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Sex buyers law can help curb trafficking in Scotland - CARE for Scotland

Commercial Sexual Exploitation
19 September 2023
Shutterstock 1439614217

A new law criminalising the purchase of sex would bolster anti-trafficking efforts in Scotland, a charity has said.

CARE for Scotland has issued a call for action after Scottish Ministers published a review of strategy on trafficking and exploitation.

The charity worked closely with legislators in Northern Ireland on a groundbreaking sex buyers law - the first law of its kind in the UK.

“Scotland has worked hard to tackle human trafficking over recent years, however for as long as it remains legal for men to pay for sex, Scotland is failing in our duty to tackle a principal driver of trafficking at source", CARE for Scotland Parliamentary Officer Michael Veitch said.

"Prostitution is an inherently exploitative form of gender-based violence and yet is still wholly within the law. The Scottish Government must not back-slide in its previously stated commitment to develop a Scottish model to tackle prostitution, which to be effective must include criminalising the purchase of sex."

"For the sake of the women and children currently being exploited by traffickers, and those who stand to be exploited, this must be done without delay", he added.

Last week, MEPs backed a report on prostitution in the EU, stressing its "impact on gender equality and women’s rights".

The report recognises that prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation exist because there is a demand for them.

It acknowledges that reducing demand is key to prevent and reduce human trafficking and must be done in a way that does not harm women.

And it says states should make it "punishable as a criminal offence to solicit, accept or obtain a sexual act from a person in exchange for remuneration".


Notes for Editors

CARE is a social policy charity, bringing Christian insight to the policies and laws that affect our lives. Contact us:

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation

We believe people were made for purpose, not purchase. Exploitation within the sex industry affects some of the most vulnerable in our society. CARE is working for better laws to protect them.

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