A proposal to fast-track a law making it a criminal offence to pay for sex in Scotland has been rejected by the Scottish Parliament, meaning that the law will now go to public consultation.
The proposal was put forward by Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Rhonda Grant.
This is not the first time the Scottish Parliament has considered introducing legislation in this area. In 2010 a similar proposed law was voted down by ministers who feared that such proposals could drive the sex trade underground, making it more dangerous for those involved.
Ms Grant had argued that as an attempt had already been made to pass such legislation, the issues surrounding its introduction were already well known. However, the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament rejected this argument in a private vote.
The proposed Purchase of Sex Bill will make it a criminal offence for anyone to pay money in exchange for sexual services. It is hoped that by criminalising the activity of payment the demand for prostitution in Scotland would be reduced. Current legislation outlaws soliciting for sex and loitering.
The move has been welcomed by some in the trade.
One former prostitute told the BBC: "I agree that men should be targeted because I worked in a sauna once where the police came in. The guys there all just got up and walked out while we all got charged."
Ms Grant argued that never-ending consultations on the issue were potentially unhelpful and could serve to delay making decisions.
"If you have a consultation and you're influenced by the outcome of that consultation, and that then means you have to go to have a further consultation, you would actually never get anything done," she told the committee.