Child Safety Department invites UAE media to first ‘Responsible Media… Safe Child’ workshop

The virtual session in Arabic will be held in collaboration with the University of Sharjah on October 15

For immediate release,
Sharjah, October 12, 2020

The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, has called on UAE media professionals working across print and digital sectors to register for a specialised workshop that has been designed to equip them with practical knowledge and guidelines on reporting on issues related to children.

The workshop is being organised under CSD’s ‘Responsible Media… Safe Child’ initiative, with the aim of improving standards of media reporting when addressing issues involving children. The virtual session, which will take place on Thursday, October 15, at 11am on the Blackboard platform, targets all UAE media professionals, including social media influencers, with the aim of heightening their awareness on ways they can make crucial contributions towards protecting the rights, privacy and dignity of children in our society.

Being presented by Dr. Ahmed Farouk, Dr. Engy Khalil and Dr. Shareefa Al Marzooqi from the University of Sharjah’s faculty of the College of Communications, the session will address the principles of reporting on children’s issues in Arab media, and how to build and strengthen responsible media policy towards children, in addition to analysing case studies of media content related to children.

Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Director, CSD, said: “Since the launch of the initiative, we have partnered with Sharjah University to collect and collate data pertaining to the role of our media in ensuring child safety and wellbeing, and to present it to them in the most engaging ways. This material was enriched with the recommendations of the first Child Safety Forum we organised in September 2019 under the same theme, which was attended by more than 100 media figures and experts in child safety.”

“Media professionals are our partners in this initiative and key to ensuring its success. We call on them to share their expertise and experiences in covering child-related cases at the workshop, which will be held virtually so that everybody can participate from the safety of their homes or offices. We hope that engaging with the media will point us in the direction of creating more effective policies to address the issue of reporting on child-related cases in ways that ensure their safety and privacy,” Al Yafei added.

The ‘Responsible Media… Safe Child’ initiative was launched by CSD in August 2018 under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of SCFA. It aims to reinforce the role of the UAE’s media in protecting children’s rights when reporting on children’s issues, ensure institutional compliance with UAE laws and regulations, and improve reporting and accountability standards for violations that might have a potential psychological, physical or social impact on the future of children, their families and the community.

In September last year, CSD organised the first edition of the Child Safety Forum under the theme ‘Responsible Media… Safe Child’. The forum held in partnership with the National Media Council, the Ministry of Community Development, and the Federal Public Prosecution, saw the participation of more than 100 officials and representatives of local and federal government bodies involved in child safety and welfare, as well as local media professionals, to share the best child safety and protection practices and solutions based on the latest international studies.