Our Story

Who we are

At Pivot, we believe that poverty and social exclusion are not inevitable. 

In 2001, we opened our doors in response to a health and human rights crisis in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Since then, our lawyers have worked in partnership with marginalized people and grassroots organizations to challenge legislation, policies, and practices that undermine human rights, intensify poverty, and perpetuate stigma. We strategically focus our efforts on the most tangible human rights in order to improve the immediate situation of the people we work with, while creating lasting change that resonates across the country.

What we do 

Pivot works in partnership with communities affected by poverty and social exclusion to identify priorities and develop solutions to complex human rights issues.  Our work is focused in four policy areas: police accountability, health and drug policy, homelessness, and sex workers’ rights.   

We combine strategic litigation with high-impact public education and advocacy campaigns to maximize our effectiveness. Our deep collaboration with marginalized people and grassroots movements, combined with our unique approach to social change, makes Pivot the only human rights organization of its kind in Canada. 

Our impact

Alongside our clients, allies, and supporters, we are shifting policies, changing attitudes and paving the way for a more just and inclusive Canada. Together, we have achieved many important human rights victories. 

  • We have protected the constitutional rights of sex workers by successfully challenging federal legislation that puts their lives in danger.
  • We have worked with vulnerable people who use drugs to breakdown legal barriers to life-saving harm reduction and drug substitution treatments.
  • We have supported victims of police misconduct and excessive force to stand up for their rights and spark changes in policing practice.
  • We have helped homeless people secure important legal decisions confirming their right to shelter themselves from the elements and make equal use of public space.

There has been a lot of progress, but there is more work to be done. Join our email list to keep up to learn more about the issues you care about, keep up-to-date on Pivot's campaigns, and find out how you can get involved.