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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-11848
Asked by: Ruth Maguire, Cunninghame South, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 5 October 2017

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to tackle demand for the purchase of sexual access to women and girls, in light of the recent National Crime Agency figures suggesting that one-in-three victims are trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Current status: Answered by Annabelle Ewing on 26 October 2017


Answer

The Scottish Government is committed to addressing the harm associated with prostitution and currently provides funding of £38,000 a year to SACRO to undertake work to assist those engaged in prostitution who wish to no longer be engaged in prostitution and we are committed to consider other support that could be provided in this area.

As regards human trafficking, the Scottish Government provide annual funding of over £300,000 to TARA specifically to support female victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Through implementation of the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy we are strengthening protection for victims, improving detection and disruption of perpetrators, and working to address the conditions that foster trafficking. In June 2017 the Cabinet Secretary for Justice announced that the Scottish Government will double the statutory period of support for trafficking victims to 90 days.

Research commissioned by the Scottish Government was published in February this year in relation to the evidence surrounding the impact changes to the criminal law would have in respect of prostitution. The research did not provide any conclusive evidence that changes to the law would reduce the overall harm associated with prostitution.