The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on “challenging men’s demand for prostitution” under the framework of the so-called ‘Equally Safe’ strategy.
We are working to mobilise a responses to this consultation with other sex worker-led organisations, including Umbrella Lane in Glasgow, to ensure sex workers’ voices are recognised at the heart of this process. The timing and content of this consultation is very concerning, with sex workers still struggling with the effects of COVID-19. We will be urging the Scottish Government, feminists and other organisations to listen to sex workers’ concerns about the Nordic Model (otherwise known as ‘end demand’) and the consultation before pushing ahead with this agenda. One member of Scot-Pep recently commented to the press: “criminalising clients makes sex workers poorer and therefore more desperate – it means sex workers are pushed to accept clients they might otherwise reject, or to get into cars more quickly, with less time to make a safety assessment. It means workers have to meet clients in darker or more isolated areas, because we have to cater to the client’s fear of arrest and meet him somewhere more hidden. Such a law is a gift to those who want to harm us – it’s a rapist’s charter.”
See more information about the consultation and Scot-Pep’s campaigns here.
Photo: Juno Mac/ SWARM, Sex workers demonstrate outside a parlimentary debate in London on the 4th July 2018, to protest discussion of a UK version of FOSTA (A US law that criminalises the advertising of sex work on the internet) and to draw attention to their campaign to fully decriminalise sex work.