SCASE response to Trish Godman’s Private members bill


SCASE Draft submission –

Response to: Consultation on the Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill,  Trish Godman, MSP, February 2011

The Scottish Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (SCASE) :

Ø    works to raise awareness of the harm caused to women through prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation, including stripping, lap dancing, pornography, sex tourism, mail order brides, and trafficking for the purposes of prostitution.

Ø    campaigns for legislative change necessary to: reduce the harm caused through prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation; remove current gender inequality in the law; challenge the behaviour of men who buy sex.

We believe that the focus must be on the demand – the men who assume the right to purchase others for prostitution, commodifying and marketing their bodies. No one has the right to exploit, nor profit from the exploitation of, another person regardless of any form of exchange of money, goods or services.

“Male demand is a primary factor in the expansion of the sex industry worldwide and sustains commercial sexual exploitation, and that the buyer has largely escaped examination, analysis, censure, and penalty for his actions”  (J Raymond)

We support the intention of this Bill to make it an offence to engage in a paid-for sexual activity. This criminalization of the demand should not be used as opportunity to further criminalise those who are purchased for sexual purposes.

We share a clear anti-prostitution stance and do not judge or criticise women involved. The WSP does not deny that some women choose to become involved in prostitution but they represent a minority of the women and girls involved in Scotland. Any legislative approach must be based on the needs and experiences of many women for whom the element of choice is greatly reduced. It is important that we also hear their voices and experiences of women, not just those who have the largest media and online presence.

At the same time, SCASE would lobby for additional measures to make sure that those who have been sexually exploited are fully decriminalised, and for expanding support services to offer specialist interventions to people exit for the long term in a safe way.  This has to take account of trauma and multiple layers of violence they have experienced to overcome the damage caused by it.  This should include drug and alcohol treatment for high numbers of those involved. They need access to opportunities including training, education and employment.

We acknowledge that other factors promote prostitution such as different economic policies; globalization; an organized sex industry; financial and political crisis’s; female poverty preyed on by recruiters, traffickers, and pimps; stereotypes; and women’s inequality all contribute to the rise in global sexual exploitation. These factors, too, are highly gendered. Male demand drives this profitable exploitation so pimps, recruiters, and traffickers seek out a supply of women.

This amendment would help create a contemporary, democratic society in Scotland where women and girls can live lives free of all forms of male violence.  It is a progressive and courageous move recognising that prostitution, like all forms of violence against women, constitutes a barrier to gender equality and so any legislative approach should seek to remove such a barrier. Gender equality will be unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them and is a significant social problem, which is harmful not only to the individual prostituted person but also to society at large.

Response to Consultation Questions:

1) What option do you favour? Please explain the reasons for your choice.

We support Option 2, which would criminalise only the purchaser.

We do not support legislation to further criminalise those “selling sex”, in the belief that the overwhelming majority of those involved in prostitution do so in order to survive, and have already experienced significant neglect, violence and abuse. We consider that those involved should be offered the necessary practical and emotional support to enable them to exit prostitution, rather than being criminalised by our justice system.

2) What penalties have a deterrent effect for the purchaser/seller?

When questioned on what would deter them from buying sex, men interviewed in Scotland identified five key deterrents:

  • Being added to the sex offender register – 89%
  • Spending time in jail – 79%
  • Increase criminal penalties – 72%
  • Having car impounded – 70%
  • Higher fines – 69%

(Challenging men’s demand for prostitution in Scotland, 2008)

We do not see that “seller’ or those exploited through the sex industry should be criminalised but more resources should be available for prevention work and ongoing support to exit.

3) What are the barriers to policing and enforcing a prohibition on advertising?

It is necessary to have clear definitions on what constitutes ‘selling sex’ and ‘sexual services’

Consideration needs to be given to how the legislation can be applied across the many means of advertising, including printed media, websites, social networking sites, telephone and text.

We do not wish to see individuals involved in prostitution being criminalised – rather we want the law to focus on those businesses and organisations that profit from the advertising of sexual services.  In other words it is the publishers who would be responsible for ensuring that their publication did not knowingly advertise sexual services.

Training for police and other criminal justice personnel will be crucial in terms of ensuring that the policy intent, and the longer-term benefits are clearly understood.  The experience of Sweden provides a useful example in that initial reluctance and opposition were overcome by the provision of training and awareness raising about prostitution and trafficking in human beings. (G. Eckberg 2004)  In Sweden the initial criticism of the law as being difficult to enforce ceased and one year after the program began in 2003, there was a 300% increase in arrests.  This is believed to be the result of the investigating officers’ better understanding of the reasons behind the legislation, their deeper comprehension of the conditions that make women vulnerable to becoming victims of prostitution and trafficking, and the development of better investigation methods.

4) What penalties are appropriate for those who advertise brothels or prostitution, bearing in mind these may range from individuals such as prostitutes to organised gang members?

We do not support the criminalisation of individuals who are involved in prostitution in order to survive.  The law should focus on those who profit from the exploitation of others.  However we recognise that some women (or men) who are involved in prostituting may also be responsible for promoting the prostitution of others, for example through promoting another escort service or brothel on their blogs / websites, and in these circumstances it would be appropriate for the law to be applied.

5) What are the barriers to policing and enforcing this part of the proposal?

Barriers will be similar to those mentioned at 3) above.

In addition there is a need to develop an agreed definition of ‘brothel’.

6) What penalties are appropriate for those that facilitate prostitution, bearing in mind these might be individuals such as prostitutes or organised crime gang members?

Whilst we do not support the criminalisation of individuals selling sex, we recognise that some prostituted women may be involved in exploiting others, or in promoting the prostitution of others, and when this is the case it is appropriate that they should face sanctions.

We consider that financial penalties should be on a sliding scale and should take account of a number of factors including the level of profit arising, whether the activity is blatant or extreme, and whether it is a repeat offence.

7) What other costs may arise as a consequence of this proposal?

Funding and resources for –

A public education campaign to publicise the new legislation and to address broader issues, so that the general public can understand the policy intent and the long-term benefits.

Resources must also be invested in support to people wishing to exit prostitution.

8) Are there any equality issues that arise from this proposal?

We consider that the policy intent in this bill is directly linked to the attaining of gender equality.


February 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm 2 comments

Scotland: Don’t be like US

Thanks to SM Berg for writing this article for SCASE.

The world is debating prostitution. In the past fifteen years, sex trafficking has emerged as a critical human rights issue as the problem has become a planet-wide catastrophe in that time. There’s no need to go into details here about how globalization, armed conflicts, sexism and racism teamed up to create the modern sex slave trade because I want to talk about solutions.

Most people’s favorite example country for legalization, The Netherlands, has seen foreign women and children’s bodies flood De Wallen, Amsterdam’s largest red light district (aka prostitution neighborhood) since legalization in 1999.

The prostitution industry’s favorite example country for legalization, New Zealand,  has seen a quadrupling of illegal prostitution in Auckland, their largest city, since country-wide regulations were instituted in 2003.

Led by Sweden’s example in 1999, the countries of Norway and Iceland have changed their laws to acknowledge that prostitution is male violence against women and children. Finland’s legislators proposed a similar law change in 2006 but settled for making it criminal to hire coerced prostitutes, and England followed their half-step one month ago in April 2010.

As usual, the United States hogs more press coverage for several rural counties in a desert state (prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas) than gets accorded to the entire legalized countries of Mexico, Greece, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and every country in South America except Guyana and Suriname.

I live in Portland, Oregon, which readers of the New York Times and other news fit to print know is the US city with the most strip clubs as well as home of the theater that first projected images of Linda Lovelace getting raped in Deep Throat. Libertarians know our state constitution allows for entertainment businesses to have prostitution occur in them as paid acts of free expression. The Hooters at Mall 205 closed after a few months because it couldn’t compete with the topless sports bar across the street.

Way out in the Oregon desert where there’s nothing around for miles but sage and jackrabbits, there’s a place named “Whorehouse Meadow.” Tourist guides and historical plaques make frequent mention of  how ‘colorful’ the wild, wild west was with saloons and brothels. Men moved the necessary livestock West with them building cattle ranches for the beef and rape rooms for the meat.

For the past eight years I have worked against prostitution in Oregon, but only in the past two years have I seen commitments to make improvements. People didn’t just suddenly discover sex trafficking, prostitution went up as the economy went down and we were forced to confront the problem literally brought to our doorsteps by pimps and johns. I live in the worst prostitution neighborhood in one of the worst US cities for sex trafficking, and my neighbors are Portland’s famously tolerant, progressive citizens. But johns are soliciting children on the way home from school, pimps are beating their slaves on the sidewalks, and there are so many used condoms and needles in the community park that before ball games parents must do a sweep of the field.

We’ve just begun to get serious political weight behind the issue. Portland has no shelter for prostitution survivors, leaving only piecemeal outpatient services available. New laws to provide for victims and target traffickers have been proposed, but so far none of the Prostitution Task Force’s recommendations to reduce men’s demands for prostitutes have been put into action. Instead of  addressing that porn-exacerbated problem, a few weeks ago stickers with a trafficking hotline phone number were mailed to every liquor-selling establishment in Oregon. To respect the free speech of liquor license holders, posting the sticker is optional.

Last week, the Scottish Parliament rejected the Swedish model decriminalizing prostitutes and criminalizing punters; pimping is already criminal. Scotland, you prickly thistle, your obstinance has you staying the muddy path of male supremacy. There’s no better time than now to start fixing your cities the right way, and that means the radical way digging up the roots of sexual inequality. Please don’t wait for the situation to get as unbearable as it has gotten here. Ignoring the damage being done by invasive weeds in the spring only makes for more backbreaking work in the heat of summer.

By SM Berg

May 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm 1 comment

Briefing on ‘adult entertainment’ consultation

The Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation:
# works to raise awareness of the harm caused to women through
prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation,
including stripping, lap dancing, pornography, sex tourism, mail order
brides, and trafficking for the purposes of prostitution.
# campaigns for legislative change necessary to: reduce the harm caused
through prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation; remove
current gender inequality in the law; challenge the behaviour of men
who buy sex.
The Scottish Government is once again looking at licensing of lap dancing and
similar activities. The Justice Committee has agreed to take written
evidence on Amendment 516 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill. This
amendment, lodged by Sandra White MSP, seeks to allow local authorities to
apply a specific licensing regime to adult entertainment venues, including
limiting the number of premises in the local authority area that are
permitted to provide adult entertainment.
The full text of this amendment can be found at:
In our view activities such as stripping, lap dancing, pole dancing, and table
dancing are forms of commercial sexual exploitation. We are therefore
writing to urge you to respond to this opportunity. This is an extremely
important amendment, which would, amongst other things, empower Local
Authorities to decide on a local level of provision for lap dancing clubs.
Please read this briefing for information on why this legislation is necessary.
Current licensing.
Current licensing regulations do not provide sufficient controls for lap
dancing and related activities. For example regulations limit both who is
eligible to object to licensing applications, and the grounds on which
objections can be made. This effectively means that it is not possible to
object to the nature of the activity itself. Since we view such activities as
exploitative we are opposed to any regulation that condones or manages
these activities. Local authorities should have the option of refusing to
license these activities because they are exploitative.
These activities are incompatible with work on gender equality and on
violence against women. It makes no sense to sign up to prevention and
awareness work on male violence against women, or to fight for improved
protection for women from sexual assault and sexual harassment, and then
to condone such behaviour under the guise of ‘entertainment’. We cannot
have an equal Scotland so long as women are abused and exploited in this
Definition and use of term ‘entertainment’.
Lap dancing is referred to in the amendment as a form of ‘Adult
Entertainment’. There are forms of entertainment suitable for adults (as
opposed to children), but we are strongly of the view that it is inappropriate
to use the term ‘entertainment’ when referring to exploitation. Whilst we
accept that ‘adult entertainment’ is the commonly used term, it should be
made clear that this is a euphemism designed to disguise the true nature of
these activities, and to normalise sexual exploitation. Activities such as lap
dancing are harmful for the individual women involved and have a negative
impact on the position of all women through the objectification of women’s
bodies. This happens irrespective of whether individual women claim success
or empowerment from the activity.
It is essential to separate sexual activity or ‘titillation’, from exploitative
sexual activity. In our view a sexual activity becomes sexual exploitation if
it breaches a person’s human right to dignity, equality, respect, and physical
and mental wellbeing. It becomes commercial sexual exploitation when
another person, or group of people, achieves financial gain or advancement
through the activity.
Furthermore there is ample evidence to show that commercial sexual
exploitation eroticises women’s inequality, particularly through pornography.
Black, minority ethnic, indigenous and third world women suffer
disproportionally. (See and and
But lap dancing is popular!
The fact that there is a demand for sexually exploitative activities does not
make these activities legitimate: for example there is also a demand for
child pornography. On the contrary, once the idea exists there is pressure
on vulnerable women to become involved. There is evidence that once
involved, there is pressure on women to take part in further sexual activity.
See, for example, the report ‘Profitable Exploits: Lap Dancing in the UK’
Impact of commercial sexual exploitation.
In our view commercial sexual exploitation is harmful to the women involved, to families, to communities, and to society in general. In terms of the impact on ‘performers’, audiences and the public in general, there is a huge amount of information evidencing links between commercial sexual exploitation, drug taking and dealing, and organised crime. See, for example, above websites, and the report ‘A Critical Examination of Responses to Prostitution in Four Countries’ (2003)
Lap dancing as gateway to prostitution.
Scottish research with men who had bought sex in prostitution found that
31% of the men had located accessed prostitution through a lap-dancing
club. 34% of the men interviewed in Edinburgh who bought sex indoors
reported that they had located prostitutes in a lap-dancing club.
Significantly fewer (13%) of the men interviewed in Glasgow had located
prostitutes in lap dancing clubs (chi square (1, N=88) = 5.53, p = 0.02).
Edinburgh currently has seven lap dance clubs whereas Glasgow has four.
Although Glasgow City Council considers lap dancing to be a form of sexual
exploitation, current licensing legislation does not prohibit it. (Challenging
Men’s Demand for Prostitution in Scotland, 2008)
Impact on communities.
Women who live or work near lap dancing clubs have reported harassment
and verbal abuse from men leaving / arriving at clubs. There can be no doubt
that the mixture of explicit sexual ‘dances’, and the availability of alcohol
creates an atmosphere, which is extremely unsafe for women, and that
woman with children, and families will avoid such areas if possible. This
effectively creates city centre areas which are ‘no go’ areas for women and
children. Public attitudes to ‘adult entertainment’ are changing, partly due to
the normalisation of prostitution and pornography in popular culture.
Findings show that younger people are more likely to be in favour of clubs
opening in their neighbourhood than older people, and opposition to them is
greater amongst women (63% opposed) than men (48%) (MORI/AEWG
Research carried out by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce in 2003 found that
three-quarters of city centre business believed that lap-dancing clubs would
damage the reputation of the city; half were concerned about the safety of
their staff in the vicinity of the clubs.
Negative impact on women ‘dancers’.
Women who have worked in clubs report assaults, attempted assaults, and
verbal abuse from men in the audience, and research has shown that a
worrying number of women report being stalked by customers. (See ‘Strip
Club Testimony’ by Kelly Holsopple,
A report ‘Violence and Stress at Work and in the Performing Arts’, by Giga,
Hoel and Cooper, University of Manchester, published by the International
Labour Office, Geneva, 2004, states that “Some dancers, particularly those
employed in “exotic dancing” such as stage dancing, table dancing and lap
dancing report social disillusionment and increased health problems due to:
costume and appearance restrictions, dirty work environments, coercion by
management and customers to perform particular types of dance, sexual
harassment, physical assault, forced sex and the effects of stigmatisation”.
Lap dancing has increased the vulnerability of all dancers. It presents a
potential for direct skin to skin, genital-to-genital, or oral to genital contact
in the guise of dancing. It increases the probability that dancers may be
sexually coerced or assaulted, and blurs the boundary between
entertainment that relies on sexual fantasy and that which involves physical
contact. Although many dancers were supportive of regulating lap dancing,
regulations introduced to date have not helped in reducing the impact of lap
dancing on the lives of dancers. The findings of this study suggest that
there is a need for a change in policy regarding the regulation of strip clubs
and their patrons. (From Erotic /exotic dancing: HIV related risk factors,
Lewis & Maticka-Tyndale, University of Windsor, 1998)
Whilst the sex industry promotes lap dancing as a glamorous and lucrative
dance form, the experience of women dancers is almost always very
different. As one woman said,
“If you’re masturbating someone through his trousers with your arse then
that’s definitely a sexual service. It’s outrageous that lap-dancing clubs are
offering that kind of experience when they only need the same license as a
cafe … No matter what the owners tell you, these places are 100% sex
industry.” (Jenni, quoted in Libby Brooks article, The Guardian, 19th March
Numerous articles and research studies have highlighted the poor working
conditions for women, as for example Nadine De Montagnac reported at a
Westminster parliamentary hearing:
“I have witnessed a lot of things going on and the attitude towards women by
the people in charge is appalling…the women entering the industry are
vulnerable people…they think they will be protected and safeguarded but are
being abused and brainwashed into it…It is a celebrity lifestyle which is sold
to them and they think that being sexy is empowering. You are only
empowered for three minutes when you are on stage; the rest of the time
you are not empowered… you have no rights; there is no sick pay; if you do
not like it you can leave, that is the answer to every complaint.”
(From House of Commons Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture,
Media and Sport Committee, Tues 25th Nov 2008, available at:
Women involved in commercial sexual exploitation report adverse effects on
their mental wellbeing, and these can be both severe and long lasting. It is
widely acknowledged that most women need to disassociate in order to carry
out the unwanted sexual activity: they do so through the use of drugs and
alcohol, and/or by ‘splitting’ themselves off mentally. This is damaging to
women in the long term.
Make your views known to the Justice Committee
The Committee would welcome written submissions on this amendment. (See
here for guidelines Policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and
mandatory committees (pdf 15kb))
The closing date for written submissions is Tuesday 27 April.
Submissions should not normally exceed four sides of A4. The Committee
prefers to receive written submissions electronically in MS Word format.
These should be sent to:
You may also make hard copy written submissions to:
Justice Committee
Room T3.60
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP
The so-called sex industry has expended significant resources on normalising
the abuse of women through activities such as stripping and lap dancing.
Club owners and managers profit from this abuse, whilst, contrary to popular
myth, individual women rarely report either immediate or lasting benefit.
Instead women are left feeling isolated and stigmatised. Furthermore such
activities undermine gender equality and so have a negative impact on all
women in Scotland.
We urge both individuals and organisations to make their views known on this
important equality issue.
Scottish Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation
c/o Women’s Support Project, 31 Stockwell Street, G1 4RZ

April 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm 1 comment

Becoming an advocate

First blog post by a member of SCASE! Thanks to SockFoon for contributing . Looking forward to articles from other members of SCASE about their experiences of activism and opinions on commercial sexual exploitation.

SockFoon C. MacDougall, Independent blogger

I have been curious about human trafficking for years: How can human trafficking still happen in the 21st century?  Who are the traffickers? Why do they traffic? Who are their victims? How do they become entrapped? Until recently, commitment to an extremely busy day job did not allow me to seek answers to these questions in any systematic way. My recent retirement afforded an opportunity to begin exploring the issue in some depth. It was then that I learned about human trafficking’s complexity, monetary volume, profitability, domestic and international nature, brutality, perpetrators, and victims, almost always the most vulnerable in society.

You might well ask why I choose to delve into this bleak subject in my retirement. The answer is simple enough. Human rights, equal opportunity, and social justice are values central to my life. Human trafficking, whether for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and/or organ harvest, is the very antithesis of these principles. It violates the fundamental rights and inherent dignity of a human being, reducing the trafficked to a commodity to be bought and sold.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, a monstrous crime as Ben Skinner aptly puts it. For a sense of this unspeakable horror see, for an example, The Day My God Died, a heartbreaking documentary recounting

“[T]he stories of several Nepalese girls who were forced into the international child sex trade …. The child sex trade is a highly organized syndicate that rivals the drug trade in profitability. The industry has formed a pipeline, which starts in the villages of Nepal and feeds a continuous supply of girls to the urban brothels. Recruiters capture them, smugglers transport them, brothel owners enslave them, corrupt police betray them and men rape and infect them. Every person in the chain profits except for the girls, who pay the price with their lives: 80 percent become infected with HIV” <>.

The documentary is accessible at <>, but be prepared for occasional consumer product advertisements.

Or learn about the horror of modern-day slavery from the efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to bring awareness to the vile conditions under which farm workers slave in Florida’s agricultural industry. The Coalition created a traveling Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum to convey the abuse of the farm workers <>. In an Op/ed piece in the St. Petersburg Times, Bill Maxwell writes:

“The museum, which began touring in Collier County three weeks ago [beginning of March 2010], includes a replica of the 24-foot cargo truck that five field bosses, members of the Navarrette family, used to enslave and brutalize 12 Mexican and Guatemalan farmworkers. Led by Cesar and Geovanni, the Navarrete clan took the workers’ IDs and locked the men in boxes, shacks and trucks on their property. The men were chained, beaten and forced to work on farms in the Carolinas and Florida.”

“A 2008 indictment said the migrants were forced to pay rent of $20 a week to sleep in a locked furniture van, and they were forced to urinate and defecate in a corner of the vehicle. The Navarretes charged the men $5 each to bathe in the backyard with a garden hose. To keep the workers obligated to them, the Navarretes devised drug, alcohol and food schemes to trap the men in debt. The Navarretes were convicted and received 12-year sentences” <>.

These are but two compelling examples; there are thousands upon thousands of others.

I decided to do something about human trafficking with what resources that I have. Because knowledge is fundamental to awareness, advocacy, and research, I decided to create Trafficking Monitor <>, an informational blog on human trafficking to which I post regularly.  To maximize reach, I also tweet the posts on Twitter <>.

Trafficking Monitor has a number of unique features: Breaking News and Realtime Twitter Updates keep information current, Country Focus enables country-specific Internet searches, while Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery Information on the WWW identifies different Internet search tools, such as Google and Crowdeye and different Google entities, such as Google Scholar and Google Blog, to cast the widest net possible on information on human trafficking. To round out Trafficking Monitor, I identified United Nations, inter-governmental, governmental, and private organizations that fight human trafficking and reports, books, and documentaries on the subject. The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu (604 BC-531 BC) once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Trafficking Monitor, a work-in-progress, is my first step. I welcome your comments and suggestions and hope that you would pass along its URL.

If you are outraged and troubled by the evil that is human trafficking or modern day slavery, I urge you to take whatever action that you can to help bring this hidden crime to light. It takes a village to prosecute human traffickers and slavers, protect victims and society, and prevent this heinous crime.

April 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

Feminist Friday – Action for 16 days campaign

Sexualized and objectifying images of women in so called ‘lads mags’ are becoming more and more available in today’s society. Despite industry guidance, retailers such as WHSmith often display these magazines at eye level alongside other magazines. These images are offensive to women and demean our place in society, sending negative messages about our sexual availability, and our physical worth.

As part of the 16 days of action to end violence against women, NUS Scotland Women’s Campaign is organising a ‘Feminist Friday’ in Glasgow on Friday 27th November, to show our objection to these magazines, and the way that they are displayed in newsagents, and we would like you to join us.

We will be meeting at 4:30pm at the steps at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for a short briefing. Materials will be available for you to design your own paper bags to cover up the sexist magazines with, and placards to hold up outside the shop. We will also bring leaflets and a petition. We will then go en masse to start the stunt.

To find out more about the arguments against Lads Mags, and to get your own campaigning ideas, please follow the below link.

Please feel free to design and bring your own paper bags or envelopes and placards, and bring feminist friends family and colleagues along with you. It would be helpful to have an idea of numbers in advance.

For more information please email

November 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment


The Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation:
works to raise awareness of the harm caused to women through prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation, including stripping, lap dancing, pornography, sex tourism, mail order brides, and trafficking for the purposes of prostitution.

Campaigns for legislative change necessary to: reduce the harm caused through prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation; remove current gender inequality in the law; challenge the behaviour of men who buy sexual services.

The Coalition takes the view that prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation are part of a spectrum of men’s violence against women and children, which includes incest, rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. There are clear links between issues such as childhood experience of abuse and neglect, domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, addiction, and women’s involvement in prostitution.

We oppose efforts to categorise prostitution as ‘sex work’. Legalising or legitimising the activity will not remove the harm caused but would simply legitimise that harm. We do not view prostitution as a choice for women, irrespective of age, and believe that it is contradictory to condemn child prostitution whilst condoning or ignoring adult prostitution. Neither do we recognise the false distinctions between forced and so-called ‘free’ prostitution. All prostitution is exploitative of the person prostituted, regardless of the context, or of whether that person is said to have consented to the prostitution. Sexual exploitation eroticizes women’s inequality and is a vehicle for racism; Black women, minority ethnic women and indigenous women suffer disproportionately.

April 13, 2008 at 7:59 pm Leave a comment

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