The SADC Children’s Broadcasting Charter

SADC Children’s Broadcasting Charter was adopted by the assembly of the Southern African Developing Countries’ Summit on Children and Broadcasting, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 1996. The idea for a regional (SADC plus Kenya) forum grew from discussions about how to make the Children’s Tele-vision Charter emanating from the First World Summit on Television and Children more relevant and applicable to Africa, and how to prepare for future representation at broader gatherings.


We, the people of the Southern African Developing Countries of Angola, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia, affirm and accept the internationally adopted Children’s Television Charter which was accepted in Munich on 29 May, 1995.
    Without detracting from the International Children’s Charter, we further adopt, in line with the said Charter, our SADC Children’s Broadcasting Charter, which takes into account the needs and wants of children in our region.

  • Children should have programmes of high quality, made specially for them and which do not exploit them. These programmes, in addition to entertaining, should allow children to develop physically, mentally and socially to their fullest potential. Whilst endorsing the child’s right to freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, and protection against economic exploitation, children must be assured access to programmes and production of programmes through multi-media access centres.

  • Children should hear, see and express themselves, their culture, their language and their life experiences, through the electronic media which affirm their sense of self, community and place.

  • As part of the child’s right to education and development, children’s programmes should promote an awareness and appreciation of other cultures in parallel with the child’s own cultural background. To facilitate this there should be an ongoing research into the child audience, including the child’s needs and wants which, as a matter of priority, should be implemented.

  • Children’s programmes should be wide-ranging in genre and content, but should not include gratuitous scenes of violence and sex.

  • Children’s programmes should be aired in regular slots at times when children are available to listen and view, and/or be distributed via other widely accessible media or technologies.

  • Sufficient resources, technical, financial and other must be made available to make these programmes to the highest possible standards, and in order to achieve quality, codes and standards for children’s broadcasting must be formulated and developed through a diverse range of groupings.

  • In compliance with the UN policy of co-operation between states in the international community, and especially in the SADC countries, the Children’s Broadcasting Charter recognises all international covenants, conventions, treaties, charters and agreements adopted by all international organisations including the UN and the OAU affecting children, but with particular reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

June 1996