With the vision ‘All children are protected from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation,’ FXB India Suraksha, Manipur Branch and Centre for Development Activities (CDAC) Jointly Organised a “Training Program for Journalists on right base reporting on Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse” held on Thursday at Conference Hall of Meetei Council Moreh.
The training program has conceptualized with an objective to understand the nuances of ethical reporting specially when it comes about reporting story about the victim of trafficking and child sexual abuse.
The training program was bring different guidelines and provision laid down by National Human Rights Commission, Honorable Supreme Court and Juvenile Justice Act. Further we believe with better reporting the community at large will be benefited in order to address their vulnerability and take appropriate steps to protect the menace of human trafficking and child sexual abuse in the society.
At the consultation programme, resource persons stressed on dealing child issues by the media in sensational but without resorting to identification and victimisation. Further, to follow up the stories stage-by-stage for protection of child rights efficiently, was also discussed.
Talking on ‘Journalism Ethics and responsibilities while reporting on children’s issues,’ Programme Manager of FXB India Suraksha, Satya Prakash said, the juvenile justice and child rights institutions were installed rather late. Various forms of issue are being faced in Manipur and other States. Here, the main importance is the information from media that makes the public aware about the issue. It is a significant medium that gives awareness.
He further put stress on the question “How far freedom is free?” while speaking on the matter of reporting news upon crime against children. Special focus is mandatory while reporting news of children, he said. Freedom of expression is given to all citizens, but there is no absolute freedom without any restriction, he added.
Speaking on the freedom given by Indian Constitution, he said the press is also subject to certain restrictions on freedom. On reporting upon issues relating to children, POCSO act lays down specific rules of reporting, such as to protect the confidentiality of children who are victims of abuse and neglect. And it is also stated that any details that can lead to the identification of the survivor must not be revealed, he informed. Schools, institutions, address of school or any particulars that may reveal identity of victim should not reported, he added.
The identity must not also be revealed for Whether they are ‘child in needs of care and protection’ or ‘child conflict with law,’ their identities must not be revealed. Though, it can be published for the sake of the child in missing or kidnapping case. If a report is published against the act, then the journalist can be punished for six month, and one year with fine to jail.
Section 23 of protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) Act and section 228A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides legal provision regarding disclosure of identity of victims of certain offences. There are various offences faced by children; here, journalist should also take an initiative on context referring to India policy and local context issues, he added.
POCSO act was enacted to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and to provide a child-friendly system for trail of these offences. The increasing incidence of sexual offences against children had to be addressed through a separate legislation, as the Indian Penal Code, he said.
Coming to media reports, no person shall make any report or present comments on any child on any form of media or studio or pornographic facilities without having complete and authentic information, which may have effect of lowering reputation, he informed.
He further informed that provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Special Court is competent to try the case under the act and may permit disclosure, if in its opinion; such disclosure is in the interest of the child.
Any person who contravenes the provision of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a period which shall not less than six months but which may extend to one year or with fine or with both, he said. While informing that any offences should be reported to police, he stated that provisions to be followed are also given to police.
Situation which journalists have to deal with is publishing sensational news in interest of running firm, he said. Identification of an accused perpetrator published on news may sometimes disclose the identity of the victims. Even if a victim or parents agree to be identified, they may not fully understand the ramifications of their decision, he said. They often have potential to cause harm to the child and the family, and this far outweighs any potential benefits from the story.
He urged media to take follow up story of an issue systematically with consideration on writing news input policy, plan, compensation and provision to make the public aware about Acts. He said, various cases are yet to get timely justice or waiting for compensation to be given to victims.
The training programme was attended by Kh.Sunil Meitei, project officer, FXBIS Imphal and Moirangthem Sushilkumar, Founder Centre for Development Activities (CDAC), Wangjing Manipur.
It may be mention that FXB India Suraksha’s project called ‘MUKTI’ was launched in the district of Ukhrul and Imphal to combat human trafficking and prevent child sexual abuse in Manipur. To combat the issues, FXB needs of a strong coordination between different agencies who are working for child rights.
FXB India Suraksha (FXBIS) is a Child Rights organization registered in year 2007 as non-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. FXBIS works in 10 states and union territories and reaches out to over 200,000 people through its community based programmes and interventions.
FXBIS is a member of National Action and Coordination Group (NACG), a SAARC level initiative to end violence against children. During the last few years working on an integrated approach the organization has been addressing rights of girls and women and have partnered with UNWOMEN, NCPCR and the Ministry of Women and Child Development to address incidents of violence in diverse forms faced by women at the state and the national level. FXBIS is a collaborative organization to implement CHILDLINE service for the districts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh and Ukhrul, Manipur.
As a part of our intervention to combat the Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Abuse, we are planning to organize trainings/ awareness programs for different peoples including Law Enforcement Agencies, Journalist, Community leaders and religious leaders at Moreh Town, Tengnoupal, Manipur.
Working Journalist of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kakching and Thoubal Districts also Attended as the training programme.