Global media campaign launched to mark Universal Children's Day

10:46, November 05, 2009      

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Ceyun Bainco feeds a young Tibetan antelope at Sonam Daje Natural Protection Station in Hol Xil Natural Reserve in Northwest China's Qinghai Province, Oct. 23, 2009. Born in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, Bainco came to the Hol Xil Natural Reserve at the age of three following her father Muma Zhaxi, a staff member working for the administrative bureau of the natural reserve and in charge of daily patrol and wild animal protection. She felt very proud of her father's work, as she came to know about the rare Tibetan antelopes since the childhood and watched them running and eating in the reserve at ease. "They are beautiful, smart, and they are my intimate friends", she said. Every time she went to the protection station, Bainco will dress up in festival costume, and feed the young Tibetan antelopes with milk. (Xinhua/Hou Deqiang)

A large-scale global media campaign for children' rights co-sponsored by Xinhua News Agency and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was launched here Thursday in the run-up to Universal Children's Day, which falls on Nov. 20,in advance of a planned 24-hour global live multimedia coverage of events on the day.

As of Wednesday, more than 500 worldwide media organizations had confirmed participation in the program.


Ceyun Bainco (L), her father Muma Zhaxi (C) and her brother feed a young Tibetan antelope at Sonam Daje Natural Protection Station in Hol Xil Natural Reserve in Northwest China's Qinghai Province, Oct. 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Hou Deqiang)

The "Global News Day for Children" program aims to highlight the international media's role in helping to improve the situation of children's living environment and promoting their healthy growth.

It will be the first joint international media child rights advocacy program with simultaneous live coverage focusing on the same topic.

A memorandum of understanding was signed here Thursday morning by Xinhua's management and UNICEF representatives. The two sides agreed that against the backdrop of the 20th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, they would collaborate with worldwide media organizations to launch child rights advocacy activities and a global reporting campaign under the theme of "protecting the rights of children" around November 20th.

The two sides agreed that these global child rights advocacy activities and media coverage would be aimed at raising governments' and public awareness of children's rights and interests, urging more care from the international community for children, and shouldering more social responsibility.

Xinhua and UNICEF agreed that all activities and news reporting on child-related activities under this cooperation framework should serve public benefit and make no profit.

The Universal Children's Day falls on Nov. 20. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the 1959 Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child is one of the few global commitments that link together virtually every country on the planet in common action," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, representative of UNICEF.

She said that the Convention is the most widely ratified human rights treaty yet established with only two countries having signed but not ratified the document.

China ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and has proven exemplary among the developing countries with its effective implementation of the convention.

"As happy as this anniversary is, there is still a vast gap between what has been agreed to and what actually happens to children everywhere. That is why I am so pleased to get the message of child rights out loudly by forces with one of the largest media organizations in the world," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe.

In an effort to amplify the effect of the program and live coverage, Xinhua and UNICEF have jointly designed a logo for the child rights advocacy activities and the 24-hour global live broadcast.

The logo features rays of light -- symbols of the sun, longitude and latitude -- symbols of the earth, electronic waves that represent the media, and sprouts that symbolize children. Together, the four icons convey the message "Global News Day for Children".

All participating media will release news coverage under the logo.

Ten global child representatives will be selected by Xinhua and other institutions to tell of their present and future from different perspectives, such as armed conflicts, poverty, environmental degradation, health-care and education.

A global children's photography campaign, "children's eyes on the world", will be held to show the life and dreams of children from their perspectives.

A global opinion poll on the current situation and future development of children will be conducted to give an idea of the current state of the lives of children all over the world.

The two parties will jointly hold a ceremony in Beijing on Nov.20 to launch the Chinese edition of UNICEF's special edition of the "State of the World's Children" report for the 20th anniversary of the Convention.

An official website of the program and media coverage was launched Thursday by xinhuanet.com, for subscribers to browse, download the logo and acquire other information pertaining to the event.

Starting from 8 a.m. (Beijing time) on Nov. 20, Xinhua will work with all participating media organizations to launch a 24-hour, multimedia "relay" coverage on six continents. It will include the sharing of TV specials on children, joint TV coverage of the global events marking Universal Children's Day, exchanges of TV programs and the live broadcasts of text, photos, audio and video on each other's platforms.

"I would like to express my appreciation to Xinhua News Agency for mobilizing its vast network of media and news-gathering resources for the cause of the world's children," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe.

Xinhua has mobilized all its 31 domestic bureaus and 118 overseas branches to provide subscribers with news and information in text, photos, graphics, audio, video, online and text message formats and in eight languages: Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese and Japanese.

It will publish special reports daily, in Chinese and other languages, to give comprehensive and in-depth coverage of the subsistence and development of worldwide children.

These reports, including hard news, features, commentaries and backgrounders, will all bear "Universal Children's Day" in the headline and will be categorized into special columns such as "rights and interests", "on being strong", "education" and "environmental protection".

"The global media campaign for children and the 24 hour live coverage for Universal Children's Day is an initiative jointly promoted by Xinhua News Agency and UNICEF, with strong support from media organizations around the world. It will raise awareness of children's situation throughout the world," said Zhou Xisheng, Vice President of Xinhua, "and to promote the protection of child rights by governments as well as the general public, with special emphasis on the media sector's social responsibility toward children."

The program and the 24-hour live coverage are a concrete result of the World Media Summit held in Beijing in early October. Summit participants agreed that humanitarian concern should focus first on children, and the true value of the media lies in its accurate, objective, fair and just news and information services to promote the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, to promote the sound and sustained growth of the global economy, to facilitate the common development of all civilizations through exchanges, tolerance and experiences learned from one another, and eventually accelerate human progress and social development.

Source:Xinhua
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