Lothian MSP Gordon Lindhurst has welcomed the International Justice Mission campaign, ‘Not on my Screen’, during a debate in the Scottish Parliament.
The international campaign seeks to rescue vulnerable children from sexual abuse which is then spread through the internet, while bringing criminals to justice and rehabilitating those who have suffered from such horrendous crimes. It focuses in particular on the scourge of the problem in the Philippines.
Within the Scottish context, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the consequences for children from western market demand for such images, as well as highlighting the role that we can all play in standing against the abuse by questioning and reporting anyone suspected of viewing such material in Scotland.
During the debate on Tuesday 28th June, Mr Lindhurst welcomed some of the work being carried out by the University of Edinburgh into what might work to deter people from viewing indecent images of children in the first place. The research has been funded by the NSPCC.
He also spoke of tools such as ‘Stop It Now! Scotland’, which can provide help to those worried about their own online behaviour before it becomes even more of a problem. Lindhurst called for continued funding for the scheme, as well as the need to publicise it as widely as possible.
Speaking after the debate on Tuesday, Gordon said:
“The spread of indecent images of children through the internet is a horrendous crime. It can often be quite simple for perpetrators to carry out and has huge consequences for the children involved.
We have a good record in the UK of removing images from the internet that are found to contain indecent images of children, and it has become quite rare for images to be hosted from this country.
But what we can all do is keep an eye out for such behaviour around us and report that behaviour to the authorities through the tools we have. By cutting off the demand, the ‘Not on my Screen’ campaign hopes to eliminate the supply. I am happy to support their campaign.”