- Running two centers for women in crisis
- Provision of emergency assistance to migrant women and children in crisis (access to health services, clothing and food)
- Networking with other local organizations to provide legal and other support for emergency cases
- Conducting handicraft-production and other vocational trainings
Due to the lack of refugee camps along the Shan border in Thailand, the estimated over 200,000 Shan refugees fleeing to Thailand since 1996 have had to survive mostly as illegal migrant workers. Their illegal status makes them extremely vulnerable to exploitation, especially vulnerable are girls and women. After its formation in 1999, SWAN was repeatedly asked to assist Shan refugee/migrant girls and women in crisis.
In response to these requests and with support from the Foundation for the People of Burma, SWAN in 2001, began running a Women's Crisis Support Centre (WCSC) in Chiang Mai. In late 2003, SWAN set up an additional women's crisis centre in the Fang district. These crisis centres have assisted women from various border areas, Chiang Mai and other parts of Thailand. Assistance has included the provision of food, clothing, shelter and access to health and legal services (often in coordination with other NGOs providing services). Counselling services have also been provided, and women staying at the shelter have been given basic skills training in literacy and handicraft production.
SWAN has also organised a series of workshops along the Shan-Thai border for four refugee communities that covered gender issues, violence against women and basic counselling. This was to provide local women with the skills to directly assist survivors of violence in their communities, and act as peer educators on violence against women. By developing the skills of these women and linking them up to existing support networks, it is aimed to develop local crisis support mechanisms to respond to the issue of violence and sexual assault in their communities.