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Board Member, Trustee

The Organisation:

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) advocates for the human rights and safety of sex workers on the island of Ireland. SWAI is dedicated to decriminalisation, destigmatisation, and community development through outreach, changes in policy and legislation, and increased visibility of sex work in society. 

SWAI is a frontline, sex worker-led and community-focused non-governmental organisation in Ireland. We understand ‘sex workers’ as anyone engaged in transactional sexual services indoor, outdoor, and online – including but not limited to street workers, brothel workers, strippers, escorts, those working in massage parlours, online content creators, and pro dommes. Within this definition, we recognise differences in gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity, migratory status, sexuality, and how these may influence one’s work experiences and definitions of self in relation to sex work (working girl, prostitute, entertainer, dancer, gigolo, masseuse, etc).

SWAI believes in full decriminalisation, human rights for sex workers, equality, confidentiality, bodily autonomy, freedom of movement and migration, inclusion, anti-capitalism, and anti-white supremacy. We have a strict policy of not outing sex workers.

The Role:

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) seeks applications for appointment as directors of its Board, who are Trustees and volunteers. 

The Board is made up of six to seven directors, including three officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer).

For Board directors, a range of skills are sought, both within and outside the community development sector, to devise and implement a strategy of advocacy, education, and research in relation to the advance of human rights for sex workers, and to govern the organisation, as a company limited by guarantee and not-for-profit NGO.

Responsibilities will include the following:

  • Providing input to the strategic direction of SWAI and contributing with insight, oversight, and experience in strategic planning in the sector 
  • Policy formation, planning and implementation as required 
  • Governance responsibilities

Essential Skills/Qualities required for the role:

  • An understanding of and commitment to SWAI’s objectives, in particular advocacy and education in relation to the advance of human rights for sex workers
  • Commitment to the highest levels of governance

Desirable Skills/Qualities/Profile required for Board members:

  • Persons with experience in sex work, indoor, outdoor, or online
  • Persons with experience as Chair, Treasurer, or Secretary
  • A deep appreciation and knowledge of the community development sector
  • An understanding of horizontal, non-hierarchical organising
  • An understanding of the current landscape in relation to sex work in Ireland, both in policy and legal frameworks and in the community
  • Persons with experience in finance; research; accounting; administration; or
  • Practising or retired academics, solicitors, barristers, mental health professionals, social workers, in Ireland or Northern Ireland

General duties of a Trustee:

  • Comply with the organisation’s governing documents
  • Ensuring the organisation is complying with its purpose for the public benefit 
  • Acting in the best interest of the organisation 
  • Act with reasonable care and skill 
  • Manage the assets of the organisation 

Term:

The vacancy will be appointed by co-option on and with effect from 15 February 2023. The term will last until the next Annual General Meeting (September 2023), at which there is a possibility of election for a subsequent term of at least one year.

Board Meetings:

There will be 6 board meetings per year. There will also be monthly team meetings that board directors are requested to attend. Board and team meetings are typically held online.

Diversity:

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland is committed to diversity in appointments to the Board and team, in terms of gender; age; ethnicity; sexual orientation; the inclusion of sex workers and those involved in community development; geography in terms of residence or place of business on the island of Ireland (including both legal jurisdictions).

The Nomination Committee, led by the Chair, has been asked to have regard to the skills and diversity on the Board and to recommend appointments, where possible, on the basis of bringing the Board towards a balance ensuring the highest level of diversity possible. 

We particularly welcome applications from current or former sex workers.

Application Deadline:

Applications should be made to board@swai.eu by 15 January 2023 and will be treated strictly in confidence. Please include in your application previous board experience (if any), a short statement outlining your motivation for wanting to join the SWAI Board of Directors, and, if you wish, your status as a sex worker (if any).