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UNICEF announces 2009 winners of Media Awards on Child Rights for Middle East and North Africa

BEIRUT/AMMAN, 5 November 2009 – UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa announced today the winners of the regional awards on child rights for 2009. The awards – in the four categories of TV, radio, written press and Internet – recognize outstanding media work in the region in 2009 in the fields of health education and behavioural change, the focus for the competition this year.

“I am delighted to reward this batch of winners,” said Mahmoud Kabil, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa, who handed out the awards in Beirut. ‘This year’s winners dealt with important issues from across the region on child survival and health, and how to improve them”.

The winners for the 2009 awards announced today, in the presence of Kabil and UNICEF Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa, Sigrid Kaag, were:

  • For print:  Abeer Sala El-Din, Egypt, Sabah el-Kheir Magazine, for her work on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
  • For Internet: Mohammed Sawafiri, from the occupied Palestine territory, al-Hayat al-Jadida daily online, on the Psychosocial impact on children of the war of December 2008 – January 2009 in Gaza.
  • For television, Dubai Television, Vitamin Programme, represented by Samia Mahmoud, on the problem of child obesity.
  • For radio, Soraya Boatba, from Algerian Radio, for her programme on heavy school bags and their impact on children’s health.

A special mention was given to Shahira Amin, Egypt, Nile TV International and CNN for her outstanding work throughout the year on promoting child rights.

The media awards are made as part of the yearly UNICEF Regional Media Forum on Child Rights, now in its fifth year. Media representatives from across the Middle-East and North Africa, including Iran, South Sudan and Djibouti, and UNICEF communication specialists met in Beirut to discuss how to promote child rights through media. Experts presented case studies and examples of coverage of child protection, juvenile justice, child soldiers, violence and abuse, child labor, children in armed conflicts in the three days meeting.

Next year’s UNICEF regional awards for Child Rights will focus on the overall issue of Child Rights in Middle-East and North Africa, as the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November.

UNICEF video and high-resolution photography for media organizations is available at: http://www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa,
Tel +962-79-700-4567,

Souha Bsat Boustani, UNICEF Lebanon,
Tel + 961-70-931-700,




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