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Eastern, Southern African journalists challenged to protect children's rights
Africa has nearly 50 million child brides, with Ethiopia having the highest number at over 17 million. Malawi has 2.2 million child brides.
Kenya: Eastern and Southern African journalists have been challenged to protect children while reporting on harmful practices.
Early marriages and genital mutilation are two examples of harmful practices.
Speaking at the start of a three-day media training on sensitive reporting on harmful practices for media practitioners from Eastern and Southern Africa on Tuesday, Africa UNICEF Representative to the African Union Commission Dr Edward Addai noted that journalists must be part of a movement to combat harmful practices.
He stated that while journalists report on harmful practices, they must be ethical to ensure that their reports do not endanger children.
“Make sure your reports do no harm to children. Be ethical with your report. Make sure your reports have the best interest of a child,” Addai said.
According to Addai, Africa has nearly 50 million child brides, with Ethiopia having the highest number at over 17 million. Malawi has 2.2 million child brides.
World Vision is one of the organisations that has collaborated with the African Union to organise the media training.
World Vision International Director of Advocacy Ruth Koshal, speaking on behalf of the organisation, observed that harmful practices violate the rights of children and women across Africa.
“Child marriages and Female genital mutilation are a violation of children’s rights as well as women's rights. As a result, there is gender inequality in all spheres of life, social-political and economic. Social norms like harmful practices prevent girls from fulfilling their full potential, unfortunately, COVID has violence against children leading in some cases to teen pregnancies,” Koshal said.
The training has attracted participants from Malawi, Zambia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique among them.