Guwahati: Information and Public Relations Minister, Pijush Hazarika on Thursday launched a media handbook on Suraksha campaign in Guwahati. The Directorate of Information and Public Relations (IPRD), Assam, announced collaboration with UNICEF Assam to support media workshops on child protection as part of the state-wide campaign called Suraksha, which was launched in 2020 with the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR).
Releasing the handbook, Pijush Hazarika said “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of children – violence against them in different forms, malnutrition resulting from severe economic hardship in families and inequality in receiving education have hindered their growth and development – leading to severe long-term consequences in their future. It is essential to address these issues so that every child is able to prosper in a safe and secure environment, and we do not lose out on the progress that we have made in securing the rights of our children before the pandemic.”
Present during the launch were UNICEF Assam’s Chief of Field Office, Dr. Madhulika Jonathan and Directorate of Information & Public Relations, Director, Shri. Bishnu Kamal Borah. The launch marked the start of media workshops that will be organized jointly by UNICEF-IPRD-ASCPCR in 10 districts, moving forward.
The Suraksha campaign is an attempt to make people aware about child protection issues such as violence, abuse, exploitation, discrimination; and neglect, emotional and mental health issues that children face among others. And also the various redressal mechanisms available to children, parents and caregivers by the government, to report and address any violation.
Speaking about the Media Handbook, UNICEF Chief, Dr Madhulika Jonathan said, “The handbook has been designed to provide information and government data concerning the issue. It also looks into the various policies, schemes and guidelines available for the protection of children, while also focusing on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the incidences of violence against children.”
This handbook provides an overview of this complex issue. It also sheds light on areas such as ethical reporting for media, especially on sensitive issues such as abuse, violence, etc. to ensure the dignity and well-being of children remains at the forefront of reporting.