CAMPAIGNERS calling for the decriminalisation of prostitution in Scotland took to the streets of Glasgow yesterday for a five-day festival focusing on the sex industry.
The Sex Worker Open University will run until Wednesday and includes a public debate on laws and policies affecting sex workers.
The demonstrators are campaigning against laws restricting sex work and attempts to criminalise men who buy sex.
Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is aiming to bring forward new legislation that would make it an offence to attempt to buy sex. The campaigners outside the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Glasgow’s West End yesterday held placards reading: “Rhoda! Don’t erode our rights!”
Jay Levy, a PhD student at Cambridge University, was among those due to speak this weekend and claims research in Sweden has shown new anti-prostitution laws there have failed to have any impact on the trade.
“Although the law has failed to diminish levels of prostitution, the stigma, danger and violence in sex work have increased as have difficulties with authorities and service and healthcare providers.”
The festival is part-funded by the Edinburgh-based sex worker support charity Scot-Pep.