Instagram confirms new platform designed specifically for children under 13

  • Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has confirmed that a version of the popular photo sharing app for children under 13 is in the works, BuzzFeed News reports
  • The Facebook-owned company knows a lot of children want to use Instagram, Mosseri said, but there isn’t a “detailed plan yet,” according to BuzzFeed News.
  • “But part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control,” Mosseri told BuzzFeed News. “It’s one of the things we’re exploring.”
  • Instagram’s current policy bars children under 13 from the platform.
  • As always, our team of online safety experts will monitor this new app as and when it develops, and share key advice for parents, carers and safeguarding professionals.
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New partnership to tackle child sexual exploitation in the Highlands

  • A new partnership has been launched to tackle the sexual exploitation of children in the Highlands.
  • It comes amid fears that youngsters across Scotland are being groomed by sexual predators.
  • The collaboration involves Police Scotland, Highland Child Protection Committee, Highland Council and the charity Barnardo’s Scotland. It is funded by the RS Macdonald Trust.
  • The aim of the new service, known as RISE (Reducing the Impact of Sexual Exploitation) Highlands, is to reduce the risk, harm and impact of exploitation for children, young people and families living in the area.
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Child sex offender jailed after prosecutors’ appeal sentence

  • A man from East Lothian, Scotland, who avoided prison last year after sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl has been jailed after prosecutors appealed his sentence
  • The offender groped and kissed the young schoolgirl after luring her to a bedroom during a visit to her home with his wife in 2019
  • The offender, 54, also sent the girl WhatsApp messages saying, “I am in bed dreaming of you”, “I love your lips, they are so kissable” and “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms”.
  • The HGV driver pleaded guilty to two charges when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last October and, despite this being his third conviction for similar offending, avoided a jail term
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More than 10,000 suspected modern slavery victims identified in 2020

  • More than 10,000 suspected modern slavery victims were identified in the UK last year, , marking a plateau largely caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • There were 10,613 potential victims of trafficking, slavery and forced labour referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2020, according to Home Office
  • This is slightly down from 10,616 in 2019, which was a record high and up more than 50% in a year.
  • It is the first-time referrals have fallen year-on-year, with the plateau primarily thought to have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions.
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Hotel quarantines infringing on children’s human rights

  • Serious concerns have been raised over the impact of hotel quarantine on children’s human rights.
  • Since 15 February, everyone entering Scotland from abroad must isolate in a hotel for 10 days.
  • However, managed isolation has prevented some children from being able to see their parents, if they live in different countries.
  • The Scottish government said exemptions must be limited for the policy to work, but that it remained “under review”.
  • The Scottish Children’s Commissioner expressed concerns that several children’s human rights could be affected by the measures.
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