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Media workers urged to consider children’s rights when reporting

Media workers urged to consider children’s rights when reporting

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Members of the print and broadcast media were last week urged to make the rights of the child a priority, when covering stories concerning children.{{more}}

The call was made by officials of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), at a one day workshop, held last Friday June 17, at the Beachcombers Hotel conference room at Villa.

The local media workers, who represented ten media houses, as well as persons from the Roving Caregivers group, a number of student journalists and persons from the Ministry of National Mobilization and Social Development, were informed that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was drafted by United Nations members in 1980, declared that the safety, privacy, and identity of children, among other rights, are to be protected at all times – including during media coverage.

The workshop, facilitated by UNICEF and the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat, called on the media to become more aware of children’s rights and protect them when reporting issues relating to them, especially in relation to child abuse and those in conflict with the law.

Conducting the sessions, which included topics such as Understanding Human Rights, Reporting on Children in Need of Special Protection and Legal Guidelines for Reporting on Children in Need of Special Protection in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were UNICEF Specialists Heather Stewart and Dr. Lisa Mclean-Trotman, Tekesa Antoine of the OECS Secretariat, along with contributions from other members of the Secretariat.

The participants examined techniques for sourcing information from government and other officials, conducting interviews with children, among other things, and were informed that all actions must be carried out with the best interest of the child taken into consideration.

Some facts that were highlighted from the Convention that were brought to light at the workshop included: the definition of a child as any one under the age of 18 years; a child has the right to life, survival and development; corporal punishment is not supported in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; education is mandatory for children; a child has a right to a name and birth certificate.

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