07 February 2019
The Independent Media Commission (IMC) reacts to the reporting form of some audio-visual media service providers that have not fully complied with ethical rules and principles while reporting the sexual abuse of a minor in Drenas by a teacher and a police officer.
The IMC has consistently expressed its concern regarding the similar issues, both during individual communication with licensees and through public announcements, in order to remind all media about their legal and ethical obligations towards the audience, and in particular to children, and juveniles as most vulnerable category of the public.
The IMC warns licensees that disclosing an identity of juveniles who are victims of abuse is in breach with the Code of Ethics for Media Service Providers, namely with individual rights. Such presentation of an identity of children and juveniles in programs presents violation of IMC legislation that protects minors, more precisely the Code of Ethics for Media Service Providers in the Republic of Kosovo CIMC 2016/03 and IMC Regulation 2013/01 on Protection of Children and Minors in Audiovisual Media Services.
Code of Ethics for Media Service Providers in the Republic of Kosovo CIMC 2016/03 regulates issues related to the protection of children and minors in terms of harmful and insulting content. As specified in Article 9 of the Code of Ethics, point 1 “The right to privacy of children shall always be respected. Since unnecessary publicity or mislabeling can detriment them, children and juveniles who are victims of abuse or in breach with the law shall not be identified, directly or indirectly. No information shall be transmitted that could identify them”. As well, in Article 9 of the Code of Ethics, point 8 specifies that “AMSPs’ shall take care of the physical well-being, emotional and dignity of minors (under the age of 18) who participate in the program or are involved in any other manner. This applies regardless of the prior consent of a parent or adult who is responsible for a minor”.
Whereas,IMC Regulation 2013/01 on the Protection of Children and Minors in Audiovisual Media Services, determines the manner of categorisation, signaling and time of transmission of such content, as well,protecting and respecting an identity of children and juveniles in programs.
IMC reminds anaudiovisual media service providers that those persons affected by tragedy or grief shall be treated with sensitivity, respect and prudence, while respecting the full right oftheir privacy.
The Independent Media Commission is continuously monitoring reporting of licensees regarding the above-mentioned case, in order to ensure full compliance with the Law and bylaws of the IMC.