‘Child exploitation unacceptable’

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 29: The Ministry of Information, in cooperation with Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), recently organized a workshop for media professionals entitled, “Integrity of the Media and Professionalism in Journalism,” reports Al-Anba daily. The workshop included a number of panel discussions presented by an elite group of experts like the Director of the Corruption Detection and Money Recovery Department at Nazaha Issa Al-Anazi, Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Information Manal Al-Baghdadi, Editorin- Chief of Al-Rai newspaper Walid Al-Jassem and official spokesperson for the electronic government services platform (Sahl) Yousef Kazem.

During the workshop, Al-Baghdadi disclosed that the objective is to educate the participants about the laws on the media, children, and others; taking into consideration the importance of selecting information and ensuring that it comes from official sources and reaches the largest segment of society. She highlighted the significance of Children’s Law number 12 of 2015, which prohibits the exploitation of the child in a way that affects his instincts and harms him or the publication of works that incite the child to commit crimes. She affirmed all of these are regulated in the Children’s Law; while the media is governed by multiple laws, including the Press and Publications Law and the Child and Non-Exploitation Law.

She pointed out that the media environment in Kuwait is considered a legal environment because it is a State of institutions. She revealed that the ministry’s strategy for the years 2021 to 2026 includes sustainable media, through which every journalist is bound by the rules of the profession – proper delivery of information and respect for the laws because every freedom has a restriction and the restriction should not harm members of society since the journalist is subject to fines and penalties like imprisonment. On the other hand, Al-Jassem said most countries are keen on ensuring transparency and clarity of information which, in turn, make the citizens trust the State institutions. “If this trust is demonstrated; political stability, good relations between the two authorities, and development are achieved, while providing jobs and eliminating economic problems.

In this manner, development stabilizes and becomes a permanent cycle. This is the aesthetic external appearance, but the realistic aspect could be different,” he explained. “We must ask: Is there really transparency and a journalist’s right to obtain information? Is there cooperation between State officials and the media? Are State officials and media professionals prepared to deal with an investigative journalist? Is there protection for journalists? The journalist today is surrounded by a group of laws, which could be at least eight laws that apply to him, so transparency should not be observed only in forums and workshops that we organize just to appear civilized. We need to practice it and this is very important,” he added.

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