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Children should have access to the media, children’s voices need to be heard in the media, but children also need protection from the media’s harmful influences. Conversely, there needs to be respect for the integrity of the child in media reporting. Media portrayal of children has a profound impact on attitudes to children and childhood, which also affects the way adults behave. Even the images children themselves see influence their expectation of their roles in life.

At its thirteenth session the Committee devoted a day of general discussion, on 7 October 1996, to the topic “The child and the media”. The Committee had identified three main areas for consideration, namely encouragement of the active participation of children in the media, the protection of the child from harmful influences through the media and ways to improve the image of the child through media reporting.

On the basis of the discussions 12 main recommendations were formulated by the Rapporteur for the thematic day, Mr. Thomas Hammarberg. (For the report on the general discussion, see CRC/C/57, paras. 242­-257.)

Media and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Media is closely linked to freedom of expression (article 13), which includes the right to seek, receive and impart information. Article 17 more specifically links the right to access to information to the media: The State should ensure the accessibility of information an material from a variety of sources and should also protect children from harmful materials.

For more information

Consult our Guidelines for journalists interviewing children

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