Asian Declaration on Child Rights and the Media

The Asian Summit on Child Rights and the Media, was held in Manila, the Philippines, in July 1996. Delegates at the Summit – including ministers and senior officials of Asian Governments, journalists, media executives, educators and child rights advocates from 16 countries – adopted the Asian Declaration on Child Rights and the Media.


We, Ministers of Information, Education, Welfare and Social Development from 27 countries of Asia, Senior Officials representing the various government, executives, researchers, practitioners and professionals from various streams of media, non-governments organisations, advocacy groups and concerned individuals gathered in Manila for the Asian Summit on Child Rights and the Media:

  • re-affirming our commitment to ensure implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as ratified in our countries;

  • acknowledging the developmental role, responsibility and power of all forms of media to inform, entertain, educate and influence; and,

  • recognising their potential for children and for social change.

Now, therfore, resolve that all media for or about children should:
protect and respect the diverse cultural heritage of Asian societies;

  • be accessible to all children;

  • provide for the girl child and counter the widespread discrimination against the girl child; and,

  • provide for children with special needs; children in especially difficult circumstances, children of indigenous communities and children in situation of armed conflict

Resolve also, that all media about children should:

  • adopt policies that are consistent with the principles of non-discrimination and the best interests of all children;

  • raise awareness and mobilise all sectors of society to ensure the survival, development, protection and participation of all children;

  • address all forms of economic, commercial and sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the region and ensure that such efforts do not violate their rights, particularly their right to privacy;

  • protect children from material which glorifies violence, sex,

  • horror and conflict; and,

  • promote positive values and not perpetuate discrimination and stereotypes.

Resolve further, that all media for children should:

  • be of high quality, made especially for them, and do not exploit them;

  • support their physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual development;

  • enable children to hear, see and express themselves, their culture, their languages and their life experiences through media which affirm their sense of self and community, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of other cultures;

  • be wide-ranging in genre and content, but not include gratuitous scenes of violence and sex; and,

  • be accessible to them at times when they need and can use it.

Resolve finally, that governments, media, non-government organisations, the private sector and other local, regional and holding agencies should:

  • provide media education for children and families to develop their critical understanding of all media forms;

  • provide opportunities for children in creating media and to express themselves on a wide range of issues relating to their needs and interests;

  • provide sufficient funds and resources to ensure access to and enable the production and dissemination of high quality materials for and about children as well as capacity building for media practitioners so that they could perform their role as developmental agencies;

  • promote regional and international cooperation through the sharing of research, expertise and exchange of materials and programmes, networking among government, non-government organisations, media organisations, educational institutions, advocacy groups and other agencies;

  • provide incentives for excellence through awards at regional and national levels;

  • provide coordinated monitoring mechanisms and encourage self-regulation at regional and national levels to ensure the implementation of this Declaration; and,

  • convene as early as possible broad national multi-sectoral consultations to develop action plans, including professional guidelines consistent with this Declaration.

Adopted, 5 July 1996
Asian Summit on Children and the Media, Manila