Partnering with the Media for the protection of children
Working with the Media for the Protection of Children
Child Protection is… Public education/awareness National Development Issue Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism Focus on children and Budgetary Allocation for impact of programmes invest in them improve productivity of Nation and change future landscape. Interventions to reduce vulnerabilities across life span Children are agents of change and best option for Legal and policy reform to realize CRC at National reducing poverty and level changing mindsets. Children Participation Enabling environment to allow full realization of rights
The National Plan of Action Bi-Partisan Support Six attention areas to focus on as priority Strategies and Targets to achieve CRC for Belizean children and families Plan carried out by implementers and monitored by NCFC
How can the Media help?Change agentsBe ethical and rights awareAdvocate for childrenProvide children with informationShow success stories
The Media Role (Journalists)Advocacy Channels for Public Dialogue What type (length, angle, How do you aid the cause follow-up) of coverage do given the reach and influence you give to children’s issues? of your particular media How do you help the house? populace to understand the implications of the issue at hand? Do you do research to identify the critical issues and frame the story in a informative and thought provoking way?
The Media Role (Journalists) Reporting on children and young people has its special challenges Need to maintain a balance between informing for the public interest and the child’s rights to privacy. Need an agreed code that is regulated Provides benchmark for media coverage that considers the best interest of the child ( age appropriate and sensitive)
The Consequences ofIrresponsible Reporting Distress Negative stereotypes Reprisals Stigmatization
Guiding PrinciplesRespect the dignity of rights of every When trying to determine the bestchild! interests of a child, the child’s right to have her or his views taken into account are to In interviewing and reporting on be given due weight in accordance with thechildren, special attention is to be paid to child’s age and maturity.each child’s right to privacy andconfidentiality, to have their opinions Those closest to the child’s situation andheard, to participate in decisions affecting best able to assess it are to be consultedthem and to be protected from harm and about the political, social and culturalretribution, including the potential for ramifications of any reportage.harm and retribution. Do not publish a story or an imageThe best interests of each child are to which might put the child, siblings or peersbe protected over any other consideration, at risk even when identities are changed,including over advocacy for children’s obscured or not used.issues and the promotion of child rights.
Media Guidelines – Children in Incidents In any case where a child is involved in incidents, the reporting of which is deemed to be in the public interest, the child’s identity is to be protected where public knowledge of such identity may have adverse effects on the child. Journalists must not interview or photograph a child under the age of 18 on topics involving the welfare of the child or any other child in the absence of or without the consent of a parent or guardian. Fair, open and straightforward methods for obtaining information from or pictures of children should be used in all cases or reporting, whether such reporting will have adverse or positive effects on the child. In cases of schoolchildren or children involved in organizations, such children must not be approached or photographed while at school or at the organization without the permission of the school or relevant authorities. Where children provide information, independent verification of such information should be ensured, and special care taken to ensure that such verification takes place without putting child informants at risk .
Media Guidelines – Children in Abuse CasesI. The child must not be identified, whether IV. Care must be taken that nothing in through words, images or other the report identifies relatives or information such as street address or friends of the abused child that identification of relatives. The child’s life would then lead to the and/or mental stability could be put at risk. identification of the child.I. In cases of sexual abuse involving incest, IV. Hence, accused abusers may be the word “incest” must not be used identified given that the journalist where a child victim might be identified. ensures that nothing in his or her wording, or interviews with relatives or friends of the accusedII. Care must be taken that nothing in the abuser, lead to the identification of report implies the relationship between the child. the accused and the child.
Other Considerations How can we create the environment for local children’s programming to be developed? How can we open more opportunities for children to get involved in the media? How can our approach to reporting information allow for children to be informed as well?