Media for the sake of childhood [Archives:2007/1025/Opinion]

February 15 2007

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
Childhood-related issues remain persistent worldwide and are in need of discussion, as well as suggesting any possible solutions to them. The more that governments concentrate on the state of children and solve their issues seriously, the greater the progress they will achieve in their development and advancement. Putting an end to childhood issues in an early way to ensure a better and safer future for children.

Helping children tackle their issues is not an easy task. Rather, it requires full attention so that the help may not change into negative consequences with negative effects on the life of children. Child trafficking is one of the biggest issues experienced in the developing countries where there is slow development. In most of the world countries, the UNICEF exerts great effort to help children and rescue them from various risks threatening their lives. The organization achieved great success in most of the developing countries and resolved several childhood-related issues.

In Yemen, child trafficking is considered a high concern phenomenon, particularly as children are regularly smuggled by professional traffickers through the borders to the neighboring countries. These traffickers have guilty conscience and are responsible for the agony and suffering of children.

Child trafficking in Yemen is so dangerous and requires total commitment of the concerned parties to put a stop to the phenomenon. Media played a primary role in discovering the terrible phenomenon and journalists shed light on the phenomenon. They wrote reports about gangs trafficking children from Yemen into the neighboring countries in hard conditions. The organizations concerned with children observed the phenomenon and diagnosed it with the aim of provided the possible cures, thanks to the media's positive role.

The media may have a negative role when they discuss children's issues based on incorrect and inadequate information. In the past few days, a Yemeni newspaper published incorrect scores of children smuggled from Yemen to other countries. The paper attributed the scores to UNICEF, which denied that it published such incorrect scores. UNICEF's reaction to the scores reveals that the organization thoroughly observes the phenomenon.

As a journalist, I want to confirm that our duty as journalists is great. We should be on high alert while discussing the children's issues in order to produce authentic and correct scores. We have to bear in mind that children's issues are sensitive and that writing reports on children, youth and their issues still face numerous challenges. Work for the sake of human issues including that of children necessitates greater effort and clear conscience.

Yasser Al-Mayasi is a Yemeni journalist specialized in children and business. [email protected]