Proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill: ACTION REQUIRED – WRITING TO MSPS

This following message is from SCASE:

Proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill: ACTION REQUIRED – WRITING TO MSPS

Rhoda Grant MSP has lodged her proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament, which would make the purchase of sex an offence.  Many feminist and women’s organisations were heavily engaged in the consultation process leading up to the publication of this Bill and responded in a supportive way to the consultation.  The responses to that consultation are now available to view at ….

In order for the proposal to proceed to the first formal stage of the Parliamentary process, there needs to be support secured amongst at least 18 MSPs from across a range of political parties in the Parliament.  

At 6 June 2013, the MSPs who have supported the proposal are:
Drew Smith, Margaret McDougall, Hanzala Malik, Ken Macintosh, Michael McMahon, Patricia Ferguson, Murdo Fraser, Anne McTaggart, Elaine Murray, Iain Gray, John Pentland, Jayne Baxter, Claudia Beamish, Siobhan McMahon, Malcolm Chisholm, Hugh Henry, Claire Baker, Paul Martin, Elaine Smith, Graeme Pearson.

The deadline for MSPs to support this proposal is Friday 28 June 2013.

This list only has MSPs from the Labour party and Conservative party.  It is necessary, therefore, to particularly seek the support of SNP, Lib Dem or Green/Independent MSPs; without the support of an MSP from at least one of these parties / party grouping, this proposal will fall and any further discussions on the proposal to criminalise the demand will end.  The WSP support the policy intent behind the bill to put the legislative focus onto those who choose to purchase sex but believe this is only one aspect of a criminalising demand approach.  This also needs to look to decriminalise those who sell sexual activity and ensure that quality long-term support and exiting services are available

We are now asking for people to contact their MSP and ask them to support the progress of the Bill to the next stage.  This does not mean the Bill will be passed but will ensure that a full discussion can take place as to the best approach to address the harm and inequality in the sex industry.

WRITING TO YOUR MSPS

Step one: to find your MSPs (you have 8: 1 constituency and 7 regional MSPs), use the Scottish Parliament’s MSP locator: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx This will enable you to find contact details and information on the party affiliation of each MSP.  Bear in mind that SNP, Lib Dem and Green/Independent support is particularly vital at this point in time.  If your MSP is included in the list above as having already supported the Bill, you may wish to instead write to them to thank them for their support. 

Step two: prepare your letters or emails to MSPs., MSPs really value the personal approach, and so if you have a particular piece of information or local evidence that you can include, please do so.

IMPORTANT: when corresponding with your MSPs, always include your name, address and post code at the end of your letter/email.  MSPs only deal with correspondence from people within their area.  

Step three:  please let us know if you have done this, and do keep us up to date if you receive any follow-up correspondence from your MSPs, whether they are agreeing to support the proposal, or if they are explaining why they are not inclined to support it. 

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