‘Child’s picture should not have been published’

Dear Editor,

Ms Oluatoyin Alleyne, in her article ‘Women miners’ organization finds eight-year-old in mining pit,‘ published in the Sunday Stabroek, November 4, 2012, has given us an account of some of the activities in the Puruni Backdam as told by Ms Simona Broomes. To substantiate some of the information, two photographs were provided, one of which includes the little boy referred to in one episode of Ms Broomes’ story. Not knowing the child, we perhaps in this distant location would not be able to recognize him, but it is, however, possible that persons who know him in that location would be able to recognize that child. It is in this context that one could take issue with this article.

Publicizing the picture of this child runs contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Guyana is a signatory. It also runs contrary to standards on reporting on children as set by UNESCO and UNICEF.

These deficiencies in reporting on children have been clearly set out in the Report Media Trends: Representation of Women and Children in the Media produced by Dr Paloma Mohamed in collaboration with UNICEF and the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security.

Further, this report also formed the basis of a workshop which was intended to sensitize the media to these requirements in reporting on children. It was therefore quite surprising to note the picture published in the newspaper.

Yours faithfully,
Yvonne Stephenson

Editor’s note
Despite the fact that the features of the child’s face could not be distinguished at that distance, this newspaper obscured the upper portion of his face to be certain before publishing the photo.

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