Shan Women’s Action Network

2005 Women's Rights Prize

Laureate Profile

Founded in 1999 by a group of Shan women, the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN) helps supply basic services to women and girls and to promote peace and freedom along the Thai-Burma border. Women forced to leave the Shan state and enter Thailand due to civil unrest and brutality by the Burmese military have no legal status. Although driven underground, SWAN continues to provide health services, AIDS educations, crisis support, and other services to these women who are compelled to lead a life of servitude in Thai brothels and to face debt bondage and the threat of physical violence.