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5. Media Representation, Children's Rights and Professional Responsibility

pg 4 of 10

Violation of children's rights

There are a number of ways in which the rights of children may be violated by inappropriate exposure and media stereotyping. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) promotes the right to respect for the family and private life; Article 14 of the ECHR promotes the prohibition of discrimination. 

Children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) include:


Article 12: the child’s right to express views freely in all matters affecting them


Article 13: the child’s right to freedom of expression, which is restricted by law when necessary for the protection “of national security, or of public order … or of public health or morals”


Article 16: protection against interference or attack on “privacy, family, home or correspondence … honour or reputation”


Article 17: recognition of the importance of the media, and encouragement of the dissemination of material “of social and cultural benefit to the child” and “‘the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being”

These articles clearly establish rights for children that could be violated by irresponsible media practices. In particular, UNCRC Article 17 states that the media are responsible for promoting the welfare of the child.  

Violation of children’s rights includes insensitive reporting and misrepresentation, or denial of space for their opinions on various issues.

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