MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

I. Purpose

Staff, volunteers, and partners associated with Global Family have the ability to meet individuals involved in, affected by, and residing in our programmes. It is our goal that each of these individuals, whether it be children recovering from past abuses or victims of trafficking, be portrayed with dignity and respect.

II. Scope

This policy is applicable to all Global Family staff, board members, volunteers, interns, partners, and media representatives.

 

III. Guidelines for Collecting Story & Photo Material

1. Written Consent

Private or public publicity of any child (even if the child has not been exploited) is not permitted unless the child and guardian/caregiver have given consent that they understand that their information (photographs, stories, text, video, etc.) will be viewing material for the public.

 

2. Explain Usage

The individual(s) should understand how content about them will be used and for what purpose, and that the photographs, stores, and text about them will be viewed by people outside of their community, as well as those in their community.

 

3. Be Respectful

Media portrays peoples lives. Many of the adults and children in our programmes have experienced trauma and should be treated with respect. Remember that media can play a role in how individuals and communities are portrayed. Media also influences the rights and feelings of individuals. Photographs, videos, and stories posted on the internet are universal and can be viewed by anyone.

IV. Considerations for Obtaining Consent

1. Media is Universal

 

Take extra effort in letting the individual(s) know that their information and media will be available to the public world. The information is not private (given consent), and may be viewed by people of their own, or surrounding communities.

 

2. Permission to Withdraw Consent

At any time before or after media is published, individuals have the ability to withdraw their consent. If this occurs, distribution and publishing of any material that concerns these individuals will stop.

3. Respect Human Dignity

Global Family focuses on the positive affects we can make on people’s lives. Communication and media should reflect positivity and should respect human needs. Communication and media should not put individuals at a disadvantage. Only sincere and respectful information and images are permitted.

4. Include All Sources

Media should reflect the input of all who were involved in developing, retrieving, and releasing information. This includes internal and external assistance, partnerships, and local and international Global Family assistance.

 

5. Avoid Exaggeration

Global Family only allows media in which there is a respectable message. Exaggeration, discrimination, and degrading language/images are prohibited. This includes any form of media deemed inappropriate by the individual (or their guardian/caregiver) and Global Family staff.

 

6. Confidentiality

Global Family does not allow personal information, such as names or specific locations, to be published.

 

V. Protection Guidelines

Global Family takes direct interest in the protection of personal and geographic information of adults and children. Global Family guarantees confidentiality. Confidentiality of an individual’s information is important to their protection, privacy, and identity to them and their community. Global Family reserves the right to decide whether or not media meets the needs of confidentiality with regards to an individual. The following guidelines should be followed by all staff, volunteers, and partners:

Obscure a Child’s Identity: Do not take photographs or videos of a child in which identifying features are visible. Such images and videos are prohibited and will make the child’s identity recognisable and traceable, which may make the child susceptible to danger.

 

  • Use Natural Censorship: For example, place hair across a child’s face, have the child hold their hands over his/her face, place their face under a shadow, or use a backlight without front lighting.

  • Don’t Blur Faces or Black Out Eyes: This type of censorship denies dignity and still allows the child to be identified.

  • Not Media Should Portray Any Form of Sexual Content.

  • Do Not List Names or Specific Places. Make sure that the entire frame of the photograph or video does not reveal any personal information (including name or specific location) by which the child could be identified or traced.

 

VI. Media Access

Media access to any child in Global Family’s care, for photography, interviewing, or filming, will only be granted with the consent of the individual (and guardian/caregiver) and if Global Family believes it is in the individual’s best interest.

 

1. Interviews

  • Review the Questions: A list of all interview questions must be reviewed by a Global Family full-time senior staff member. This staff member reserves the right to alter the list of questions, if needed.

  • Stop If Causing Distress: The process of interviewing, photographing, and filming must be immediately stopped if requested by a Global Family staff member or the interviewee. The media process must also stop if it is deemed inappropriate or causing the individual distress.

  • The Role of Media Representatives: Media representatives should understand that subjects who may have been the victims of online exploitation may have feelings of distress when placed in front of or when using a camera.

 

2. Publishing

  • Provide Global Family copies first. Media representatives will provide Global Family with copies of the media before they are published, broadcasted, and/or distributed.

  • All media representatives or anyone visiting Global Family’s programmes serving vulnerable individuals will read and agree to the terms of this policy.

 

VII. Applicable Laws & Conventions

1. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2 September 1990

  • The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

  • Respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

  • No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

  • Protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child’s welfare.

 

2. Declaration on Survival, Protection and Development of Children, UN General Assembly Summit 1990

  • In all actions related to children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

  • We must respect their right to express themselves and to participate in all matters affecting them, in accordance with their age and maturity.

  • Children, including adolescents, must be enabled to exercise their right to express their views freely. Their views must be taken into account in all matters affecting them.

  • Protect children from all forms of exploitation.