MSP: Prostitution rules will not put women at risk

File photo of Rhoda Grant MSP. Picture: Jane Barlow
File photo of Rhoda Grant MSP. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SUPPORTERS of a policy aimed at criminalising people who pay for sex want Scottish politicians to back the Swedish model, which is claimed to have cut prostitution by half.

Rhoda Grant MSP, who is seeking to bring a bill, believes she has growing support in Scottish society. Of almost 953 consultation responses, 758 were supportive, including from the Church of Scotland, Glasgow City Council, NHS Scotland, Rape Crisis Scotland, Victim Support Scotland, White Ribbon Scotland and Zero Tolerance.

Concerns have been raised that criminalising the paid for sex, and putting the focus on the those who spend, will drive the practice underground and put vulnerable women at greater risk.

However, supporters say this has not been the Swedish experience.

Ms Grant, a Scottish Labour MSP, said: “I have been delighted that such a wide range of civil society in Scotland voiced their supported for my bill and that the consultation provided the opportunity for individuals previously involved prostitution to voice their support without fear of attack.

“However, I have been disheartened there have been so many misrepresentation of the facts around the bill.”

Since bringing in the law in 1999, Sweden has seen prostitution fall by 50 per cent.

It also has the lowest number of sex-trafficking victims in Europe, according to Abolition Scotland. Neighbouring Norway has four times more.