Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Young People in the Media Held Intergeneration Dialogue

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- Young People in the Media Forum The Gambia, in partnership with Unicef, and Unique FM Radio, on Sunday 6 March 2011 took part in an intergeneration dialogue as part of activities marking the International Children’s Broadcasting Day commonly known as ICDB. This was at the Unique FM grounds in Bakau and this year's theme was “Boys or Girls are”. 
Speaking on behalf the Deputy Unicef Resident Representative, Lamin Tunkara of Unicef said that this year's theme suitably complements Unicef’s most recent flagship report, “The state of the worlds children 2011”. 

He said that report looks at the issue of adolescence as the age for opportunity.  
 Tunkara said the report also calls for the integration of their rights into the national agenda. While strengthening investments in order to effectively address their problems within the framework of human rights, and developmental instruments like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRO). 
The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 
He told the gathering that 191 countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the Gambia, to affirm their obligation to recognize the central importance of promoting  Rights, including their Right to expression,  to free flow of information, and to  accessible information both of which ICBD promotes. 
On the theme “Boys Are Girls Are” Tunkara said it allows them to reflect on, talk about, and listen to each other on what it means to be a boy and what it means to be a girl. 
He further said that, in a cultural setting, it is not unusual to associate girls and women with domestic roles such as cooking, house cleaning, fetching water, and caring for the family, to name few.
 He added that, in the professional sector, engineering and media, for instance, are seen as predominantly male professions-- women are associated more with posts such as teaching and nursing, he said.
 According to him, ICDB is a Unicef initiative, which is commemorated annually on the first Sunday of March. It aims to create a platform for them, as children and young people around the world, to highlight pertinent issues affecting them.      He said that this day further allows them to hold discourses with government officials, policy makers, health, education, and child protection experts as well as other duty bearers, in the attempt to influence them into putting in place the resources, and system necessary to promote and protect their rights, help them further develop their potential, and create a conducive and secured environment for them to live in. Speaking earlier, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of Young People in the Media, Fatou Camara, noted that in light of the enormous success of the international council of NATAS, voted unanimously to recognize outstanding broadcasters participation in ICDB by creating the international council Unicef Award. 
She further said that the International Council Unicef Award is intended to honor the television broadcaster whose special programming for the Day is judge the most outstanding not for a single television show, but for over all level and quality of participation. 
She pointed out that young people are significantly influenced by what they see around them, and the lesson and behavior they are thought, or shown in homes, in schools, in the community,  in the media, on the streets, in short in every place and areas. 
She assured the gathering that young people in the media in collaboration with  partners, will always put the cause of children at the top of their development agenda. 
“While it is true that children represent the future and that of course, they are an important factor in the economic and social development of  our country, they are first and formost human beings, valuable and precious in their own rights to be cherished, protected, educated, encouraged and fulfilled,” she said.
 She lamented that as they concluded the day's inter- generational Dialogue forum, lots of problems continued to blight the lives of children in the Gambia, and elsewhere in the world. 
She said these include child sexual abuse, exploitation and violence, early and forced marriage, child begging, child labour and FGM to name few.
 “We must labour to find solutions to these problems, children are also used as child soldiers and wives in senseless adult conflicts, deprived of their livelihood, education, smooth and uninterrupted growth and development and the right to be a child,” she noted. 
According to the chairperson, they at YDM Gambia, have observed that, children are sometimes perceived as little people who cannot have a voice, or who cannot contribute positively, she said.
 These have resulted in adults taking decisions and making choices for and on behalf of children, some of which are sometimes not in their best interest.

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