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09.06.2017 General News

Media Rendering Children Voiceless - IAMMIA-AFRICA

Abdul-Fatawu Adam Wunizoya

The Institute of African Media Monitoring Intelligence and Advocacy (IAMMIA-AFRICA) has called on the various media houses in Africa to let their medium be a voice for the voiceless in society.

According to IAMMIA-AFRICA, the media has key responsibility to speak for the vulnerable in society such as; women, children and Persons with Disability(PWD).

IAMMIA-AFRICA made the call in a statement to mark the 2017’s World Day Against Child Labor(WDACL) which is observed on June 12, every year.

The statement which was signed and issued by the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Messan Mawugbe said “IAMMIA-AFRICA as an NGO which monitor the ‘Monitors’ believe that, the media has a key responsibility in advocating for the rights of children in its medium.

“As an Organization, we believe that, high quality media content and public debate that is inclusive of child voices, expert advocates, and that explains policy issues relating to Children in editorials can contribute to wider efforts to improve the environment for protecting and promoting the rights of children.” The statement added.

According to the statement, a research conducted by the NGO on editorial of the various Ghanaian print media from 2015 to 2016 reveals that, politics was the most covered issue in the editorial, whereas children and other vulnerable in Society were left out.

“Out of 105 editorials that were tracked and analyzed from 10 National daily newspapers using scientifically approved method,99 (94%) were Non-Child related issues with only 6 editorials (6%) on Child related issues.

The media for the said two-years used its editorials on issues of politics, economy, terrorism, National and International security etc.” the statement explained.

The statement lamented that, in spite of the laws and regulation prohibiting children being used as a workforce, Ghanaians still exploit children economically.

“The 1998 Children’s act 560 (2) prohibits any person from exploiting children in labor. Clause 87 of the same act talks against engaging children in any form of work, Day or Night that are harmful to their health. A research conducted by Tulane University during the 2013–2014 harvest season, Children in Ghana are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including in fishing and harvesting cocoa. According to the report there were an estimated 918,543 child laborers ages 5 to 17 in the cocoa sector.” The statement lamented.

The statement therefore, appealed to gatekeepers of the various media to attach importance to child related issues in its editorials to help advocate for the rights of children in the country.

The Institute of African Media Monitoring Intelligence and Advocacy (IAMMIA-Africa) is a leading Media research NGO that uses 100 percent scientific Methods in media analysis data tracking in Africa.

The Organization is an affiliate of Center for Media Analysis (CMA), Ghana`s leading media research agency which has being in existence for over 13 years now.