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The Challenge

The Oslo Challenge to media professionals at all levels and in all media is:

• to raise awareness in the media professions about the rights of children and how they can be protected and promoted by good professional practices or harmed through inappropriate policies or actions;

• to work ethically and professionally according to sound media practices and to develop and promote media codes of ethics in order to avoid sensationalism, stereotyping (including by gender) or undervaluing of children and their rights;

• to resist commercial pressures that lead to children's issues and the rights of children to freedom of expression, fair coverage and protection from exploitation, including as consumers, being given low priority;

• to work to enhance the relationship between children and the media so that both grow and improve in understanding of the positive and negative power and potential of the relationship.

Good practice

The following codes and guidelines provide examples of good practice and advice on working ethically and professionally with children in the media:

• UNICEF's Principles and Guidelines for the Ethical Reporting on Children and Young People under 18 Years Old.

Putting Children in the Right - International Federation of Journalists (2002).

The Association of Photographers' Draft Guidelines for Working with Children (United Kingdom)

Bristol Old Vic Theatre Child Protection Policy and Youth Theatre Company Rules (United Kingdom)

The Center for the Protection of Children's Rights Foundation's Questionnaire for Journalists (Thailand)

International Federation of Journalists' Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Issues Involving Children

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies' Guidelines for Interviewing Juveniles (United States)

Other Journalism codes from around the world

The following formal declarations and resolutions, and those featured in the MAGICgovernment section of this website, will also be useful to media professionals:

Africa Charter on Children's Broadcasting (1997)

Child Exploitation and the Media Forum Recommendations (1997)

How to get involved

• An outline of the obstacles affecting media professionals working with children, and suggestions on how to overcome them, can be found in the MAGICbriefing section of this website. The following sections will be particularly useful:

- Children in media production

- Children as story sources

- Interviewing children

- Shocking images

- HIV/AIDS and the media

- Media regulation

- Prizes

• Details of copyright-free broadcast and other material available to media professionals can be found in the UNICEF Press Centre. This includes a Video Tool Kit for broadcasters, animation material, access to UNICEF excerpts, video B-Rolls and fast facts.

• Information for broadcasters on UNICEF's International Children's Day of Broadcasting in December, when children and young people take to the air as reporters, presenters and producers, can be found on the UNICEF website. There are also details of licence-free broadcast material.

• The MAGICbank is a database of media initiatives from around the world that showcase best practice in projects by, with and for children. It can be searched under a variety of categories, including media activities such as 'television', 'radio' and 'print'. It will be useful for media professionals wanting to develop projects with children. For those interesting in funding, each project has details of who the funders were. There is also the opportunity to add projects to the bank.

• Search the Links and contacts section of this website by country or region of origin for a wealth of useful resources.

• The Child Rights Information Network aims to meet the needs of all organizations working for child rights. Its website includes reports, news, events and a section on the media.

• We are collecting further examples of good practice to feature on this section of the website, including:

- other codes and guidelines for media professionals;

- details of websites that other media professionals might find useful.

To contribute, just fill in this form.

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