Games ‘magnet’ for prostitution

Glasgow has been warned that hosting the Commonwealth Games could make it a “magnet” for prostitution.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said other large events had transformed host cities into hotspots for the sex industry.

The issues of exploitation and trafficking at the 2014 Games will be debated in a motion at the STUC’s annual congress next week.

Glasgow beat the Nigerian city, Abuja, to host the games.

Speaking ahead of the annual congress, STUC general secretary Grahame Smith, said: “There is evidence from organisations that have been involved in this issue that events like the World Cup or the Olympic Games, where you have large numbers of men attending, the availability of certain services and the demand for these increases.”

He said there was a need to ensure that when the Commonwealth Games come to Glasgow the city does not become a “magnet for traffickers”.

Mary Senior, STUC assistant secretary, added: “The STUC is absolutely delighted the Commonwealth Games has come to Glasgow.

“We just want to ensure that people are not exploited.”

A spokesman for the Glasgow 2014 Organising Company (OC) said: “The OC supports attention being drawn to the tragic issue of human trafficking.

“While the scale of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 mean they are much less of a magnet for such issues, any exploitation is unacceptable and we will continue to support the relevant authorities working in this area.”

Also high up the agenda at the STUC congress will be concerns over the economy, the need for a balanced energy strategy and fears that technology is allowing “cyber bullying” of some workers.

The theme for the 2008 gathering, whose keynote speakers include First Minister Alex Salmond, is ‘Equality and Justice’.

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