Children’s Media Rights Declaration

This Declaration:

  • re-affirms our commitment to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by New Zealand in 1993, with particular regard to media rights (Articles 13, 17, 29, 30 & 31),
  • acknowledges the developmental role, responsibility and power of all forms of media in informing, entertaining, educating and enabling; and,
  • recognises children’s potential to be creative and to contribute to their society .

It is therefore asserted that:

  1. Children have a right to accessible and diverse local media which is made specifically for them and which doesn’t exploit them.
  2. Children should have access to media which entertains, educates and stimulates them and which allows them to develop to their fullest potential.
  3. Children should see themselves, their culture, their life experiences and hear their accents in a range of quality programmes which affirm their sense of self, community and place.
  4. Stories are vital for the development of identity and imagination. Stories relevant to their age and culture should be available to children of all ages.
  5. Children’s media should be wide-ranging in genre and content, but should not include gratuitous scenes of violence and sex.
  6. Children’s programmes should be aired in regular slots at times when children are available to view, and/or distributed via other widely accessible media or technologies.
  7. Sufficient funds must be made available to make children’s programmes to the highest possible standards.
  8. Children of all backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities should see and hear themselves reflected positively in local programmes.
  9. Children have a right to be safe in accessing media on all platforms.
  10. Children must be enabled to exercise their creativity in making and interacting with programmes.

Call for Action

In meeting children’s media rights and interests government, media, non-government organisations, the private sector and other agencies should:

  • provide media education for children and families to develop their critical understanding of all media forms;
  • provide opportunities for children in creating media and to express themselves on a wide range of issues relating to their needs and interests;
  • provide sufficient funds and resources to ensure access to and enable the production and effective dissemination of high quality materials for and about children as well as capacity building for media practitioners so that they can perform their role as developmental agencies;
  • promote regional and international cooperation through the sharing of research, expertise and exchange of materials and programmes, networking among government, non-government organisations, media organisations, educational institutions, advocacy groups and other agencies;
  • provide incentives for excellence through awards at regional and national levels;
  • provide coordinated monitoring mechanisms and encourage self-regulation at regional and national levels to ensure the implementation of this Declaration; and,
  • convene as early as possible broad national multi-sectoral consultations to develop action plans, including professional guidelines consistent with this Declaration.

I support the Children’s Media Rights Declaration