Prevalence of Mosquito devices in Scotland

Date: 9th August 2016
Category: Non-discrimination

In response to calls from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to prohibit the use of 'mosquito devices' (Concluding Observation 37a), Together is attempting to map their prevalence and use across Scotland.

To do this, Together has submitted a number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to Public Bodies across Scotland and is working with the Scottish Youth Parliament and YouthLink to find out more about children and young people's experiences of the devices.

Mosquito devices are electronic devices that emit high frequency sounds to deter children and young people. The Scottish Government acknowledges that mosquito devices can prevent children from enjoying freedom of movement and peaceful assembly (Articles 13 and 15 of the UNCRC) and does not support their use. There have been strong calls from children and from the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee to ban the devices. However, steps have not been taken to prohibit them as Scottish Government does not believe that their use is widespread.

Together intends to collate the evidence from the FOI requests to create a fully informed picture of the use and prevalence of Mosquito devices in Scotland. This will be used to inform Together's 2016 State of Children's Rights report which will be published in November of this year.

The use of Mosquito devices is not regulated and they are widely available to buy online. Therefore, Together acknowledges that the FOI requests sent to Public Bodies across Scotland may not capture all the data on use and prevalence (for example, on private and commercial properties). Therefore, the Scottish Youth Parliament has created a Mosquito device survey which asks children and young people to share experiences of contact with the devices. YouthLink have also asked their members to share their experiences of the devices. This information will be cross-referenced with the evidence gathered from Together's FOI requests.