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PE01169: The display of sexually graphic magazines and newspapers

People Communities

Petitioner: Margaret Forbes on behalf of Scottish Women Against Pornography

Status:
Closed

Date Lodged: 12 June 2008

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to to introduce and enforce measures that ensure that magazines and newspapers containing sexually graphic covers are not displayed at children’s eye-level or below or adjacent to children’s titles and comics and should be screen sleeved before being placed on the shelf.

Petition History:

24 June 2008: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, National Federation of Retail Newsagents, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People and the Scottish Retail Consortium seeking responses to the issues raised in the petition. Link to Official Report 24 June 2008

16 December 2008: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government seeking a response to the specific points raised during the meeting. Link to Official Report 16 December 2008

3 March 2009: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government seeking a response to the specific points raised during the meeting. Link to Official Report 3 March 2009

2 June 2009: The Committee agreed to invite the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People to give evidence to the Committee on the issues raised in the petition. Link to Official Report 2 June 2009

6 October 2009: The Committee took evidence from Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People and agreed to invite the Clerk to prepare a paper setting out options for further consideration of this petition. Link to Official Report 6 October 2009

3 November 2009: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government seeking a response to specific points and to consider the scope for research being undertaken into the issues raised in the petition. Link to Official Report 3 November 2009

15 December 2009: The Committee agreed to invite SPICe to prepare a scoping paper for consideration on taking forward research into issues raised in the petition. Link to Official Report 15 December 2009

9 February 2010: The Committee agreed to invite the Scottish Parliament Information Centre and the Clerk to prepare a research scope on the issues raised in the petition. Link to Official Report 9 February 2010

20 April 2010: The Committee agreed to defer a decision on whether to carry out its own research in this area until such time as the Home Office responds to the recommendations made in the Papadopoulos report on the “Sexualisation of Young People Review”. It also agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Home Office seeking a response to specific points. Link to Official Report 20 April 2010

29 June 2010: The Committee agreed to write to Home Secretary seeking a response to specific points. Link to Official Report 29 June 2010

9 November 2010: The Committee agreed to invite the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to give oral evidence at its meeting on 7 December. It also agreed to consider taking forward a small scale research project on this issue. Link to Official Report 9 November 2010

7 December 2010: The Committee agreed to take forward a small scale research project on this issue, carried out across newsagents, supermarkets and other retailers to examine the operation and level of compliance with the voluntary guidelines which currently exist and to submit this proposal to the Convener’s Group for consideration at its meeting on 16 December 2010. Link to Official Report 7 December 2010

8 March 2011: The Committee took evidence from David Primrose, Director, George Street Research Ltd, and Graham Ross, Scottish Parliament Information Centre, and agreed to forward to the Scottish Government a copy of the research report on "Compliance with guidelines on the display of sexually graphic magazines" it had commissioned. The Committee further agreed to publish this research report and to forward a copy to Sarah Teather MP, Minister of State (Children and Families) at the Department for Education to feed into the independent review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. In addition, it agreed to invite, in its legacy paper, the Session 4 Public Petitions Committee to give further consideration to the petition. Link to Official Report 8 March 2011

4 October 2011: The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Equal Opportunities Committee, under Rule 15.6.2 for further consideration of the issues raised in the petition as part of that Committee’s subject remit. Link to Official Report 4 October 2011 (472KB pdf)

10 January 2012: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered PE1169 by Margaret Forbes, on behalf of Scottish Women Against Pornography, calling for measures to ensure that magazines and newspapers with sexually graphic covers are (a) not displayed at children’s eye-level or below or adjacent to children’s titles and comics and (b) screen sleeved before being placed on the shelf; noted research findings showing low levels of compliance with the voluntary guidelines on displaying sexually graphic magazines; agreed to write to the National Federation of Retail Newsagents to register disquiet and distaste in respect of the low compliance levels; and further agreed to write to the Scottish Government asking whether the matter falls within devolved powers and, if it does, whether it plans to take any action. Link to Official Report 10 January 2012 (316KB pdf)

20 March 2012: The Equal Opportunities Committee considered responses from the Scottish Government and from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) about a Petition by Margaret Forbes, on behalf of Scottish Women Against Pornography, calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce and enforce measures that ensure that magazines and newspapers containing sexually graphic covers are not displayed at children’s eye-level or below or adjacent to children’s titles and comics and should be screen sleeved before being placed on the shelf. The Committee agreed to write back to the NFRN to request a copy of (a) its guidelines as provided to its members and (b) any correspondence it has had with publishers about sexually graphic covers. The Committee also agreed to write to the UK Government about its taking-stock exercise expected at the end of 2012. Link to Official Report 20 March 2013 (498KB pdf)

9 May 2013: The Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to, given the UK Government's review and new industry guidelines, refer petition PE1169 on display of sexually graphic magazine covers to the Public Petitions Committee requesting that a watching brief be kept on the issue and that the petitioner be invited to monitor and report any developments. Link to Official Report 9 May 2013 (436KB pdf)

28 May 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the grounds that the National Federation of Retail Newsagents has published updated guidance on this issue and the Equal Opportunities Committee has decided that no further action is necessary at this time. Link to Official Report 28 May 2013 (471KB pdf) 

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