From ‘toleration’ to zero tolerance: a view from the ground in Scotland

Ruth Morgan Thomas

in Regulating sex for sale

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421067
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303169 | DOI:
From ‘toleration’ to zero tolerance: a view from the ground in Scotland

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This chapter puts forward a sex workers' rights perspective in relation to the notion of ‘zero tolerance’ of prostitution. It records some of the experiences and voices of sex workers, and presents some of the evidence that calls into question the ‘zero-tolerance’ approach. The chapter notes that this evidence was gathered over the last two decades by SCOT-PEP, a community-based organization that was set up by sex workers for sex workers in 1989 in Edinburgh and which the author currently manages. It mainly argues that zero tolerance, in the context of violence against women and sex work, has become dogmatic and unresponsive to the actual needs of sex workers, silences the voices of sex workers, and undermines fundamental human rights.

Keywords: sex workers' rights; zero-tolerance approach; SCOT-PEP; Edinburgh; violence against women; actual needs; fundamental human rights

Chapter.  8490 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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