BAGUIO CITY – Media practitioners and journalism students joined the seminar-workshop on child protection organized by The National Council for Children Televisions (NCCT), Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and United Nations International Labour Organization (UN ILO).
NCCT Executive Director Frank G. Rivera said the activity aims to forge an understanding with the media about the need to promote the children’s welfare via positive values and to give updates on the current situation of children in the labor industry.
The speakers also included Leo Reynoso, chairman of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Cesar Giovanni Soledad, Philippines’ Programme Manager of UN ILO; and Ariel Hans Sebillino, Executive Director of PPI.
To inform the participants on policies on children’s rights, Reynoso discussed child protection based on state laws and policies. He shared the international covenants for the protection of children’s rights such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child and local laws which also provide mechanisms in issuing sanctions for the violations of these rights.
As child rights violations are usually manifested through labor exploitation, Soledad presented the current situations of the children. He shared data on incidences of child exploitation and abuses in Asia, Philippines and in Northern Luzon, including the Cordillera Administrative Region.
In the Philippines, at least four million are child laborers of which 2.4 million are exposed to hazardous situation, said Soledad. He added that in the Cordillera there are child laborers in mining and quarrying that exposes them to danger.
Sebellino shared tips in reporting on child protection with emphasis on the rights of the child. “Write stories raising public awareness and mobilizing public support for their survival, development and protection, as well as their participation in creating an environment in which they are protected from information, data and images that promote sex, violence, discrimination, conflict, vices, and the use of illegal drugs and substance,” he explained.
The PPI pioneered the creation of guidelines in reporting on children. This resulted from the training programs on developing child-friendly newspapers which were followed by the first ever awards program on child-friendly newspapers and journalists.
“The media are more sensitive now. With this new endeavor, we put children to the fare and hopefully accomplish something remarkable,” added Sebellino.
One of the journalism students who participated in the activity said that the trimedia— print, broadcast especially television – should provide a program that is wholesome and child-friendly. He added that they should protect the child’s interest from acts or scenes of exploitation and abuse.
Reported by: Sharon Rose Navarro, Dorothy Fil Paguio, Lorelyn Liboon, Melody Gumpad, Kenneth Repasa, Mary Rose Garcia, Erica Villados