The Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non Governmental Organizations (SADC-CNGO) is the lead and membership based apex body of non-governmental organizations operating in all SADC Countries.
MISA Communiqué November 20, 2012
MISA Statement on the anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
On the anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the mainstreaming of child rights in southern African media. This Convention was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by UN General Assembly Resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989.
Over the past four (4) years, MISA has strived to build regional media capacity so that journalists are able to report on children in a manner that is both positive and informative. These efforts have been strongly guided by key activities, which include media monitoring, children’s group discussion and consistent engagement with journalists and editors.
While we are pleased by various efforts being made by several regional media in terms of promoting the child rights agenda, we have noted with grave concern that children still largely make the news mostly as victims and this kind of reporting has had the likely effect of further victimising affected children. In addition to this, we have also observed that children’s voices are not usually captured in most of the stories about them and this has had the effect of denying them of their right to freedom of expression in line with Article 13 of the UN-CRC.
MISA calls on all southern African media to carefully consider the above and adopt progressive newsroom policies that can challenge the existing status quo. Further, we urge all journalists, media managers and media owners to harmonise their own editorial policies with various ethical guidelines on reporting children that exist. MISA also has its own set of guidelines, which have been made available to most regional media.
We also call on all southern African schools/departments of journalism and media studies to also carefully consider integrating child rights into their broader curricula with the aim of producing journalism graduates who are knowledgeable on issues to do with children and child rights in line with the UN-CRC and other instruments such as the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
MISA will continue to lead regional efforts (programming and research) towards achieving above recommendations and in the best interest of southern African children.
MISA Regional Director
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