A Child Friendly Media

Belize City – March 29, 2021

The National Committee for Families and Children expresses great concern with the way some portions of the media covered the recent incident in which a minor was tortured.  While it is difficult to control what is posted on social media, it is the responsibility of the traditional media to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards when reporting on children.  To this end, NCFC along with UNICEF has sought to engage the media in ensuring that the rights of children are always respected and protected.  In the late 1990s a media code was developed, this was amended and ratified in March 2004 at NCFC’s media summit.  The code was further updated in May 2019 to include social media and other considerations at NCFC/UNICEF’s conference “Towards a Child Friendly Media in Belize.” The best interest of the child should be paramount in the context of the Laws of Belize and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

When reporting on crimes against children, journalists must refrain from using graphic images, language, and descriptions.  Reporting on children’s issues should be done in a way that enables the media to serve the public interest without compromising the rights of children or putting them at risk.

The National Committee for Families and Children and its partners look forward to remain engaged with the media to ensure that the best interest of our children is always served.