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Be Mindful When Writing On Child Abuse Cases, Journalists Told

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Amit Sen has called on local journalists to be responsible when covering issues of child abuse. Dr Sen has more than 20 years of experience
12 Apr 2017 16:26
Be Mindful When Writing On Child Abuse Cases, Journalists Told
Resource people and participants at the Child Rights and Criminal Justice System Workshop at the Suva Holiday Inn on April 10, 2017. Photo: Media Industry Development Authority of Fiji

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Amit Sen has called on local journalists to be responsible when covering issues of child abuse.

Dr Sen has more than 20 years of experience as a child psychiatrist in India and Britain. He is currently the director for Child First Mental Health Institute in New Delhi, India.

Dr Sen was one of the top facilitators at the Rights of the Child and the Criminal Justice System workshop held at the Suva Holiday Inn over the past two days.

He said that every journalist especially court journalists needed to consider the child confidentiality when covering any story on child abuse. Dr Sen said they should also take into consideration the impact of naming and shaming the accused of a child abuse offense.

He said that naming and shaming the accused could give an idea to the society of the victim as Fiji was a small country.

Dr Sen said court journalists should be responsible and consider the trauma the article they produce would have on the victim.

He said journalists should also focus on reporting beyond what happened in court and start focusing on the areas of failures within the system when dealing with such issues. On Monday, Media Industry Development Authority’s chairperson Ashwin Raj said it was vital that the media had a clear understanding on the Convention on the Right of a Child in order to properly report on child issues.

The United Nations Human Rights Officer, Marcelo Daher, said the protection of children from violence was serious concern for everyone and it was unacceptable.

“Protecting people from any act of violence was the main concern for every human rights treaty,” he said.

“Violence against children was invisible across boundaries and it was widespread. Aa child could suffer violence for a long period and no one would do anything.”

Mr Daher reminded journalists that when dealing with issues of child abuse they should deal with it responsibly and take into account the development of the child.

The workshop ended yesterday.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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