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The Challenge

The Oslo Challenge to governments is:

• to recognize children as an investment rather than a cost, and as potential rather than a burden, and to strive to integrate this reality into policy, including that related to the media;

• to meet national obligations set out under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and to report regularly to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on policies and actions aimed at fulfilling Articles 12, 13 and 17;

• to ensure that resources are provided so that children and young people have access to information;

• to explore ways in which, without compromising professional independence, support can be given to media initiatives aimed at providing greater access to children, serving their needs and promoting their rights;

• to recognize that an independent media is fundamental to the pursuit of democracy and freedom and that censorship and control are inimical to the best interests of both children and adults, and thus to create an effective and secure environment in which the media can work professionally and independently.

Good practice

The following formal declarations and resolutions from around the world call on governments - among others - to play their role in developing the relationship between children and the media; or show how governments have played a part in bringing about change in this area. While none have the force of law, they can assist understanding that there is growing concern about the function of mass media in children's lives.

Asian Declaration on Child Rights and the Media (1996)

Banjul Declaration on Child Rights and the Media (1999)

Bratislava Resolution (1994)

The Charter for children's Television, Australia (1995)

Declaration of the Asia-Pacific Television Forum on Children and Youth (2001)

Draft Declaration of Thessaloniki: Commitment for the Future (2001)

European Convention on Transfrontier Television of The Council of Europe (1989)

• European Union:

- Action Plan on Promoting Safer Use of the Internet (1998)

- Recommendation on the Protection of Minors and Human Dignity in Audiovisual and Information Services (1998)

- 'Television without Frontiers' Directive (1989/97)

- South African Developing Countries Summit Children's Broadcasting Charter (1996)


- Action Plan on Cultural Policies for Development (1998)

- Declaration and Action Plan on Sexual Abuse of Children, Child Pornography and Paedophilia on the Internet (1999)

- Recommendations of the Vienna Conference 'Education for the Media and Digital Age' (1999)

How to get involved

• Urge your local and national lawmakers to further develop their duties under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly under Articles 12, 13 and 17. If you live in the United States, UNICEF has provided guidelines on moving the Convention closer to ratification by the US Government.

• We'd like to hear about examples of good practice involving government and the relationship between children and the media, to feature them on this website. Just fill in this form.

• Search the MAGICbank for details of media projects by, with and for children.

• Search the Links and contacts section of this website by country name or region for details of further information.

• See also the Declaring for children section of this site.

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