Commercial Sexual Exploitation


Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is defined by NHS Scotland as including “a wide range of often linked sexual activities which (typically) men profit from or buy from women and which objectivity and harm women. It includes prostitution, phone sex, internet sex/chat rooms, stripping, pole dancing, lap dancing, peep shows, pornography, trafficking, sex tourism and mail order brides.

“The women involved are often on low incomes, substance users and victims of other forms of gender-based violence. Based on a lack of alternatives and often on coercion, such activities are rarely a ‘free’ or ‘vocational’ choice.

The Scottish Government includes prostitution, pornography and other forms of involvement in the ‘sex industry’ in its definition of violence against women. It considers that the exploitation of women through these forms of ‘entertainment’ legitimises negative attitudes towards women and is inextricably linked to gender inequality and sexual violence.”
NHS Scotland: Commercial Sexual Exploitation


SNP Conference – March 2017

The SNP Haddington Branch put forward a motion that I presented at Conference, in March 2017, for a Scottish Model of Legislation on Prostitution. This motion seeks to legalise the sale of sex while criminalising the purchase of sex, thereby protecting those exploited by prostitution and punishing the exploiters. It would also offer a system of support for those wishing to exit prostitution.

This mirrors the Nordic Model such as successful legislation in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and France.

Statistics show that neighbouring jurisdictions result in the demand being displaced to nearby countries. Thus, Scotland is at risk for an increase in demand for paid sex.

The motion successfully passed and is now SNP party policy. 

In depth research has been done to raise awareness for the decriminalisation of prostitution. As we advocate for the Nordic Model, I urge you to educate yourself and stand up for those in need in order to protect Scotland.

Click here to see the motion in full and a list of supporters.

Advocacy in the Media 

Click the below headlines to read about articles on CSE by Ash Denham.

SNP Conference – October 2017

Outlaw Sex for Rent – Ash is supporting an amendment to a motion, along with four other MSPs, that seeks to outlaw sex for rent. This is a practice where landlords offer rent-free accommodation in exchange for sex. The is a practice that sees landlords preying on vulnerable women, and those in these arrangements have no tenancy rights or protections.

For more information, click here to read a Times article on the motion.


The Scottish Government has published two reports regarding the issue:

To learn more about CSE, visit: Women’s Support Project

Below are informative articles on CSE and its effects:

The Left’s Love of Prostitution: An Open Letter From Exited Women

Rae Story on neoliberalism, ‘sex work,’ and the ‘middle-classing’ of prostitution

Legalisation has turned Germany into the “Bordello of Europe” and we should be ashamed