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proposed legislation in scotland - licensed saunas and legalised prostitution

(410 Posts)
weeonion Mon 30-Nov-15 12:32:37

A consultation is currently happening in Scotland to make charges to the laws around prostitution, brothel keeping and pimping. No matter what you think - it would be good to have your voice, experiences and opinions heard in this. They have just extended the deadline to the 8th December so if time has been an issue for you - you now have another week!

Responses prepared electronically should be sent by e-mail to:
Jean.Urquhart.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Responses prepared in hard copy should be sent by post to:
Jean Urquhart MSP
Room M3.20
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP
You may also contact Jean Urquart’s office by telephone on (0131) 348 5052

VestalVirgin Mon 30-Nov-15 13:03:54

I thought that after the legalised prostitution in Germany increased trafficking and generally made everything much worse, other countries would be more sensible.

Apparently not.

HirplesWithHaggis Mon 30-Nov-15 13:08:43

jeanurquharthighlandsandislandsmsp.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/prostitution-law-reform-bill-consultation.pdf

The consultation document. It might be sensible to read it before responding.

sausageeggbacon111 Tue 01-Dec-15 09:47:24

Interesting that in the Foreward she suggests that the Swedish model has failed. She is basing the proposal on the New Zealand model, a lot of research has gone into this proposal and it seems to mirror what Amnesty and UN WHO have put forward.

weeonion Tue 01-Dec-15 12:06:20

Bear in mind that amnesty uk abstained to vote on that policy due to 2 conflicting motions being proposed and passed at AGM.

Also - there is of course conflicting evidence tonsay the swedish model has worked and the new Zealand one has failed to deliver on its stated aims.

I am neck deep in research and policy papers writing my response but ultimately for me it comes down to - is this a job like any other or is it sexualised inequality.

emmwinkl Sat 05-Dec-15 00:33:29

HIV Scotland also support Jean's proposal.

There is no evidence the "swedish model" has worked, all they can come up with is to say that street prostitution has reduced since the year 1999 (which may be attributed to the internet and online escort bookings becoming more popular since then).

The "swedish model" IMO puts sex workers at risk- they are criminalised if they work together and risk eviction if they are working from a home they are renting. Jean's proposal will eliminate these risks and allow groups of up to 4 to work together.

ultimately for me it comes down to this- which model is safest for those working in the sex industry?

I have responded to the consultation in favour of all her proposed amendments.

emmwinkl Sat 05-Dec-15 00:38:28

Page 38 of a report by the UN HIV and the Law Commission:

www.hivlawcommission.org/resources/report/FinalReport-Risks,Rights&Health-EN.pdf

emmwinkl Sat 05-Dec-15 00:42:01

and it also points out criminalisation costs money- money which has to come from somewhere- in Sweden's case there is now less money available for social work.

weeonion Sat 05-Dec-15 08:07:53

Still working on my response with deadline extended.

I don't think anywhere has a model that truly works. Some of the reports I was reading from new Zealand suggest ongoing problems. It doesn't seem like punters have changed their behaviour much.

I ama bit sceptical about UN AIDS tbh - given links with pimps and traffickers.
Also HIV Scotland - hmmmm, who are they representative any more. Seems like anyone can get on their board to deliberately change policy!

emmawinkI Sat 05-Dec-15 11:38:43

And it goes without saying prohibition is not going to be any deterrent at all to violent punters. If a punter doesn't care about the consequences of the laws against assaulting or raping someone (which can carry a prison term), do you really think they are going to care about a law against buying sex (which carries a very small fine in Sweden).

If prohibition deters any clients at all it will be some of the "safe" clients who are deterred, meaning the pool of clients they have remaining are more dangerous as a whole, and since this means sex workers have less customers they may end up forced to accept bookings from clients they may otherwise have declined.

"I ama bit sceptical about UN AIDS tbh - given links with pimps and traffickers. "

Excuse me? Do you have a source for this serious allegation?

emmawinkI Sat 05-Dec-15 11:41:38

"Also HIV Scotland - hmmmm, who are they representative any more. Seems like anyone can get on their board to deliberately change policy!"

how silly

VestalVirgin Sat 05-Dec-15 11:52:52

And it goes without saying prohibition is not going to be any deterrent at all to violent punters. If a punter doesn't care about the consequences of the laws against assaulting or raping someone (which can carry a prison term), do you really think they are going to care about a law against buying sex (which carries a very small fine in Sweden).

Yes, yes they will. Because the reason why they don't care about consequences when they rape, is because the woman will first have to prove the rape, which is near impossible.

Being caught buying sex, on the other hand, means instant fine.

And your worries about "safe" clients are actually proof that you are aware prostitution is rape. You acknowledge that the women have no other option.

If they could just go get a job as top manager, would they not just give up prostitution, as it is no longer a good way to make money?

Obviously any government aiming to combat prostitution must first and foremost combat poverty.

emmawinkI Sat 05-Dec-15 12:42:45

"And your worries about "safe" clients are actually proof that you are aware prostitution is rape. "

No it's not.

Prostitution is not rape. Sex workers have the right to say no just like anyone else. They have the right not to accept bookings and even if they do meet up with a client they have the right to say no to sex and they have the right to end the booking whenever they want.

"first and foremost combat poverty."

Then why isn't Scotland doing this? Scotland has tried several times over recent years to push through criminalisation which would only make matters worse.

Instead of criminalisation (such as the swedish model) we need a model which keeps workers safe while at the same time looking at poverty.

"Yes, yes they will. "

From 1999 to 2012 (the year of the UN report) only 2 clients have been convicted in court of buying sex in Sweden? Yeah, really powerful deterrent there.

emmawinkI Sat 05-Dec-15 12:45:59

"Being caught buying sex, on the other hand, means instant fine. "

If someone has money to buy sex, I dare say a small fine isn't going to hit them hard.

It will probably be much harder on the sexworker if she was found to be working with others, or was working from somewhere she rents.

But what is your priority? Do you really give a shit about the safety of sexworker? I can't help get the impression you just love the idea of clients getting small fines you are happy for sexworkers' safety to be put at risk.

emmawinkI Sat 05-Dec-15 12:46:11

"What's that? A sexworker in Sweden just got a criminal record for working with another sexworker and was also made homeless? But the client she was with got a little fine?? The Swedish model is a success!!! Hooray!!!"

VestalVirgin Sat 05-Dec-15 13:50:59

Prostitution is not rape. Sex workers have the right to say no just like anyone else. They have the right not to accept bookings and even if they do meet up with a client they have the right to say no to sex and they have the right to end the booking whenever they want.

That right will help them sooo much if they need to money to feed themselves ... good joke. No, actually not, its not funny.

Either women get into prostitution because it is so much fun - then banning prostitution will not mean that women become homeless or destitute - or they get into prostitution because they are poor and have no way out, in which case it IS rape.

NewLife4Me Sat 05-Dec-15 14:01:16

Prostitution isn't rape at all, what a silly comment.
I know prostitutes can be raped the same as any other woman and the risks may even be higher, I don't know.
But consensual sex is not rape.
I have known prostitutes who did so to fund a lavish lifestyle for their children. They aren't all down and out and feel like they don't have any choice.

VestalVirgin Sat 05-Dec-15 14:23:10

I have known prostitutes who did so to fund a lavish lifestyle for their children. They aren't all down and out and feel like they don't have any choice

So, what would they do if pimps and johns were punished? How would this negatively impact them, other than maybe forcing them to look for a job that doesn't get them as lavish a lifestyle?
(And a lavish lifestyle is not a fundamental human right.)

NewLife4Me Sat 05-Dec-15 14:42:16

Vestal

The ones I knew/know don't have pimps or Johns and their business comes from word of mouth.
They have built up their business, only take on recommendation and earn far more than top managers I know.
Their dc are in private schools, mortgages paid off etc.

HermioneWeasley Sat 05-Dec-15 14:51:19

The idea that was are legalising using women as wank socks makes me feel ill. What a fucking message.

weeonion Sat 05-Dec-15 15:09:32

Emmawinkl - cant to links on phone but given the UN AIDS policy was heavily influenced by NSWP whose director was jailed earlier this year for trafficking, I think the links can be found.

And yep - I am somewhat sceptical about HIV Scotland and I know other sexual health / HIV orgs are not so happy with their recent statements re jean urquharts bill without full consultation.
And yes - we all know it is a strategic move to get defenders of sex industry onto the boards of civic society orgs to influence policy. It has happened with HIV Scotland.

Why am I silly in saying that??

VestalVirgin Sat 05-Dec-15 15:15:54

@NewLife4Me: So, they would not suffer at all if it were declared tomorrow that all johns will be punished?

Women everywhere would rejoice that their bodies are no longer considered a commodity that's for sale, and some few prostitutes who have lots of money on their bank accounts would have to find a new job?

Then ... let's do that!

vesuvia Sat 05-Dec-15 15:16:39

emmawinkI wrote - "A sexworker in Sweden just got a criminal record for working with another sexworker and was also made homeless? But the client she was with got a little fine"

The Swedish Model isn't perfect. For example, sanctions against punters in the Swedish Model could be made much tougher, but weak sanctions against punters are a result of lobbying by punters, pimps and madams, who place the welfare of the men who abuse prostitutes above everything except the financial income of pimps and madams.

If you feel so strongly about homeless Swedish prostitutes, perhaps you could finance a housing charity that gave these women a rent-free home and less financial pressure that could enable them to exit prostitution. I suspect, however, that you only pay disingenuous lip-service to caring about homeless prostitutes, and only in countries where the Swedish Model operates, for ammunition in your attempts to undermine the Swedish Model.

If you actually genuinely cared about homeless prostitutes, you could extend the housing charity into prostitution-friendly countries where the Swedish Model has not been adopted e.g. Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands, which have a larger problem of homeless prostitutes than Sweden. Don't forget the huge number of homeless prostitutes in India, another place without the Swedish Model.

weeonion Sat 05-Dec-15 15:17:48

Emmawinkl - surely women in prostitution currently have the right to say no to a punter, have the right to refuse sex and have the right to refuse a booking? If not, who is denying them those rights?

weeonion Sat 05-Dec-15 15:23:37

Plus, lets be honest - the women pushing for this in Scotland are at the high end of the market and do not face the same levels of social exclusion as many many other Scottish women in the sex industry. One of them had Max Clifford as her press agent for a while and obviously has had media training.
Not quite on the same level as women still involved in saunas, having to deal with some pretty dire conditions.

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