Self-regulation in Ukraine: joint agreements to protect children

posted on 04 August, 2020   (public)

A joint working group with the industry and the public to develop self-regulatory broadcasting rules

Since 2014, the National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting (NCTR) has undertaken initiatives aimed at encouraging the development of broadcasting standards in Ukraine. In this respect, a joint working group gathering the regulator, the industry (representatives of broadcasters, content producers, journalists and media lawyers), scientists (psychologists, educators), industry associations and non-governmental organisations was created four years ago at the initiative of the NCTR with the goal of developing self-regulatory standards for broadcasters with regard to the protection of children.

So far, this ‘phased’ approach has allowed the adoption of four joint agreements*:

  • The Joint Agreement Act 1 on the protection of children who have suffered from sexual violence emphasizes the necessity to constantly take into account the best interest of the child when covering and broadcasting such cases and to prevent, where possible, his/her identification by the public.
  • The Joint Agreement Act 2 on the media coverage of suicide-related issues encourages the broadcasters to pay special attention and responsibility and describes the main factors that can potentially harm children and lead to an increase of the number of suicides, a severe issue in the country.
  • The Joint Agreement Act 3 on the media coverage of the issue of children’s participation in armed conflicts aims at protecting minors from potential harmful military-related information.
  • The Joint Agreement Act 4 on the media coverage of cases of violence and cruelty, finalised last February, intends to reduce the potential negative effects of such content (normalisation of violence, excitation, unconscious or conscious imitation…).

The working group is at the final stage of a new forthcoming joint agreement on the media coverage of bullying and should address, at a later stage, the sexualisation issue.

The NCTR underlines that these agreements, signed by the main media groups in Ukraine including the Public Service Broadcaster and open for signature by all broadcasters in Ukraine, can also guide online and print media industry and calls on all TV and radio providers in the country to join the process of developing further self-regulatory broadcasting rules and guidelines.

Source: the National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting (UA)

* Non-binding translated versions of these agreements were provided by the NCTR and are available from the EPRA Secretariat upon request.