Archive for January, 2011
Save Scotland – Respond to Trish Goodman’s Prohibition of Sex Work in Scotland
As mentioned previously, Trish Godman MSP has published a “Consultation Paper” on criminalising the buying and selling of sex, as well as advertising sex workers in Scotland.
Trish invites our comments by 18th February 2011. Or rather, we are invited to attempt to answer HER 8 questions on HOW be best do as she suggests, rather than whether we AGREE or not with what she suggests. Thus, it’s not a real consultation paper, but fait accompli.
Here are the questions, with my answers. You can make up your own answers but whatever you do, please send your response today. Make it clear as to whether you are responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. Send to email@example.com . Responses will be made public and you need to indicate otherwise or grant your consent. Or parts of your response can remain confidential. You need to give both your name and address.
Question 1: Which option do you favour? Please explain the reasons for your choice.
We do not favour any of your options. A professional consultation paper invites criticism and arguments rather than inviting views on which parts of your ideas are less acceptable. Sex work has always flourished and always will. The economy of Scotland depends on it. Without sex workers, foreign companies will not invest here. Sex work is virtually impossible to stop, and if you tried to stop it, the cost would be astronomic (trawling through adverts in National newspapers and websites, raiding every hotel, short-rent flats and all residences in Scotland). We favour the decriminalisation of sex work.
Question 2: What penalties would have a deterrent effect for the purchaser/seller?
The criminalisation of buying sex has not stopped it in Sweden, just forced the trade underground. It is not possible to criminalise clients who see sex workers in private and in secret. Criminalising clients is also discriminatory towards disabled people, on many levels.
Question 3: What are the barriers to policing and enforcing a prohibition on advertising?
Scotland has national papers on sale and national websites on view so it would be impossible to stop the advertising.
Question 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 crime gang members?
How can the publishers of adverts be prosecuted when they live in England and other countries? We object to the way “prostitutes” are talked about in the same way as crime gang members. Most sex workers are independent men and women who are skilled at their work and work hard and responsibly. They are not criminals nor do they rob or otherwise cheat the public or their clients.
Question 5: What are there barriers to policing and enforcing this aspect of the proposal?
1) Public opinion. Most people think that sex work should be decriminalised
2)Money. It would require a huge full-time force and still not be able to stop people buying and selling sex. The danger is that criminalisation would force sex work underground and put both sex workers and clients in danger.
3)The Disability Discrimination Act. It would discriminate against clients with disabilities.
4) The determination of sex workers. They are specialists who wish to continue in their own speciality and it’s doubtful they will not stop just because of such a law change, because they will no longer respect the law. They will just be more secretive and have to take more precautions, being more vulnerable as they will no longer be able to call the police when, for example, in danger of rape or murder.
Question 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?
You could get rid of the criminal element by decriminalising sex work and brothel so that the businesses are run above board, like any other legitimate business
Question 7: What other costs might arise as a consequence of this proposal?
The costs of locking sex workers and clients in prison or other treatment centres. Dealing with street protests, demonstrations and direct action. Court cases. People of high profile being sacked. Clients needing antidepressants and therapy because their sexual outlets will be denied them. Some will commit suicide. Tourists will be deterred from coming to Scotland. International events such as conferences and sports events will not be held Scotland because there would be no brothels or provision of sex work. Businesses will move away. The reputation of Scotland will sink internationally, such as that of Sweden for being a dour and dismal place to set up business or visit.
Question 8: Are there any equality issues that arise from this proposal?
Both male and female sex workers are discriminated against in your proposal. People who pay for sex are discriminated against. The freedom of Scottish people is violated. Disabled people are also discriminated against. Disabled people hire sex workers for a large number of reasons (see 50 Ways Sex Workers help Disabled People on www.tlc-trust.org.uk
Dr Tuppy Owens on behalf of the TLC Trust
I give permission for my name and reply to be published.
The Scottish Government has opened up a consultation regarding Trish Godman’s proposal for the criminalisation of the purchase of sex. This proposal would, if passed, make it a crime for customers to pay for sexual services. Also considered are the criminalisation of activities related to prostitution (e.g. advertising) and also the discussion of what constitutes “payment” (e.g. rent, drugs, debts, food, etc.) The potential impact of this proposal upon prostitutes and other sex workers would be drastic.
The “consultation” document can be downloaded and you can send your comments, see http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/MembersBills/documents/20101122CriminalisationofPurchaseofSex.pdf
The consultation itself (8 questions) can be found at the end of the document. The due date is 18th February.
Please pass this on to anyone you know who would be interested. Every contribution counts.
There are government discussions on stopping all porn from being available on the Internet in Britain, unless people specifically ask for it. This move is to stop children being influenced and “sexualised” by internet porn. Read more on: