Journalists from Grand’Anse, trained on Communication and children’s rights

Jean Panel Fanfan, Communication Officer, initiates the conference

The media occupy an important position in Haitian society, particularly in remote areas where it is sometimes the only source of information people have. Thus, journalists can become champions of the respect of the Rights of the child. UNICEF encourages any initiative aimed at strengthening their capacity regarding rights of children’s issues. Hurricane Matthew has increased this need for child protection in the region.

UNICEF organized a training session for journalists from the department of Grand’Anse on 12 and 13 July. Several institutions working in the area of Child Protection also took part in the workshop Discussions focused on topics that are important to the organization: the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), how to conduct an interview with children, reporting on children, how to communicate in times of disaster.

Kalil Amadoum Toure, the head of the UNICEF sub-office in Grand’Anse, praised the work of journalists, emphasizing collaboration between UNICEF and the press in the region. “We want to improve together, communication, mainly in the communities, so that we can get the best messages. The objective is to see how the framework for collaboration can be improved and that you can understand the importance of the rights of the child”, he said.

Journalists are better equipped

Rio Jean, Grand’Anse correspondent for Signal FM, said it is important for the journalist to master the themes on which he is involved, otherwise he would not perform well. “The issue of children rights is vital because we know their importance in society. As professional journalists we must help ensure that children are well treated, “he said, emphasizing the issue of violence against children in the region.

Jean-Jacques Kepler, Director of the Radio Experience, explained that this training will enable them to better accomplish their everyday work. “During these two days we learned how to identify the issue of children’s rights throughout the department. Now we are better equipped to report on children and talk about their rights. And to draw attention to problems related to childhood in society, “he said.

Together with Haiti the Journalists the Children

Collaboration with partners continues

Jean Ronet Justin, Protection Officer at the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) in Jeremie, welcomed the fact that this seminar allowed him to collaborate with the journalists of the department more closely. “Before that was not the case, the issue of the rights of children was not their priority in the region. Now I feel that journalists are more interested and that there will be much more willingness to address issues related to childhood, “he said.

Dr Evens Weche, from the health department of Grand’Anse, welcomed the collaboration with the media of the region. For him, it is important to validate an information with the authorities concerned before publishing it.

UNICEF places particular emphasis on good cooperation with the Haitian press in the context of Child Protection. UNICEF organized several seminars across the country to strengthen the capacity of journalists in the area of childhood. Working with partners, UNICEF is in the process of producing a media guide on children’s rights.

Jean Panel FANFAN

This post is also available in: French