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Albanian Parliament and AMA organize a round table on “Children in audiovisual media”

Today, on July 12, 2019, the MPs Group “Friends of Children”, from Albanian Parliament organized in cooperation with Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) the joint round table on “Children in audiovisual media”. This meeting is held in function of implementation of recommendations that the Parliament has put forward to AMA.

The participants were MPs, representatives of audiovisual media, representatives of civil society, state institutions, etc.

The purpose of organizing this round table was to create a useful space for discussion with all stakeholders on coverage of problems related to children reporting in audiovisual media.

Mrs. Vasilika Hysi, the Deputy Speaker of Albanian Parliament, at the same time vice chairwoman of MPs  Group “Friends of Children”, thanked in her speech the Audiovisual Media Authority for starting the work to implement the recommendations of Albanian Parliament. She emphasized the role of AMA in sensitive issues, such as the rights of children. While transmitting the support of Albanian Parliament for AMA to address issues related to the rights of children, Mrs. Hysi said that this round table is an added value and it is a good moment for the involved stakeholders, media, society and community  to reflect on their role in child education.

In turn, Mrs. Milva Ekonomi, Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee of Education and Public Information Media of the Albanian Parliament, talked about the importance of institutional cooperation in protecting the rights of children. She stressed the importance of monitoring of audiovisual content, mainly focusing on violence against children and advertising of energy drinks and drinks containing added sugar, as harmful products for children development.

AMA’s Chairman, Mr. Gentian Sala, talked in his speech about the work that this institution has done in terms of protection of minors in audiovisual broadcasting. Mr. Sala said that there is an increase of media awareness and of the public, as well towards this problem. He pointed out the need for an increased role of public operator as the sole body focused on public interest, above all. Over the last five years, “we have tried to coordinate our work and activities with all stakeholders involved, in order to address this problem properly,”- added Mr. Sala. The most important moment of this activity was the decision of AMA’s Board setting as a priority the protection of minors in audiovisual broadcasting.

Mrs. Elma Tërshana and Mrs. Julia Alushi from Observatory for Children and Youth Rights presented the findings of a study conducted in cooperation with UNICEF on “Media portrayal of children”.

The Head of AMA’s Complaints Committee, Mr. Urim Bajrami, presented in brief the work of this Committee starting from April 2016, when this body was incorporated. He pointed out the conclusions for each complaint handled and explained the good practice adopted to handle the complaints.

The meeting was concluded with open discussions from the participants. This round table will be followed by other meetings in the future.