Commissioner welcomes ScotRail ban on rights-breaching devices

18 November 2017

The Commissioner has welcomed news that ScotRail has banned the use of mosquito devices at stations.

But he has also been clear that devices of this nature should be outlawed throughout Scotland.

ScotRail’s move comes after the installation of a device at Hamilton Central Station was condemned by both the Commissioner and Amy Lee Fraioli MSYP, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Another device was also installed at Helensburgh Central station, while a third device is in place at Aberdeen.

About mosquito devices

Mosquito devices are designed to "repel" children and young people from an area by emitting an unpleasant, high-frequency sound that most adults are unable to hear.

The use of these devices infringes a number of children and young people's rights, as the Commissioner has made clear in his position statement on the issue. In October, he urged the Scottish Government to take action to outlaw the devices.

Read the Commissioner’s position statement on mosquito devices.

The Commissioner’s comments

Commenting on Scotrail’s decision, Commissioner Bruce Adamson said:

“I have been clear that use of Mosquito devices to disperse children and young people from our public spaces is disproportionate, degrading and a breach of human rights.
Children and young people have the right to go about their lives free from discrimination in a healthy and safe way when they use public transport, visit shops or meet their friends.
“The Scottish Youth Parliament campaigned strongly on this topic and I am pleased that ScotRail has heard their voices and made the right decision. However, the next step is for these devices to be banned completely.
“This announcement comes just before we celebrate Universal Children’s Day on Monday, which is an international day to mark awareness of children’s rights and support for the welfare of children and young people.
“The Scottish Government must act to protect their rights by prohibiting the use of ultrasonic devices in all settings once and for all.”