TV channels asked to protect identity of children in distress

TV channels asked to protect identity of children in distress

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NEW DELHI: The Government has asked all television channels to protect the identity of children in need of care and protection and juveniles in conflict with the law.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said that all news and current affairs TV channels are required to abide by the provisions contained in the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994. Rule 6(1)(l) provides that no programme should be carried in the cable service which denigrates children. Thus, the channels are already required to carry the programmes involving children with due care, maturity and sensitivity.

Accordingly, all news and current affairs TV channels have been asked to ensure compliance of the directives of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as also the provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules while telecasting any content involving children.

Any violation will entail stringent action as per the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, rules promulgated thereunder and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines.

The NCPCR was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act 2005 to ensure that all laws, policies, programmes, and administrative mechanisms are in consonance with the child rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Any person contravening these provisions is also liable to penalties, as prescribed under the provisions of Section 21 (2) of the Act.

The commission has recommended that necessary directives/set of protocols be issued to the entire print and electronic media to refrain from publishing the names, pictures, home address, school address and other parameters of their identity of such children who need to be reported upon by media on account of certain circumstances including difficult circumstances. As such disclosures only tend to leave their imprint and affect the social and mental health of children in their crucial stage of development.

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