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Sex workers’ anger at not being heard by Holyrood

Sex workers held a demonstration  in Glasgow last year.  Picture: Ian Rutherford

Sex workers held a demonstration in Glasgow last year. Picture: Ian Rutherford

SEX WORKERS have complained they are being excluded from a Holyrood meeting to discuss legal moves to criminalise clients.

SCOT-PEP, which promotes sex workers’ rights, say it has been barred from today’s meeting despite having been previously invited to give input into the debate. The charity opposes a proposal by Labour’s Rhoda Grant to make it an offence to pay for sex, which the MSP says will reduce the demand for prostitution.

Laws already apply in Scotland to soliciting and loitering, such as kerb crawling.

An attempt to fast-track The Purchase of Sex Bill was rejected at Holyrood in 2012 and it was put to consultation. Ms Grant said the planned meeting is for those who support the principles of the proposed legislation and she is happy to meet the group for a separate discussion.

According to SCOT-PEP, criminalising clients hampers sex workers’ ability to screen clients for their own safety.

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