In emergencies, children are the most vulnerable because they are the weakest. So they need to be protected from all forms of violence in normal times but especially during emergencies. The most able to enforce children’s rights are journalists who play a significant role in society, especially in the regions. For this reason, UNICEF works closely with them throughout the country to help them become champions of the cause of children’s rights.
UNICEF organized an awareness-raising session on children’s rights for journalists from the South Department to better integrate this theme into their daily work. More than 20 journalists took part in the two-day seminar on 4 and 5 May.
Among other objectives of the meeting were: Raise the awareness of the media about the importance of giving more airtime in their daily production and programming on the rights and situation of children in the communities; Strengthen collaboration between the media and organizations committed to respecting human rights, especially children; Strengthen compliance with ethical standards in the treatment of children’s issues by the media. They also had sessions on how to make a report about children.
“By organizing these workshops today, the UNICEF regional office in the South Department intends to bring together media professionals, partner organizations and institutions around the table to try to improve together and on both sides Communication with communities to improve the situation of children, “said Ainga Razafy, head of UNICEF’s South office, adding that the organization attaches great importance to collaboration with the local press.
The discussions were very animated between the speakers and the participants. Jean Gardy Museau, communications officer for the Departmental Emergency Operations Center (Coud) in the South, emphasized the important help that journalists bring to the population in times of emergencies. Information from the authorities is relayed through the press.
Bertrand Méridien, one of the heads of the Institute for Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) in the South, stressed the importance of working with journalists in order to enable the population to understand the issues related to Child Protection.
The journalists want to get involved
The journalists expressed their willingness to address more subjects related to the subject of child protection.
For Jean Vanel Soliman, a journalist with Vwa Peyizan Sid (VPS), many journalists were waiting for this training. “We have had other training in other areas, but this one on children’s rights, adds a new dimension and gives us a lot more tools in this area. We are very pleased to have been able to participate. And we hope that UNICEF will continue to help us strengthen our capacities in terms to help to respect the rights of children, “he said.
“We are aware that there are institutions that are in better situation than we are to deal with issues that relate to the protection of children. Because there are some children who are being abused, because people do not know the importance of children. Journalists will play their role by continuing to raise awareness of issues related to child protection, “insisted Egide Remosier, journalist and member of the Camp Perrin child protection committee.
In the past, UNICEF has already organized awareness-raising sessions across the country. Between 2011 and 2014 more than 400 journalists were trained on issues related to child protection and the Convention of children Rights (CRC).
This post is also available in: French