The Scottish Government is running a consultation on “challenging men’s demand for prostitution”. This is very concerning for sex workers in Scotland as it could be the first step in introducing the Nordic model north of the border.
Such a move would also increase the likelihood of a Nordic-model-style law in England and Wales, as if Scotland joined Northern Ireland in criminalising clients, pressure would grow on the remaining nations of the UK to follow suit. This consultation should therefore be of concern to everybody who cares about sex worker rights across the UK (and beyond).
Scot-Pep, a sex worker rights organisation in Scotland, has released guidance on how to respond to the consultation. You can read that guidance here. You do not have to be based in Scotland or the UK to respond – responses can come from anywhere in the world. We would urge all sex worker groups and grassroots feminists groups or any group that supports sex worker safety to read the guidance and respond to the consultation. Even just three short paragraphs on who your organisation is and why you do not support the Nordic model, and instead support full decriminalisation, would be extremely helpful. Scot-Pep have also produced a tool to help individuals fill out the consultation. This tool enables you to complete the process very quickly – even in under two minutes. However, please edit the template a little bit – write just a few sentences about who you are and why you do not support the Nordic model. This makes your response much, much more effective. You can find Scot-Pep’s tool here.
Sex worker rights groups have been using the hashtag #NotEqualNotSafe. We would encourage you to use this hashtag on social media when you share these links. Talk to people in your networks and communities about why they should fill in the consultation, and send them Scot-Pep’s guidance or tool. The deadline for responding is December 10th.