The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that children have the right to express their views and receive information on important matters. In Myanmar, limited information channels and existing media controls can have the effect of limiting families’ access to information on important children’s issues and beneficial care practices.
UNICEF’s Communication Section works to enhance the quantity and quality of child-focused media available to families in Myanmar through a number of activities. UNICEF holds regular roundtable meetings with local reporters to educate them about children’s issues. UNICEF also provides training courses for local journalists on basic reporting skills, children and the media, children’s rights and ethics. A 2004 training culminated in a group of 22 local journalists composing and unanimously adopting a Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
To help give children and youth a greater voice, in 2005 UNICEF will be training ‘young journalists’, and sponsoring their placement with select private publications, enabling them to report on the issues that they and other children face.
As the leading resource center in Myanmar on children and children’s issues, UNICEF works to provide the public with constant, up to date information on the nation’s children. UNICEF also supports efforts to advocate for and promote interventions that improve the wellbeing of the country’s children and youth.
UNICEF supports community-based and faith-based organizations – including Buddhist, Muslim and Christian organizations – in their dissemination of important information to families living in remote communities. One way UNICEF works to increase families’ knowledge of beneficial care practices is through the dissemination of Facts for Life, an authoritative information book containing advice on a range of life-saving and health-enhancing interventions, including breastfeeding, immunization, hygiene, injury prevention, diarrhea and malaria prevention/ treatment, and HIV/AIDS.