Drug policy in Canada is in desperate need of reform. Effective drug policy must empower drug users to take measures to protect their health and to reduce the harms associated with drug use. We believe that in the interest of health and human rights, the criminalization of addiction must be replaced with evidence-based policies that include effective systems of health care provision and drug regulation. Taking our lead from drug users themselves, we work for changes that will meet the most pressing needs of people living with addictions, including timely access to a range of harm reduction, drug substitution and treatment options in their own communities.
Hope in Shadows is an innovative community engagement project that creates positive and meaningful interactions between residents from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and people from other neighbourhoods in the Lower Mainland and beyond. Each year, winning photos from the Hope in Shadows photography contest are featured in a calendar that local residents can sell on the street through our vendor program. Hope in Shadows demonstrates that meaningful employment opportunities positively contribute to the well-being and dignity of people impacted by poverty and marginalization.
When adult sex work is criminalized, sex workers experience decreased control over the conditions of their work and they are subject to increased violence and discrimination. Pivot’s commitment to the decriminalization of adult sex work is informed by our work with sex workers from the Downtown Eastside, across Canada and around the world. Decriminalization is a necessary step to protecting the safety and rights of sex workers by ensuring that they have full access to health, safety and human rights. In addition to law reform, Pivot is also committed to challenging oppressive social conditions that constrain women's economic options. These social conditions include poverty, homelessness, addiction and colonization. All sex workers deserve to have their choices respected and be able to work safely, without fear of violence, discrimination and social stigma.
We believe that homelessness is a problem that can be solved. With up to 300,000 people across Canada without a safe place to call home and an annual price tag that exceeds $2 billion, governments can no longer afford not to invest in a lasting solution to this country's housing crisis. Our housing campaign combines legal action with political advocacy and public engagement. The overarching goal of Pivot's housing campaign is to establish a constitutional right to housing in Canada. Locally, we work to protect the rights of homeless people and low-income tenants.
The police occupy a uniquely powerful role in our society. For people who are marginalized as a result of poverty, disability or ethnicity, that power is often experienced as oppressive and unaccountable. Pivot works toward an accountable system of policing that is responsive to the needs of marginalized communities. Through our policing campaign we are working toward an end to police investigations of allegations of police misconduct. Pivot also looks for opportunities to promote dialogue between officers and the communities they police. Pivot actively monitors the impacts of BC’s growing private security industry on marginalized communities and works to ensure greater accountability within the industry and to curtail the spread of private security patrols on public space.