By The Nation
“Be very careful. In many cases, blurring the faces of young victims alone is not enough,” the network’s coordinator Techa Meechai said yesterday.
He said media must help protect children and youth in line with the Children Protection Act of BE2536 and the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Techa said it was against the law for policemen and non-governmental organisations to bring children to press conferences on domestic violence cases or crimes.
He also condemned the case of a 12-year-old girl being put in the middle of a quarrel surrounding the death of her mother, an acid-attack victim, last month.
Professor Ronachai Kongsakon, president of the Medical Association of Thailand, warned that a single press conference could seriously hurt the mental well-being of a child.
“Don’t think their mental health can be perfectly restored even with the help of psychiatrists,” he said.
He added that though media might believe that presenting details in their coverage meets the information needs of their audience, they should be careful to not hurt the children involved.
Anukul Peedkaew, deputy director-general of Children and Youth Department, said media outlets must comply with the law when reporting the news related to children.
“Do not torture children mentally. Do not disregard their rights and benefits. Do not damage their reputation, rights, benefits and emotional well-being,” he warned.
As Thailand has already stepped into the digital age, his department has established an online centre to protect children and youth.
“We need to address violence committed against children by fellow children on the Internet. We need to promote solutions,” Anukul said.
He also encouraged relevant organisations to campaign for the constructive use of the Internet.
Ronachai lamented the major role that violence plays in Thai society, and advised parents to do their best to nurture the mental well-being of their children, especially between birth and two years of age. “The first two years of life mean a lot to one’s emotional and intellectual development,” he said.