decision-making processes. SWAN has been  implementing this capacity-building program as part of the Sex Worker Networks Consortium since 2015. The consortium is led by NSWP and funded by Robert Carr Fund.

The goal of the SWIT roll out and capacity building program is to:

  • Improve sex workers’ access to quality rights-based services and programs;

  • Increase influence of sex workers, regional networks and the consortium to make changes with regards to HIV and human rights issues;

  • Strengthen capacities of sex workers in their fight against legal oppression and criminalisation;

  • Influence donors, program implementers and policy makers to support rights-affirming programs and policies;

  • Promote movement building in countries from the region where no sex worker led organisations exist.

The SWIT program is implemented in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, North Macedonia, Russia, Armenia, Serbia.


Sex Workers Network Consortium – Global Fund capacity building program: Making the Global Fund work for sex workers

The overall objective of the Global Fund Capacity Building program is:

Sex worker communities, who face extreme stigma and discrimination in their societies as a result of marginalisation and criminalisation, will have strengthened capacity to effectively and safely engage in the development, implementation and oversight of Global Fund grants and related processes at national and regional level.

Priority program objectives are:

  • Regional networks and community experts are equipped to provide technical assistance and support to sex worker-led organisations in understanding and engaging in Global Fund related national and regional processes.

  • Increased knowledge and capacity within sex worker-led organisations and sex worker communities to effectively engage in Global Fund related national processes;

  • Increased understanding, knowledge and capacity within sex worker-led organisations around transition processes and impact upon the sustainability of rights-based community-led sex worker programming;

  • To enable meaningful engagement of sex worker communities in  the development of national, regional and global responses to HIV and TB;

  • Strengthening partnerships and alliances with other key population-led organisations and networks at global, regional and national level;

This program was implemented in 4 countries of the region: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Ukraine. 

EECA Cities Initiative Program

In the period between 2017-2019 SWAN was involved in EECA Cities initiative program, led by Alliance for Public Health (Ukraine), AFEW International (Netherlands), Contact Netz/Licit and Stop TB Partnership under technical guidance of UNAIDS EECA office with funding of The Global Fund.

Within this program SWAN advocated for involvement of sex workers in the project on regional and municipal level and directly supported communities and community mobilisation in five cities: Almaty (Kazakhstan), Balti (Moldova), Tbilisi (Georgia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Odessa (Ukraine).



We advocate for regional and global stakeholders to increase the meaningful involvement of sex workers and address their needs in t programming around rights and health in the CEECA region by:

  • Providing evidence based data through establishing human rights violations documentation projects (HRADP);

  • Engaging with CEDAW – shadow reporting on sex workers’ human rights violations and follow up national advocacy;

  • Preparing open letters, petitions, submissions and mobilising regional support for national and regional advocacy;

  • Supporting sex worker led groups with drafting advocacy strategies, advocacy tools and reports;

  • Making the voices of sex workers heard and influential through skills building and supporting participation of sex worker activists at diverse advocacy events, conferences, dialogues, panels and meetings;

  • Providing materials and tools for advocacy (producing publications, reports, guidances, community of learning web site);

  • Providing safe space and platforms for dialogue, sharing experiences and learning from each other (fb group, list-serv, direct meetings);

  • Building coalitions/networks/joint platforms on national and regional level for advocacy purposes;

  • Building solidarity with regional key population networks and addressing intersectional issues and needs;

  • Consulting with sex workers to build consensus on priorities, demands or communication with relevant stakeholders;

  • Mapping of sex worker-led initiatives and their capacities, needs and involvement in decision-making structures (i.e.CCMs);

Network building
and strengthening sex work leadership in the region

We work toward establishing SWAN as a sustainable, well-governed network responsive to its members’ needs by:

  • Maintaining good governance of SWAN as a sex worker-led network by maintaining SWAN’s status as a sex worker-led organisation and maintaining accountability to members by regular reporting, sharing and communication;

  • Encouraging and inducing new people to become (management committee) MC members and supporting sex work regional leadership;

  • Increase the portion of the Secretariat staff that are sex workers and build staff capacities as needed;

  • Improving communication and increasing visibility about the needs and achievements of SWAN and its members;

  • Ensuring sustainable funding through enhanced fundraising efforts and diversification of funding sources for regional leadership and advocacy.

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