Declaration of Thessaloniki Commitment for the Future
The Declaration of Thessaloniki: Media and Children: Commitment for the Future was put forward by the Hellenic Audiovisual Institute (I.O.M.) during the final session of the 3rd World Summit on Media for Children produced by the European Children's Television Centre (E.C.T.C.) and held in Thessalonica, Greece, 23-26 March 2001.The draft declaration was discussed and finalized at AGORA, Athens, in 2002.
MEDIA AND CHILDREN
Participants in the "3rd World Summit on Media for Children", international organisations, governmental and non-governmental, members of the audiovisual industry representing all media sectors, researchers and children, reaffirm that the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds is a fundamental human right, reflected in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The respect for human dignity and well-being and for the children's right to democratic participation in media demands coherent policies at the global, regional, national and local levels. To ensure the rights of children the communication process should be pluralistic and multi-cultural and should guarantee freedom and diversity of opinion and expression,
taking into consideration:
- existing international and regional conventions, charters, declarations and recommendations as well as national legislation addressing the question of children and audiovisual media, as expressed for example in the Children's Television Charter adopted at the 1st World Summit on Television and Children, Melbourne 1995;
- the importance of engaging media, institutions and professionals, as partners in actions to achieve the rights of children, and the responsibility of the media in an interdependent and globalised world, particularly in addressing the needs of children in terms of culture, education, life skills and the bridging of the digital divide;
- increasing public concern about the impact on children of media programmes containing violence, consumerism, gender and ethnic stereotyping;
- the necessity for promoting cultural diversity in a globalised society;
- the need for urgent coordinated action by those engaged in the media in the face of rapid technological evolution,
agree to work for the following:
- encouragement and support of quality production, with special emphasis on local and educational content;
- adoption of codes of conduct or other appropriate regulatory instruments, with regard, on the one hand, to all forms of harmful content in media and new technologies such as Internet, in particular commercial exploitation and, on the other hand, to violence, pornography and racism, to be monitored through appropriate mechanisms, for instance observatories;
- promotion of media education programmes for the empowerment of all concerned parties, especially children;
- strengthening the role of the audiovisual industry in capacity building, in particular training, in the framework of an international intercultural strategy to deliver quality children's audiovisual media;
- promotion of research on the relationship between children and media, in order to increase awareness and knowledge and to contribute to constructive public debate, media production and policy making;
- promotion of the topic of the relationship between children and media as an urgent priority on the agenda of international, regional and national organisations for children.
In the light of the above, the participants agree to undertake actions in the spirit of shared responsibility and partnership among:
- governments, parliaments and other policy-making bodies at national, regional and international level,
- the media industry and its professionals,
- the higher education and research community,
- civil society, especially organised groups and individuals such as teachers, educators, parents and children themselves.
18 June 2002