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The Challenge

The Oslo Challenge to parents is:

• to acknowledge and support the rights of children to have access to media, participate in it and use it as a tool for their advancement;

• to provide a protective and supportive environment in which children can make choices as media consumers that promote their development to their full potential;

• to be as informed as possible about trends and directions in the media and, where possible, to contribute actively to forming such trends and directions through participation in focus groups, feedback mechanisms and by using procedures laid down for comment and complaints on media content.

Find out more

The following websites and sources of further information will be useful for parents in fulfilling the above goals. They are a starting point, and we would be interested to hear from parents what they would like to see featured on this site (just fill in this simple form).

• The MAGICbank features media initiatives by, with and for children. It can be searched under a variety of categories, including Media activity, for example 'media training' and 'media studies'; or Themes, for example, 'empowerment' and 'family'.

• Search in the Links and contacts section of this site under country or region of origin.

• The following sites will be useful for parents who see the educational value of the Internet, but are concerned about the safety of their children.

- Teddy's TV troubles
Teddy's TV troubles website
Teddy's TV troubles helps parents ease their children's fears. Joanne Cantor, Ph.D., a nationally (US) recognized authority on the media and children, has written Teddy’s TV Troubles, a reassuring children's book to help families cope with today's disturbing media environment. Parents often have difficulty comforting their young children, who can't readily be reassured with words. The book helps by acknowledging the fear and letting children know they are not alone, showing a loveable character work through his fears with the help of a caring adult and by presenting a series of age-appropriate activities that help children overcome their fears, including drawing pictures, creative play and reassuring bedtime rituals.

- MaMaMedia, a US children's activity website, monitors communications, offers no real-time chat rooms, limits the collection of children's personal information and does not share user information with the site's business partners. It also requires all those who register to supply parental email addresses so that consent can be obtained.

- The Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) is an international, independent organization that empowers the public, especially parents, to make informed decisions about electronic media by means of the open and objective labelling of content.

- The international campaign group Innocence en Danger is one of many groups of concerned parents seeking alliances to protect children from the risks of unsupervised Internet use.

- The UK-based interactive website Miss Dorothy provides links for children and adults to examine safety codes, government guidelines and examples of good safety practice in schools.

- Chat Danger provides parents with advice on how to recognize and prevent problems that can arise in chat rooms. Although it is aimed primarily at the United Kingdom and Europe, advice is applicable for anyone in the world.

- Further information is provided in the Child Protection on the Internet section of this site.

• The UNICEF website has a selection of frequently asked questions that parents ask about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Article 12, which deals with children's rights to express themselves.

• The MAGICchildren section of this site has useful resources parents can use with their children to encourage them to learn about their rights, have their say and get involved with the media.

• The Children and the media section of this site provides a full briefing on trends and directions in the media involving children.

• The Canadian-based Media Awareness Network has a section for parents on its website . This has practical information and resources on media education in the home, and for parents who wish the media to be a positive influence in their children's lives. Sections include Five Ways to Use the News, Becoming a Media-Wise Family and Taking Action.

• The Center for Media Literacy website features details of resources for parents, for example a Sitcom Sleuths board game. There is also a reading room, featuring excerpts from books that give guidance for parents on subjects like children and television.

• The Childnet Awards reward children - and those working with them - who are using the Internet to benefit others. Further information, including closing dates for the current awards, can be found on their website.


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