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STUC Youth Conference calls for independent inquiry into sex for rent scandal

The Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC) youth committee is calling on the Scottish Government to launch an independent inquiry into the sex for rent scandal.

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A motion was passed at the Scottish Trade Unions Congress (STUC) youth annual conference in Clydebank also calling for a report that will strengthen tenants’ rights and protect tenants from sexual violence.

The conference noted that some male landlords use websites, such as Craiglist, to advertise rooms that are available to rent at a discounted rate or for free in exchange for sexual favours.  

Earlier this year, a report from Shelter found that more than 250,000 women across the UK have had a landlord ask them for sex or sexual favours over the last five years.

Over the last 12 months, 140,000 female renters have been offered sex for rent.

The motion was supported by the Public and Communication Services Union (PCS) who said that the ads are “sexual exploitation” of young people.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We take this issue extremely seriously and are doing all we can to help ensure people are protected from exploitation.

“Forcing someone, in any way, to participate in a sexual activity is a crime and we encourage anyone at risk of coercion to seek advice or contact the police immediately.   

“The Scottish Government is committed to tackling all forms of violence, especially against vulnerable groups. We are working hard to implement our Equally Safe strategy and delivery plan which includes commitments to tackle commercial sexual exploitation.”

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