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IMC held a round table discussion regarding the protection of children in the media

01 July 2024

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) in collaboration with the organization Terre des Hommes (TDH), organized a discussion table regarding the protection of children in the media. The main purpose of this table was to promote the legal norms for the protection of children in the media and to strengthen the cooperation between institutions and actors responsible for their implementation. The workshop aimed to raise public awareness of complaint mechanisms in case of violation of children's rights and to inform parents and guardians about children's rights to information and the dangers of uncontrolled media exposure.
At this table, representatives from a number of important institutions and organizations participated, including the Ombudsman Institution, the Information and Privacy Agency, the Office for Good Governance, the Council of the Written Media of Kosovo (KMSHK), the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AGK), Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), the University of Pristina (UP), the Coalition of NGOs for the Protection of Children (KOMF), and the organization Terre des Hommes Kosovo (TDH). The roundtable was moderated by journalist Kaltrina Ajeti.
In his introductory speech, the Chairman of the IMC, Mr. Jeton Mehmeti, thanked all the representatives of participating institutions and organizations for their support and contribution to this initiative. He said that the protection of children in the media, for the IMC, is a very important objective that is intended to be achieved through the implementation of three by-laws: the Regulation for the protection of children, the Regulation for commercial communications and the Code of Ethics. However, taking into account the latest technological developments, it is seen that a greater coordination and cooperation of all actors dealing with this issue is needed, which is why we have started this initiative.
The table was developed in four panels:
1. Protection of children from media content;
2. Privacy and identity protection;
3. Educational programs and responsible ethical reporting;
4. The role of civil society in the protection of children.
One of the main topics of discussion was the protection of children from media content that may be harmful or inappropriate for them. The need for responsible and ethical reporting by the media was emphasized, given the great influence they have in shaping children's thoughts and behaviors. Participants discussed the challenges and responsibilities of the media in providing content that respects and protects children's rights.
Privacy and protecting the identity of children in the media was another key issue addressed at the table. The importance of protecting children's personal data and identity to prevent any form of abuse or violation of their privacy was emphasized. Participating institutions and organizations pledged to strengthen measures and mechanisms that ensure the protection of these rights.
The participants underlined the importance of promoting informative and educational programs for children. These programs not only help develop their skills and knowledge, but also contribute to forming a safe and healthy media environment for them. Efforts to protect children in the media require a joint and continuous commitment from all stakeholders.
The role of civil society in protecting children from media content was also addressed separately. Non-governmental organizations and interest groups play an important role in educating and raising public awareness, promoting good practices and providing support to children and their families. It was emphasized that cooperation between these actors and state institutions is key to achieving sustainable and effective results.
At the end of the roundtable, the representatives of the IMC and the KOMF signed a joint declaration aimed at ensuring successful cooperation and interaction for the protection of children in the media. The statement, which is expected to be signed by the KMSHK, invites the media to protect the dignity of the child in their reports, to respect the children's right to privacy and to pay attention to the way programs with harmful content are categorized, the time of their transmission as well as the use of defined signs and pictograms.