Guidelines to follow when interviewing a child

  • Do no harm to any child; avoid questions, attitudes or comments that are judgmental, insensitive to cultural values, that place a child in danger or expose a child to humiliation and traumatized.
  • Do not discriminate in choosing children to interview because of their sex, race, age, religion, status, educational background or physical abilities.
  • No staging: do not ask children to tell a story or take an action that is not part of their own history.
  • Ensure that the child or guardian knows they are talking to a reporter. Explain the purpose of the interview and its intended use.
  • Obtain permission from the child and his or her guardian for all interviews, videotaping and, when possible, for documentary photographs. 
  • Pay attention to where and how the child is interviewed. Limit the number of interviewers and photographers.

Media Practitioners of rwenzori sub region in a group photo with National Children Authority technical officers during capacity building workshop on child protection ethical reporting in media. The training workshop was organized by NCA.

Guidelines to follow when reporting a child

  • Do not further stigmatize any child; avoid categorizations or descriptions that expose a child to negative reprisals – including additional physical or psychological harm, or to lifelong abuse, discrimination or rejection by their local communities.
  • Always provide an accurate context for the child’s story or image.
  • Always change the name and obscure the visual identity of any child who is identified as:- a victim of sexual abuse or exploitation, a perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse, HIV positive, or living with AIDS, unless the child, a parent or a guardian gives fully informed consent, and charged or convicted of a crime.
  • In certain circumstances of risk or potential risk of harm or retribution, change the name and obscure the visual identity of any child who is identified as:- a current or former child combatant, an asylum seeker, a refugee or an internally displaced person.
  • In certain cases, using a child’s identity (their name and/or recognizable image) is in the child’s best interests. However, when the child’s identity is used, they must still be protected against harm and supported in the event of any stigmatization or reprisals.
  • Confirm the accuracy of what the child has to say, either with other children or an adult, preferably with both.
  • When in doubt about whether a child is at risk, report on the general situation for children rather than on an individual child, no matter how newsworthy the story.
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