Making news

Workshop talks media’s participation in child protection

A workshop was held in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on July 24 to look into the media’s participation in child protection, including the way they report on this issue.

Participants discussed children’s rights, child labour, the protection of children on the Internet, the influence of opinions on social networks and the mass media’s moulding role, the principles of children’s privacy protection for the press, and multi-dimensional approaches in children supporting communications.

Nguyen Thi Nga, Deputy Director of the Department of Child Affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), said child protection is the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure that children live safely and healthily, the prevention and settlement of violations against children, and the support for disadvantaged children.

However, support for children with disadvantages in many localities hasn’t received due attention, she noted, calling on press agencies to boost communications to improve relevant agencies and authorities’ awareness and promotion of support for underprivileged children.

Talking about the way press agencies cover child sexual abuse cases, Director of the department Dang Hoa Nam said the press still prefers reporting on personal information about both culprits and victims to attract readers, and they haven’t paid attention to the feelings of victims and their families.

Nguyen Cong Hieu, Deputy Director of the MoLISA’s Centre for Consultant and Media Services, stressed that reporters should not neglect victims’ feelings for the sake of a “view” or a “like” since sometimes, a piece of information they report could “accidentally kill a person.”

Echoing this, Dr Ho Bat Khuat from the Gia dinh va Tre em (Family and Children) magazine said journalists always need to respect occupational ethnics and give the top priority to children’s interests.

He also suggested reporters spend time working in remote areas where there are many children-related issues they can report on and help to deal with.

The workshop was held by the Department of Child Affairs, the Management and Sustainable Development Institute, the International Labour Organisation and the Save the Children International.