In this statement hereby Save the Children Armenia Country Office presents its position on the dissemination of children’s personal data through Mass Media. Use of personal data in mass media, especially in relation to children in difficult life situations, may have negative effect on children’s psychological well-being, and can cause discrimination towards children.
On February 28, 2016 the www.shamsyan.com news platform made a report on the prevention of an emergency situation at one of the boarding schools in Armenia. In the report detailed personal information about the children, such as their first names, last names, age, and the name of the institution were provided. Several other news outlets shared the original report fully or partially. Today, www.shamsoyan.com news platform has already removed the children’s names and has replaced them with their initials. However, even with these amendments, any available online information of the children involved in the incident is enough to identify them. Such identification can leave a negative psychological impact on children or lead to discrimination and negative treatment from their peers.
Save the Children Armenia Country Office is calling upon Media Ethics MEO to expand their ethical guidelines on the use of personal data of children. We also urge managers of media organizations in Armenia to improve internal regulations regarding the use of children’s personal data within their agencies.
Similar situations need to be in tune with the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia’s Article 34 (the protection of people’s personal data) and article 31 (Inviolability of Private and Family Life and of Honor and Reputation). We want to provide our assistance and cooperation in this regard.
Together we can ensure better protection for the children of Armenia.
Save the Children is the largest operating child protection agency in the world. They operate in more than 120 countries. For more information regarding Save the Children Armenia, you can visit our website at www.armenia.savethechildren.net.