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  5. Asian Summit on Child Rights and the Media

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FOCUS September 1996 Volume 5

Asian Summit on Child Rights and the Media

Media plays an important role in the promotion of child rights. This is the basic premise of an Asian conference on this theme held recently in Manila.

The media according to the conference should:

  1. adopt policies that are consistent with the principles of non-discrimination and the best interests of all children;
  2. raise awareness and mobilize all sectors of society to ensure the survival, development, protection and participation of all children;
  3. address all forms of economic, commercial and sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the region and ensure that such efforts do not violate their rights, particularly their rights to privacy;
  4. protect children from material which glorifies violence, sex, horror and conflict; and
  5. not perpetuate discrimination and stereotypes.

The media should also be of high quality, made specifically for them, and do not exploit them; and support their mental, social, moral and spiritual development.

Enabling children to hear, see and express themselves, their culture, their languages and their life experiences through media which affirm their sense of self and community, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of other cultures is also a media responsibility. In much the same way, the media should be made accessible to the children at all times when they need and can use it.

In consideration of the discrimination against the girl child, the conference seeks the media to provide for the girl child and counter the widespread discrimination against her. Likewise, children with special needs, in specially difficult circumstances, from indigenous communities, and in situations of armed conflict should be given attention by the media.

Governments, media, NGOs, the private sector and local, regional and international agencies are encouraged to provide support (with funds and other resources) in developing critical understanding of all media forms among the children and their families. They are also sought to promote regional and international cooperation through the sharing of research, expertise and exchange of materials and programs, and networking among governments, NGOs, media organizations, educational institutions, advocacy groups and other agencies.

The conference was attended by Ministers of Information, Education, Welfare and Social Development from 27 countries in Asia, senior officials representing the various governments, executives, researchers, practitioners and professionals from various streams of media, NGOs, advocacy groups and concerned individuals. The conference was held in July this year.

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