Goa Child Rights body flags media reportage of infant’s kidnapping

The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Monday flagged media coverage of a recent kidnapping of a one-month old baby, while directing the state government’s Directorate for Information and Publicity to familiarise journalists with Delhi High Court’s guidelines for media reporting on children.

The Commission said that intrusion by media-persons who visited the home of the kidnapped infant (who was by then traced and re-united with the mother) and recorded live visuals of the child and family shared on social media was violative of the Section 71 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.

“The Commission has taken a serious view of this violation by the media. As a preventive measure, you are requested to send the appended guidelines to all the accredited journalists and request to follow these guidelines scrupulously while reporting on children. It is further requested to upload the same on the department website, so that similar violation is prevented in future,” the Commission’s chairperson Peter F. Borges said to the Director of Information and Publicity.

The Commission was referring to cable news media coverage of the kidnapping of a one-month old infant from the premises of the Goa Medical College near Panaji. After the child was re-united with the mother, media persons visited her home while broadcasting the location as well as the identity of the parent and the child in the coverage.

The videos which were uploaded to social media pages of local cable news channels were later taken off on the direction of the Commission, Borges said.