Expert group on challenging demand for prostitution meets
An expert group convened to help design the principles of a new model to challenge men’s demand for prostitution met for the first time today.
The model aims to reduce stigma and criminalisation experienced by women and encourage better access to services and support.
The membership of the short life working group includes representatives from key bodies including COSLA, the NHS and Public Health Scotland.
Third sector representatives include Scottish Women’s Aid, the Encompass Network and the Violence Against Women Partnership Network.
The Scottish government has also published a national tender for new research to ensure the model takes account of those with experience of prostitution and to improve access to support services.
Community safety minister Ash Regan said: “It is fitting that the first meeting of this group is held during the annual UN 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence and I am very grateful to everyone taking part in this important piece of work.
“Men’s violence against women takes many forms and the definition within Equally Safe, which the Scottish government works to, includes prostitution.
“The work which this group will feed into represents an important commitment within our Programme for Government to effectively tackle and challenge men’s demand for prostitution.
“Keeping women safe must be our overarching goal whilst challenging men’s demand for the purchase of sex. I believe a model can be designed to effectively deliver on both.
“My vision is of a Scotland where all women and girls are treated with respect, not one where we turn a blind eye to abuse, violence and trafficking.”