Ash Denham: Current laws failing victims of sex trafficking

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade has released an inquiry report into sex trafficking which has highlighted “industrial scale” sexual exploitation in ‘pop up’ brothels facilitated by online websites.

The report detailed the links between sexual exploitation and organised crime, with the majority of brothels recorded as being connected to other brothels, agencies or non-UK Organised Crime Groups.

The UK’s current laws make it a “highly profitable and low risk” destination for sex traffickers and other third party enablers of sexual exploitation, the report explains.

Key recommendations include the criminalisation of the purchase of sex and the decriminalisation of the sale of sex in an effort to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking.

Ash Denham MSP, co-convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group for Human Trafficking and the Cross Party Group for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, spoke at the launch of the inquiry report.

Speaking after the event, Ash Denham SNP MSP commented:

“Our current laws on prostitution are failing- to prevent trafficking, to provide gender equality and to protect the exploited.

“The UK is currently a profitable, ‘low risk’ destination for sex traffickers.

“It is totally unacceptable that the UK is seen as a country where sex traffickers can prosper.

“We must change the laws to ensure that the UK becomes hostile to both sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.”


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