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Odisha child rights body asks media not to reveal victims’ identity

Image for representation.

Image for representation. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) has directed the State government to issue necessary instruction for media houses with regards to disclosure of child victims.

The Commission’s observation comes close on the heels of Dhenkanal district administration prohibiting entry of media professionals into schools. Later, it withdrew the notification following huge hue and cry over the issue.

“Children while studying in educational institutions such as school and anganwadi centres should not be disturbed unnecessarily for the sake of media coverage. Stringent action should be taken against individual and institutions violating the above legal provisions protecting child rights,” said Sandhyabati Pradhan, Chairperson of OSCPCR in a letter addressed to Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, State Chief Secretary.

“Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Board or Committee, as the case may be, holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of the child. ”Sandhyabati PradhanChairperson, OSCPCR

The Commission asked the editors and publishers to take necessary precaution to ensure compliance of the legal provision. It also underscored that editors and publishers would be held responsible for any violation.

Ms. Pradhan observed that media houses should take necessary steps for making their correspondents aware about child rights and available legal provisions regarding violation of child’s privacy and identity.

The OSCPCR quoted the Section 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which says no report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter, under any other law for the time being in force, nor shall the picture of any such child be published “provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Board or Committee, as the case may be, holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of the child.  Moreover, the police should not disclose any record of the child for the purpose of character certificate or otherwise in cases where the case has been closed or disposed of,” she said.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2022 9:35:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-child-rights-body-asks-media-not-to-reveal-victims-identity/article65644021.ece