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Making Children’s Voices Heard

© UNICEF Armenia/Hasmik Arakelyan
The launch of the newspaper supplement was attended by media professionals, journalists, children and parents alongwith UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, renowned Armenian singer Alla Levonyan.

UNICEF and "AZG" Daily provide venue for children and young people to express themselves


YEREVAN, 19 July 2007 – Children and young people aged 10-17 launched today the first issue of a supplement to one of Armenia’s most influential daily newspapers developed by them through support of UNICEF and the newspaper’s editorial board.


"This supplement is a unique venue for children and young people to express their thoughts and opinions on issues of their concern and to raise their voices in defense of children’s fundamental rights," UNICEF Communication Officer Emil Sahakyan said, addressing a group of media professionals and NGO representatives who joined the event.


The supplement is a product of a three-month intensive work by a group of 30 children and young people who were selected by UNICEF and editorial board of "Azg" daily and underwent training on child rights and journalism facilitated by the staff of UNICEF and the newspaper.


The first issue of the supplement to be published on a monthly basis addresses a wide range of problems, including education, child poverty and disability, relationships between children and parents. Traditional feature stories and articles are combined with humour and poetry pieces through which children and young people have also tried to highlight some of the burning issues.

"I am glad that our newspaper is part of this project. Many of our journalists would dream to have the courage to say things and raise problems that children and young people involved in this project highlighted in the first issue of the supplement," said Editor-in-chief of "Azg" daily, Hakob Avetikyan. "I really hope that these young journalists have come to tell the truth about issues that often remain unnoticed or ignored."

 

© UNICEF Armenia/Hasmik Arakelyan
The young people were selected through an essay competition by UNICEF and "Azg" daily. They then had training on journalism and children's rights.

Unfortunately, in Armenia the participation of children and young people in media remains low. There are few print and electronic media outlets that are developed with direct participation of children, while many existing magazines and newsletters oriented at child audience do not really reflect children’s and young people’s needs and problems.


"Children and young people have a unique talent of seeing things that for many adults remain unnoticeable and, therefore, their involvement in media projects, particularly those called to address their problems, is of great importance," Emil Sahakyan said, adding that "the fact that the supplement will be disseminated as part of one of Armenia’s most popular newspapers makes it a strong advocacy tool and provides children and young people with opportunity to be heard at all levels, including policy and decision-makers."

UNICEF established its presence in Armenia in 1994. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to meet their full potential.

For more information, please contact:

Emil Sahakyan, Communication Officer

Tel.: (374 10) 52 35 46, 56 64 97

Fax.: (374 10) 54 38 10

E-Mail.: esahakyan@unicef.org

 

 

 
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