Activists task journalists on increased reportage of violence against children

Posted by News Express | 22 August 2015 | 3,584 times

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Child protection stakeholders have urged the media to project reportage of Violence Against Children (VAC) across the country.

They made the call at a two-day inter‎active workshop geared at reinforcing action to end violence against children in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign will be launched on Sept. 15.

The objective is designed to scale up media coverage on issues of violence against children in a friendly manner and investigating cases of VAC to ensure the child gets justice.

Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, represented by Mrs. Mercy Megwa, said the ministry was ready to reduce the scourge to the barest minimum.

Mrs. Ngozi Okakpu, Chief Public Affairs, National Population Commission, said VAC was becoming re-occurring problem in the society which needed to be addressed strictly.

On his part, Mr. Abdulwaheed Odusole, President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), who was represented by Mr. Wilson Bako, commended the foresight of the organisers toward ending VAC.

“It will be good if the media can go indepth in exposing the violence against children in the society”

Mrs. Sharan Oladiji, UNICEF Child Protection Specialists, said it was time the media rescue children been violated through their reports.

Oladiji added that the media had a great role to play towards reducing the burden on children.

A facilitator at the workshop, Mr. Geoffery Njoku, External Relations Officer, UNICEF, said reporting children required the child's consent and protection of their rights.

“It is important that the media includes professionalism while reporting on children and always taking it the children rights’ angle‎.

“The way the media represent or even ignore children can influence decisions taken on their behalf and how the rest of the society regards them.”

Njoku added that it was important that journalists pay attention to how children were interviewed and ensure they became comfortable and able to tell their story without outside pressures.

He said in the process of reporting on children, journalists were required to be objective and refrain from being judgmental.

He added that the media should engage in report on the legal procedures surrounding VAC and influence the justification of a child right.

The participants at the end of the workshop were expected to make commitments on what their media could do to encourage maximum reportage on VAC. (NAN)

Photo shows UNICEF's Geoffery Njoku.

Source: News Express

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