Apologies first of all, been a bit busy of late and not had time to sit down and review the notes from this months branch meeting.
Our guests this month came from Haddington Branch and the main speaker Ann Hall was asking branch to support a resolution at spring conference entitled “A Scottish Model of Legislation for Prostitution”.
A Scottish Model of Legislation for Prostitution
Ann gave a very interesting insight into the issue of trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation of women, with a view towards adopting a system akin to what is known as the Nordic Model.
The three main elements of which are
- The buying of sex acts is criminalised
- The selling of sex acts is decriminalised
- Support services are provided for those being exploited or trying to escape Prostitution.
The aim is to reduce demand for paid sexual services and improved outcomes for women trapped in the trade. Ann reviewed various models for legislation in the sector, from the fully legalised format taken in New Zealand and the Netherlands, and the controlled system of Legalised Brothels adopted in Germany. The Nordic model showed a marked decrease in demand for sexual services where it had been adopted with improved outcomes for women trapped in the sector. Lower mortality rates, halving of street prostitution with no evidence of it moving “online” or in to some other cover, and reduced violence towards women seem to be the outcomes. This model has now been adopted by Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Finland, Northern Ireland and France.
A summary of the resolution from a Fringe Meeting at 2016 conference.
In summing up the case to support the resolution Ann stated that beyond the statistics already discussed there were 10,000 more reasons to support the motion, and that was the 10,000 children across Europe who had disappeared into the sex industry, being sold into trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Following the presentation by Ann, Jules Sheridan gave more insight into the lives of Prostitutes from her experience working to support women in the sector.
After a question and answer session, the branch voted to support the resolution at forthcoming Spring conference.
Debate on Armed Forces Youth Recruitment
There was also to be a talk by guests from SNP Youth on raising the age to enter the armed forces. The speakers had cancelled but the branch had a debate around the subject which proved interesting.
In terms of other branch business that can be discussed, the Robert the Bruce Dinner was the most successful ever and has raised a great amount towards the forthcoming council election campaign. The issue of the proposed bridge closure to allow electrification of the railway was brought up in Council business, reports from Westminster and Holyrood by our representatives had been provided in written formats already.
Some discussion of the final candidate places to be announced in the campaign was had and it was stated that due to the campaign being in full swing, we would not be holding an April meeting as the time would be better spent canvassing and leafleting.