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UNICEF and Faculty of Political Science launch Child Rights Syllabus

PODGORICA, 3 April 2013 – UNICEF and the Faculty of Political Science in Podgorica today launched the child rights syllabus aimed at developing responsible news reporting skills that respect child rights.

On this occasion, the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science Sonja Tomović Šundić and UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks also signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will serve as a basis for future cooperation to promote human and child rights in Montenegro.

Ms. Sonja Tomović Šundić, The Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Mr. Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Montenegro Representative after signing the Memorandum of Understanding. - UNICEF Montenegro / 2013

Faculty of Political Science introduced UNICEF child rights syllabus in February 2013. The aim is to provide the journalism students with concepts and knowledge that will allow them to develop the skills to report fairly, accurately and in accordance with the principles of child rights.

„Through this syllabus, our students will have an opportunity to get informed on human and children’s rights. They will learn about the culture of human rights, which is in a way the mission of the Faculty of Political Science,“ said Sonja Tomović Šundić, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science.

According to the UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks, "one of the things that future journalists will learn is about the special protection and confidentiality that is required when reporting on the situation of children who come into the conflict with the law, and children who may have been, for example, victims of sexual abuse or violence, and the need for that confidentiality, dignity, integrity to be kept at the heart of the way that journalists cover those stories.“

Ms. Nataša Ružić, professor at the Faculty of Political Science (left), Ms. Ivana Jelić, professor at the Faculty of Law (middle) and Ms. Sonja Tomović Šundić, The Dean of the Faculty of Political Science (right) at the launching of the Child Rights Syllabus - UNICEF Montenegro / 2013

Professors Ivana Jelić and Nataša Ružić worked on inserting in the syllabus the information about the Montenegrin media’s reporting on children and relevant legislation.

“In small countries like Montenegro, it is particularly easy to reveal the identity of the child by pointing out details such as the child’s initials, parent’s last name, detailed information about school, grade and the like. I am sure that the situation in the media would improve if the media followed the golden rule of Poynter Institute which states: “Treat other people’s children the way you would want them to treat yours,” concluded Nataša Ružić, professor at the Faculty of Political Science.

The syllabus called Children’s Rights and Journalism Practice was developed by UNICEF Regional Office in Geneva with the support of the Dublin Institute of Technology. With UNICEF’s support, Montenegro introduced this syllabus in journalism education in February this year and joined numerous universities in the region which have already done so.

After completing this module, students will be able to ethically report about children’s rights as well as to critically evaluate news reporting on issues affecting children from the human rights perspective.



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