Be ethical when reporting on children in social media, says Child Safety Department

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Child Safety Department in Sharjah highlights importance of paying heed to the privacy, emotions and memories of children and parents.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), has emphasised the importance of studying the outcome of publicly revealing the identity of children who are victims of accidents or any form of abuse.

It also called for gaining greater insights into the impact of such practices on children, their parents, and communities, and on their future.

The CSD pointed out that raising the awareness of social media users on the dangerous impact of the posts and photographs that they randomly share could play a pivotal role in protecting children and their parents from grave psychological trauma.

The department stated that publishing the identity and photographs of child victims of abuse exacerbates trauma and has a negative impact on the mentality, consciousness and good memories of children and their parents, family, and communities.

The CSD stressed that due understanding and consideration should be maintained to protect the innocence, beauty, and cherished memories of childhood.

The CSD remarked that the media plays a critical role in raising community awareness on the negative impact of sharing photographs and written content.

The print and audio-visual media which adhere to high ethical and professional standards, have a vital role in warning social media users about exchanging posts and photographs of children who are victims of abuse, and how sharing such content could lead to bullying, exploitation and social stigma.

The department called on academic institutions and community organisations to coordinate with legislative entities to raise awareness and educate social media users on their responsibilities towards society.

It also called for greater coordination with relevant entities and media outlets to ensure commitment to the laws and standards of reporting and for being sensitive to the needs of children and parents, stressing that children’s psychological and emotional safety are a national responsibility.

CSD remarked that the child safety laws of the legislative and organisational entities specialised in protecting children’s rights in the UAE are dedicated to fulfilling child safety standards and that this child-friendly environment supports the interests of children, their parents, and communities.

 

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