Sex workers in Scotland mobilise to avert 'condoms as evidence'
Sex workers in Scotland, led by sex work organisation SCOT-PEP have successfully mobilised to get Edinburgh City Council to reject police calls to start treating condoms as evidence of sex work. This rejection of the police policy represents a triumph for harm reduction, common-sense, and sex worker-organising.
In their press release, SCOT-PEP quoted a sex worker named Cat, saying, “Condoms as evidence is really scary. They’re going to perpetrate these traumatic, horrible raids, and for what? To find condoms in my purse? All women should be afraid of these developments, but sex workers especially. What if they confiscate my condoms and I still have to work that night?”
SCOT-PEP continued, "This new tactic highlights what sex workers and sex worker-led organisations have been saying for a long time: that where any aspect of sex work is criminalised, sex workers suffer. This is why we are calling for the full decriminalisation of sex work. This position is supported by UNAIDS, WHO, and UN Women - among others."
Ultimately, Edinburgh City Council listened to sex workers, and threw out the police recommendations. The Scottish press were supportive of the council decision, widely endorsing the priniciple of harm reduction.