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Children's voice count

Mar 9, 2010, 1:37 PM

International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) is celebrated annually worldwide every first Sunday of March. It is a day when broadcasters around the world "tune in to kids" by airing quality programming for and about children and allowing children to be part of the programming process, talk about their hopes and dreams, and share information with their peers. Thousands of broadcasters in over a hundred countries took part in yesterday’s event. Children in The Gambia like their counterparts across the world make the day, thus dominating the air ways.

Broadcasters ensure that the activities are "as unique and special as children themselves."

We firmly believe that the voices of children count a lot, and if given the much- needed opportunity they can make a difference. They have talents, good idea and can't give good solutions to issues affecting them. They know their problems better than anyone else. Therefore, we need to listen to them.

In 1991, recognising that television and radio play a tremendous and critical role in raising awareness of global issues and in shaping children's lives, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has challenged the media and broadcast industry to make a significant difference in the lives of children.

The ICBD was launched to provide a venue for discussing and addressing issues relating to children's rights, and for educating young people themselves about their rights.

As the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) marks its 20th Anniversary, the UNICEF encourages broadcasters around the world to develop their brand identity as child and family-friendly networks; strengthen their relationship with educators, parents, and leaders; and strive to build a new generation of committed viewers and listeners.

Broadcast media producers are, therefore, urged to involve children and young people as reporters and presenters, highlight particular problems confronting children in the community, illustrate how children and adults are working together to create a positive change, establish hotlines to help connect children and families with community groups and social services in the community that focus on helping children, and produce stories about children at risk and projects working for positive change in their lives.

UNICEF will give out the International Children's Day of Broadcasting Award to honour television and radio broadcasters who capture the spirit of the day-long celebration and who best promote the principles, purpose and the theme of the year - "All Rights, All Children."