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Kazakh media adopt mission statement on child rights

Almaty, 19 November 2005. – The National Information Network “Children of Kazakhstan” has inaugurated its Mission Statement and Plan of Action during a three-day Media Workshop on Media and Children's Rights.

The event aimed to help media integrate child rights issues into their stories, and was supported by UNICEF, the Ministry of Culture, Information and Sport, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman.  Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative, Bulat Baikadamov, Ombudsman, and Kaisar Janakhanov, Chairman of the Information and Archives Committee under the Ministry of Culture, Information and Sport, addressed workshop participants.  

The event follows a training workshop on the ethical principles of reporting on child rights issues held in Astana in May this year, attended by editors-in-chief, journalists, NGO activists and deans of university journalism departments -- the first such workshop ever to take place in Kazakhstan. Participants agreed that media have a critical role to play in ensuring a good understanding of child rights -- essential to the harmonious development of society. They shared simliar problems, such as lack of reader interest and lack of government support and financing.

Olga Budko, the producer of the famous TV programme on early childhood “Daughters & Sons” said: “Until today I felt myself lonely in the field of journalism for children, now I see I am not alone in the cause of the lifetime, I met my allies, I am stronger now.”

The National Information Network: Children of Kazakhstan

Workshop participants decided to unite under the umbrella of the national Information Network “Children of Kazakhstan”. Today's new Mission Statement is the foundation of a stable community of journalists and other enthusiasts, all united around the cause of children and all on a common journey to protect and promote child rights and interests through their words.

The Mission Statement reads: “We mobilize our efforts to call for the attention of the Government and the people to the state of child rights observance, solution of issues related to strengthening families, healthcare, education, legal protection of child interests and privileges, ensuring equal opportunities to all children of Kazakhstan

… We intend to develop cooperation with the government bodies at the regional and central levels based on the principles of equal partnership. Acknowledging he necessity of uniting the potential of mass media, non-government agencies, business structures and citizens of the country, we are open for partnership with… any organization that is indifferent to the issues of child rights and interests protection, because children are not only our future, they are our present.”

The new media coalition is an example of constructive cooperation and permanent exchange of ideas between journalists, NGOs, individuals, the Government and UNICEF to strengthen the potential of society to ensure the best interests of Kazakhstan's youngest citizens.

This Workshop is one in a series of events to prepare for the National “Leave No Child Out” campaign that will be launched on 24 November under the key slogan:  “Every Child Has the Right to A Loving and Caring Family.”

For more information

Gauhar Abdygaliyeva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Kazakhstan (+7 31 72) 32 83 07, email: gabdygaliyeva@unicef.org

 

 
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