The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) says the media is key to the promotion and safeguarding of children’s rights.
Unicef chief of communications Andrew Brown made the remarks in Salima on Thursday at the close of a four-day child rights reporting capacity building workshop for media practitioners.
Brown said in an interview it is important that the media is aware of children’s rights so as to highlight the various challenges that children encounter and also take office-bearers to task.
He said: “The role of the media really is to hold duty-bearers to account. So, we want the media to be aware of children’s rights and to be asking: Are these rights being fulfilled? We think there are many ways this can be achieved like telling stories of children and projects which organisations are advocating for children’s rights.”
Brown, however, cautioned against failure to protect children’s identities in controversial or sensitive stories, thereby putting the children at risk.
In a separate interview, one of the participants from Zomba-based Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco) FM, Alinafe Nyasulu, described the workshop as an eye-opener in child rights reporting.
On her part, Unicef communications officer Rebecca Phwitiko said stories on children’s rights will help remind government of its duty to protect children’s rights through the various agreements it committed to.
The workshop brought together journalists from 30 media houses across the country. n