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Be cautious when reporting on children, journalists implored

By LUCY PHIRI

INDEPENDENT Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Acting Director General Eustace Nkandu has implored the media to be cautious when reporting on issues involving children, including those suspected of committing offences. 

Mr. Nkandu has also urged the media to familiarise themselves with the IBA Act, the IBA Standard Operating Procedure and other legal provisions in the country.

He has emphasized that the way children were represented in the media was highly important and that there was need to exercise caution when reporting on children as there were a number of laws that speak to their welfare.

“The way children are represented in the media is highly important. There is need to exercise caution when reporting children as there are a number of laws that speak to their welfare. Zambia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and welfare of Child (ACRWC) and as such, the need for the media to be ethical when covering children cannot be over-emphasized,” Mr Nkandu said. 

Mr Nkandu urged the media in all forms to ensure that they familiarized themselves with the legal ways of reporting on children in order to ensure that the dignity and rights of the children were not infringed on.

Meanwhile, in an effort to ensure that children that come into conflict with the law, as well as those children who are victims, Undikumbukire Project (UP) Zambia has implored society not to label those children into an environment of discrimination.

UP Zambia Child Justice team leader Kabota Chipopola, said during a media engagement on the best practices of reporting about children suspected of committing offences that there was need to protect children regardless of what offence they have committed. 

He said even as stories are being published or information is being released by the media on children that come in conflict with the law, the information given should not trace back to the child.

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