(Khalda Elyas) More 80 journalists have expressed their commitment to the principles and standards of handling child issues in the media built on transparency, citizenship and
social justice and freedom to enhance equality, freedom of expression, credibility and subjectivity.
The journalists' commitment came during a workshop on the professional principles regarding the Arab media in addressing child issues held under the theme of: Child-Friendly Media.
The workshop, which was organized by Sudan National Child Protection Council and Journalist for Children Society and Arab Council for Childhood and Development, Arab League, Gulf Development Program, at the Grand Holiday Hotel, Khartoum, came within Sudan's efforts to raise public awareness about child protection and problems
The workshop was also aimed at forging partnerships in aid of providing training and capacity building in local communities to consolidate child protection in addition to involving children in key issues of their concern. The workshop was likewise meant for drawing the attention of the media to child issues in line with the recommendations of Arab Childhood Committee.
Yassir Khidir, The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, stressed the importance for decision makers to adopt media policies focused on child issues.
Khidir noted that any efforts for human resources development program should start first and foremost with children, and most importantly providing healthy educational environment for children.
He revealed that his ministry will prepare a training guide on covering child issues in the media in addition to establishing observatory body to ensure that the media is committed to the principles and ethics of reporting on child issues. He warned of media violations of child rights.
The Secretary General of National Child Protection Council, Suaad Abdul-Aal highlighted the role of the media in covering child issues, adding that her council is concerned with setting up policies, strategic plans, assessments, evaluation and regional and national reports on child rights.
Inaam Al-Tayeb, the Head of Journalists for Children Association, said that the workshop was important for taking onboard the opinion of experts in the services of upgrading and advocating child rights in the media.
Mohamed Rida, the Secretary General of Arab Council, said child-friendly media means commitment to child media rights and principles.
Studies conducted by Arab Council for Child Welfare showed numerous violations of child rights in the media, adding that such violations stem from lack of awareness and poor professionalism in covering child issues.
The participants in the workshop recommended reviewing and amendments to national laws related to children in addition to setting up unified media policies interacting with child issues in response to a call by the Ministry Information to hold a general forum to set up such policies.
The workshop recommended the inculcation of child rights in the general education; in addition to establishing specialized TV channels for children involving the children in preparing the programs. The participants further called for rewarding media institutions and journalists dedicating their works to child issues.
The closing ceremony of the workshop was graced by Al-Tayeb Hassan Badawi, the Minister of Culture.
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