Here in the UAE, sharing unauthorized private information could get you fined or jailed. Similarly, posting sensitive information, especially about children, could land you in legal trouble as well.
This is the message of a video released by the Child Safety Department of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah. Through this video, the council reminded the media to be sensitive when covering stories about children. It also urged them to respect the privacy of affected families by not disclosing the identities of the victim and his or her family.
Disclosing Children’s Identities is Prohibited – Council
The video advisory features the moving reenactment of a family affected by insensitive media coverage. It begins with a family mourning the tragic drowning of their child.
Later, a journalist is shown writing a story about the incident. He includes a picture of the child (without blurring the face or making any changes), thus revealing the child’s identity. The story becomes viral on social media, causing further pain to the already grieving family.
“One word or photo is all it takes to impact children’s and families’ lives for years,” the video caption shared. “When you break their news, you break into their cocoon.”
The video also cited Article 44 of the UAE’s Child Rights Law (Wadeema), which states: “It is prohibited to disclose the identities of all parties and witnesses in case of child abuse or ill treatment… in information reports, or the publication of any material that may lead to the identification thereof.”
Using the hashtags #ResponsibleMediaSafeChild, #ResponsibleMedia, and #ChildSafety, Sharjah Police shared the video advisory on their Instagram page:
View this post on Instagram
#repost @childsafetyuae ・・・ . الصورة أو الكلمة قد تؤثر على الطفل وأسرته لسنوات طويلة.. بالنسبة لك، سبق صحفي.. بالنسبة لهم، معاناة. . تنص المادة 44 من قانون حقوق الطفل “وديمة”: يحظر الكشـف عن هوية كافة أطراف الواقعة والشهود في قضايا الاعتداء على الطفل أو ســوء معاملته (…) في التحليلات أو التقارير الإعلامية أو نشر كل ما يمكّن من التعرف على شخصيته. . One word or photo is all it takes to impact children’s and families’ lives for years. . When you break their news, you break into their cocoon. . Article 44 of the Child Rights Law ‘Wadeema’ states: It is prohibited to disclose the identities of all parties and witnesses in case of child abuse or ill treatment […] in information reports, or the publication of any material that may lead to the identification thereof. . #إعلام_مسؤول_طفل_آمن #إعلام_مسؤول #سلامة_الطفل . #ResponsibleMediaSafeChild #ResponsibleMedia #ChildSafety
In a world where data travels fast, let us think twice before posting or sharing sensitive information that could violate people’s privacy. This applies to media practitioners as well as to the general public. In addition, we should also follow these photography rules in Dubai and the UAE.