JOINT PRESS RELEASE

By the State Agency on Children’s Rights and Protection and

Audiovisual Media Authority

The State Agency on Children’s Rights and Protection (SACRP) and the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) condemn any form of child sexual abuse, in and outside their family circle. Sexual abuse is one of the most severe forms of violence against children. SACRP is working with local Child Protection units and their partners to ensure child protection and rehabilitation. Having child protection as its main priority, AMA is committed to protecting children from harmful audiovisual broadcasts, calling for audiovisual operators to observe legal and ethical norms, as well as maintain child’s best interest.

SACRP and AMA encourage citizens and communities around children to report as soon as possible any suspected or identified child abuse case. Only through prompt reporting will we protect children and prevent their abuse.

Moreover, based on the latest serious cases of child sexual abuse, we are concerned about the way media has reported them.

Online portals, print and audiovisual media have provided details on the cases, have interviewed child relatives, have revealed their home address, administrative unit, the city where the case occurred, and have enabled the identification of the child, abuse victim.

Publication of these data violates international principles and Albanian legislation, namely Law No. 97/2013 “On Audiovisual Media in the Republic of Albania”, as amended, and the Broadcasting Code, which is a legal framework sanctioning child rights to be protected, and to have their personal data, privacy and confidentiality preserved. Such information that is revealed and identifies children victims of a serious case, also affects their re-victimization and hampers their follow-up rehabilitation.

The main principles that the media should know and respect, based on national and international legislation, explicitly stipulate child protection by the media. The main principle is child’s best interest and the source of other principles, such as: non-discrimination, respecting one’s private and family life, protecting home address, correspondence, and child dignity and moral.

It is media’s duty to be ethical, particularly when they broadcast child-related news. In every publication, the media should consider child’s best interest before any other interest. Broadcasting images or details from the case, which enable child victim identification, are in full violation of the main principles to be followed by the media.

SACRP and AMA have been monitored the publication of news on cases involving child victims. Pursuant to Law No. 18/2017 “On the Rights and Protection of the Child” and Law No. 97/2013 “On Audiovisual Media in the Republic of Albania”, as amended, we call for all media, including audiovisual ones, to respect child privacy and confidentiality principles.

Moreover, we call for the media to respect child rights and become partners in preventing child abuse, reporting social norms and behaviors that affect child sexual abuse.

Audiovisual Media Authority

Tirana, June 1st, 2020

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