Launch of new campaign on childrens right to information: Protect children, end censorship

Increasing numbers of States are blocking children's access to information on spurious grounds of protection, with sex education, sexuality and drug use the main targets of censorship. These restrictions are doing more harm than good, according to a new CRIN policy paper, which outlines how access to honest, objective and age-appropriate information is vital for children's enjoyment of their human rights, including to life, health and protection. In the paper, "Access Denied: Protect children's rights - unblock access to information", CRIN explains that much of the information being denied to children in fact equips them with the knowledge to protect themselves against against risk, learn to think critically and make informed choices. While information restrictions in some States are enshrined in law, the problem is also present in countries with no explicit ban, with schools, confidential health services and society as a whole routinely failing to provide children with vital information about sex, sexuality, drug use and mental health, along with other issues that can be difficult for adults to talk to children about. National agendas and the overuse of internet filters also mean that children are often unable to access information about politics and campaigning, and in some countries receive overtly biased and discriminatory information on history and minority groups.
CRIN's policy paper launches a new campaign - Protect Children, End Censorship - with which we aim to draw attention to undue restrictions on children's access to information, emphasise why such restrictions are violations of children's rights and call for stronger standards and leadership in this area.
The campaign recognises that children should indeed be protected in some areas, as there is an obvious need to protect children from violence, obscenity and incitement to hatred, especially within online platforms where they risk the consequences of laying bare their private lives to strangers. But disproportionate restrictions on children's access to information fuel the notion that children are blank canvases to be painted by adults, rather than human beings with rights, views and feelings of their own, and fail to support them to flourish.

Source: CRIN

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2014-06-20 08:30.