SIMHA and Save the Children Somalia hold child rights reporting seminar

The Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), the largest consortium of media houses in Somalia, in collaboration with Save the Children Somalia, has concluded a three-day training on child rights reporting for over 25 Somali journalists in Mogadishu. The training aimed to equip media practitioners with skills and credentials  on how best to report on children’s rights in Somalia.

Children bear the brunt of protracted wars in Somalia and famine experienced in the region . They are also subject to a number of vices such as forced recruitment as soldiers, forced marriage and rape that need to be elucidated on the  public domain .

During the opening ceremony of the training, Information Minister Daud Aweys urged journalists to focus on positive reporting on children’s rights. “You should not only report politics, but you should be a voice for the millions of Somali children who need help from all sides,” he said. “You are the vehicle we need to deliver the message, and without you, we will never know the extent of the damage and how much help the children in Somali need.”

The Minister also cautioned  the journalists against fake news and its terrible impact. Save the Children Somalia National Engagement Adviser, Ali Abdi Waheliye, emphasized the media’s role in positively highlighting the challenges children face in Somalia and their impact. “As journalists and editors, today you can support the children suffering from the continuous impact child rights. You need to take the front seat in highlighting the challenges our children are facing daily,” said Waheliye.

SIMHA’s Chairman, Hassan Ali Geesey, said the training would aid journalists identify and shed light on children’s issues. “The media is the vehicle that delivers crucial information to the public. We feel there is a need to train journalists and editors on how to report on the rights of the children and the abuse the children in the country are witnessing now. It is timely, and we hope this will help shape the opinion and views of Somali people through accurate reporting,”

The Chairman further expressed his gratitude to Save the Children Somalia for the timely training the Somali journalists needed. “Without the support of Save the children Somalia it would not have been possible to implement this training”

The group of journalists who were lucky to have been selected for the training welcomed the opportunity. “I hope I will have a clear understanding of how to report on children’s issues after the training. I am passionate about children’s issues and keen to play my role as a journalist,” said Ibrahim Mayow, journalist for Radio Afgooye.

The training represents an important step in promoting child rights reporting in Somalia and ensuring that children’s issues receive the attention they deserve.

Children in Somalia are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in armed conflict. Somali laws do not criminally prohibit child labor trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, or the recruitment of children by non-state armed groups. According to Save the Children, more than half of children aged under five in Somalia are facing acute malnutrition, with one in six suffering from the most deadly form as time to fend off famine starts to run out.

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