The Radio Manifesto

Three years of discussions and workshops by children and youth around the world have resulted in an international document, The Radio Manifesto, launched at the 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 19-23, 2004.
The complete Radio Manifesto consists of three parts; Part I: Context, Part II: The Radio Manifesto, and Part III: Annexes. Here we have chosen to present Part II with the declaration in full text. The complete version can be found at On the site you can also read or download the Radio Manifesto in the following languages: Portuguese, French, Spanish, Russian.
The Radio Manifesto is open for further contributions from children's and youth radio groups. If you would like your youth group to contribute to the manifesto, contact World Radio Forum.

SECTION 1: Declaration

What we believe and really want to say on radio

We want to speak out against all forms of violence - killing, abduction and sale of children, rape and every other kind of child abuse and exploitation

We want to speak out against the causes of violence such as power-seeking, drug addiction and alcohol abuse and poverty

We need our voices to be included in denouncing war and in speaking out against the exploitation of children in armed conflict

We would like to speak up for people to love and respect each other

We would like to speak up for peace in the world

We would like radio to give us the space for more smiles and less sadness and for singing songs, laughter and play

We want our voices to be heard in the fight against homelessness, poverty and disease

We need our voices to be heard in the fight against HIV and AIDS

We would like our voices to be included in the building of safe and secure environments for everyone

We want to speak up for the care and conservation of our environment and against deforestation, desertification and pollution

We would like radio to show how it is possible to treat everyone (including children and especially including girls) equally

We want to speak out against all kinds of discrimination and ensure that radio gives disabled children the opportunity for their voices to be heard

We need radio to bring tolerance to our world of different nations, religions and cultures

We would like radio to reflect the way children and young people everywhere are collaborating to help build a better world

SECTION 2: Children's rights and radio

Our Manifesto recognises:
that each state is obliged to make the rights contained in the UNCRC widely known to adults and children and to translate the rights of the Convention into reality

that radio is the mass medium which can best deliver information to all and implement the rights of the Convention for all including those who, for whatever reason, have no access to other media

that children's rights to access to the media, freedom from discrimination, freedom to express an opinion on issues that affect their lives, rights to health, education, information, leisure, and, for those who are excluded, the right to social reintegration, and other rights articulated in the Convention, can all be effectively put into action and delivered by radio

We call on radio broadcasters:
to recognise that young people have a right to express themselves freely on radio by including their views and voices on issues that affect them

to give children courage to speak up on radio by creating safe conditions and, if necessary, protecting their identities

to use field recordings to include youth views and voices

to target different age groups in appropriate ways with suitable programmes

to broadcast child-rights related information for children and parents

to enable the voices of abused and marginalised children to be heard

to avoid stereotyping children in news reports and ensure that positive news values are included in coverage of child-rights stories by including positive as well as negative aspects

to ensure that radio stations set up combined efforts to make the voices of young people heard to empower a stronger voice for them by promoting youth shows and demonstrating young people's ability and wish to work together

to broadcast discussion on different aspects of the UNCRC to educate and inform adults about children's rights

SECTION 3: Young people's participation in radio

Our Manifesto recognises:
that public service radio is for the public and local communities

that children and youth, as well as their parents, are an integral part of the public and of the local communities served by radio broadcasters

that children's rights organisations and others are supporting young people in forming their own radio groups

that children's and youth radio groups offer a relevant resource for radio broadcasters' programme content

that children and youth involved in radio have responsibilities as well as rights

We call on radio broadcasters:
to ask what are the most important things producers and reporters can do to make the voices of children & youth heard in the community

to produce more programmes which involve the participation of young people and broadcast more programmes made for children

to broadcast what is necessary for children (in terms of information and education) as well as what is fun, interesting and enjoyable

to encourage children and youth to participate in managing, developing, producing and presenting their own shows

to provide mainstream radio programmes that focus on issues concerning the young and give young people the opportunity to take part with adults to express their views and help in constructing solutions to problems

to liaise and collaborate with children's & youth NGOs as a resource for mainstream programmes dealing with child rights related issues

to produce radio programmes which encourage understanding and break down barriers between generations

to help parents listen to what their children have to say by enabling discussion between children and parents on subjects that may not be talked about at home such as excision, early marriage, HIV & AIDS

to respect children's views and experiences

SECTION 4: Traditional stories and culture on radio

Our Manifesto recognises:
that by featuring traditional storytelling, radio can promote cultural diversity, tolerance and understanding

that traditional stories appeal to adult as well as child listeners

that in broadcasting traditional stories, poetry, rhymes and games, radio can preserve and promote different languages and ensure that children can continue to enjoy the culture and oral traditions of mother tongue languages

that radio drama is an effective way to provide successful forms of entertainment for different age groups

We call on radio broadcasters:
to broadcast more traditional stories, rhymes and song-games for the very young at times when they can listen

to reflect the contribution children can make in the performance and retelling of traditional poems and stories

to provide a source of fun and enjoyment for children and youth as well as for adult audiences

to make sure there is a place for poetry in people's lives and that poetry for and by young people is included

to reflect the way traditional forms of entertainment are made relevant to young people in new forms such as hip-hop

to respond to the needs for entertainment of marginalised and deprived groups such as children in refugee camps

to give airtime to the issue of children's need for recreation with discussions about every child's right to have time for leisure as well as spaces for play and for sports activities

SECTION 5: Education programmes on radio

Our Manifesto recognises:
that radio can provide programmes which put into action children's right to education.

that children and young people need education programmes on radio which are appropriate for their age range and which are clear and informative.

that radio can enable free education for all children especially for those who cannot attend school

that radio can provide education programmes in different languages

We call on radio broadcasters:
to make appropriate provision of learning programmes for children of all ages for those in school and for those unable to be in school

to educate adults, especially parents, about every child's right to education and about the importance of including girls

to broadcast debate on the need to build schools and train teachers

to help advocate against corporal punishment in schools

to support radio clubs organised by, with and for the young, by making available technical expertise, access to airtime and opportunities for children to learn radio making skills.

Launched at the 4th World summit on Media for Children and Adolescents, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April, 2004