Scottish Youth Parliament member condemns anti-teen 'mosquito devices'

Calls for an end to security systems that have been criticised by the United Nations

CUNNINGHAME SOUTH Member for the Scottish Youth Parliament Aaran McDonald has condemned the use of teenager-deterrent ‘mosquito devices’ in Scotland as a “gross and awful breach of young people’s rights.”

The devices are designed to discourage loitering and other anti-social gatherings of adolescents by emitting a high-pitched sound generally only audible to those under the age of 25, and have become an increasingly common sight around both public spaces and private businesses.

“If this was a device used to indiscriminately target older person there would be an outrage, but it seems society has resigned to accept these vile devices and doesn’t care about the impact it has on young people and children.” Aaran McDonald, MSYP for Cunninghame South

Calling for assurance that the devices would not be employed in North Ayrshire, McDonald said: “Whether you are loitering or causing trouble or not you will be affected by it.

“The UN has spoken out against them as has the United Nations Human Rights Convention as well as the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People, Bruce Adamson and of course the Scottish Youth Parliament has been campaign for their ban for years.

“Not only that but it has been ruled that these devices breach the European Human Rights Convention and could breach anti-torture laws.

“If this was a device used to indiscriminately target older people there would be an outrage, but it seems society has resigned to accept these vile devices and doesn’t care about the impact it has on young people and children.

“This has to change and I won’t stand for these devices being used in our area. It’s time to end this brutal device and respect the rights of our children and young people.”

“It has been ruled that these devices breach the European Human Rights Convention and could breach anti-torture laws.” Aaran McDonald, MSYP for Cunninghame South

The Scottish Youth Parliament first asked MSPs to make mosquito devices illegal in 2012. Speaking then, MSYP Andrew Deans told Holyrood: “The mosquito debate is hugely symbolic. It is about the Scottish Government taking a stand against the outdated belief that young people can be mistreated and discriminated against.”

However, the Scottish Government ruled out a ban on mosquito devices shortly after, with former Community Safety minister Roseanna Cunningham arguing that, while the government was opposed to mosquito devices, there was no evidence to justify such action.

Cunningham said: "Given the lack of evidence as to any perceived problem, I don't think I could justify further work on this issue which diverts us from the priority work currently being undertaken to tackle anti-social behaviour."

Picture courtesy of Bart Maguire

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