IFJ - Media and the Child Rights  

Human Rights
Child Rights


Children's Rights Across the World

  International Federation of Journalists:
Draft Guidelines for Media Professionals


Informed, sensitive and professional journalism is a key element in any media strategy for improving the quality of reporting concerning human rights and society. The daily challenge to journalists and media organisations is particularly felt in coverage of children and their rights.

Although the human rights of children have only recently been defined in international law, the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child is already so widely supported that it will shortly become the first universal law of humankind.

To do their job of informed the public effectively, journalists must be fully aware of the need to protect children and to enhance their rights without in any way damaging freedom of expression or interfering with the fabric of journalistic independence.

The following guidelines for journalists have been drawn up by the International Federation of Journalists on the basis of an extensive survey of codes of conduct and standards already in force across the world.

The purpose of this draft is to raise media awareness of children' s rights issues and to stimulate debate among media professionals about the value of a common approach which will reinforce journalistic standards and contribute to the protections and enhancement of children' s rights.

Draft Guidelines and Principles
for Reporting on Issues Involving Children

1.All journalists and media professionals have a duty to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards and should promote within the industry the widest possible dissemination of information about the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and its implications for the exercise of independent journalism.

2.Media organisations should regard violation of the rights of children and issues related to children?s safety, security, their education, health and social welfare and all forms of exploitation as important questions for investigations and public debate.

3.Journalistic activity which touches on the lives and welfare of children should always be carried out with appreciation of the vulnerable situation of children.

4.Journalists and media organisations shall strive to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct in reporting children's affairs and, in particular, they shall:

* strive for the highest standards of accuracy and sensitivity when reporting on issues involving children;

* avoid the use of stereotypes and shall not use sensational presentation to promote journalistic material involving children;

* assess carefully the consequences of publication of any material concerning children and shall minimise harm to children;

* guard against unnecessary visual identification of children and shall, where appropriate, use pseudonyms in interviews;

* give children, where possible, the right of access to media to express their own opinions without inducement of any king;

* obtain independent verification of information provided by children and shall take special care to ensure that verification takes place without putting child informants at risk;

* avoid the use of sexualised images of children;

* use fair methods for obtaining pictures and, where possible, with the knowledge and consent of children or responsible adult, guardian or carer;

* verify the credentials of any organisation purporting to speak for or to represent the interests of children.

IFJ, International Federation of Journalists
266 rue Royale
1210 Brussels
e-mail: <>

BOES.ORG Main INDEX     Article 17, Access to appropriate information
Example, "the Internet Lifeline" was possible, depending on the Media     Time....
Multilingual Human Rights / Children's Rights Across the World
Deutsch     Español     Français     Italiano     Other Languages