SNP Vote in Favour of Criminalising the Purchase of Sex

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CARE for Scotland welcomes the move today by the SNP to endorse the Nordic approach to prostitution by criminalising the purchase of sex. The motion was proposed by Ash Denham MSP and seconded by Fiona Broadfoot. Fiona herself is a survivor of prostitution.   

Prostitution is an exploitative trade and therefore it is hugely encouraging to see the SNP adopt a resolution supporting the policy of criminalising the purchase of sex.

At the SNP’s spring conference today its members recognised the success of the ‘Nordic’ model, which has been proven to reduce demand for prostitution by putting the onus onto the buyer. This model has been implemented in Sweden, Norway, Iceland and more recently in Canada, Northern Ireland and France. The Republic of Ireland adopted similar legislation in a landslide vote just last month

The SNP Conference voted to adopt the development of a Scottish model to tackle sexual exploitation, which would make it a criminal offence to purchase sex but also to decriminalise the selling od sex and to offer appropriate support to those wishing to exit prostitution. It sends a clear message that violence against women will not be tolerated in Scotland.  

CARE for Scotland Parliamentary Officer, Dr Gordon Macdonald said:

“The SNP endorsing this policy is a huge step forward for Scotland in tackling the exploitative sex trade”

“CARE welcomes this progressive move by the SNP and looks forward to them implementing this law”

“It’s great to see so many MSPs and members of the SNP champion a policy that has been proven to reduce demand and help vulnerable women”

“With neighbouring countries putting in place greater protections in law to curb sexual exploitation than Scotland currently has, CARE is encouraged that the SNP feel that it is vital to do the same. If the Scottish Government does not now bring forward legislation to criminalise the purchase of sex, criminal gangs will move their activities into Scotland as both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have introduced such legislation.”

"A Scottish sex buyer law will lead to a reduction in human trafficking into Scotland for the purposes of sexual exploitation. We ask the Scottish Government to commit to bringing forward a Bill to criminalise the purchase of sex in line with the SNP's new policy. " 


Notes to the editor:

For more information please contact Rachael Adams – /020 7227 4731 / 07581 153693

CARE has long advocated for better protections for women leaving prostitution and also for Scotland to criminalise the purchase of sex.

SNPs Spring conference agenda here, see point 9 for the motion on Prostitution, page 29

Introducing laws to criminalise the buyer of sex addresses the inequality, harm and exploitation that is at the heart of prostitution. It also holds those who drive it – the buyers – responsible for their actions.

Recent reports by the Scottish government on prostitution:

Evidence Assessment of the Impacts of the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex: A Review, which can be accessed at the following link:

Exploring Available Knowledge and Evidence on Prostitution in Scotland via Practitioner-Based Interviews, which is available at the following link:

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