UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa announced the winners of the regional awards on child rights for 2009. The awards – in the four categories of TV, radio, written press and Internet - distinguished the most outstanding media work in the region in 2009 in the field of Health Education and Behavioural Change, the focus of the competition for the year.
“I am delighted to reward this batch of winners,” said Mahmoud Kabil, UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa’, who handed out the awards in Beirut. ‘This year’s winners cover a good blend of very relevant topics from across the region on the critical subject of child survival and health and how to promote it”.
The winners for the 2009 awards announced today, in the presence of Kabil and UNICEF Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa, Sigrid Kaag, were:• For print: Abeer Sala El-Din, Egypt, Sabah el-Kheir Magazine, for her work on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting• For Internet: Mohammed Sawafiri, from the occupied Palestine territory, al-Hayat al-Jadida daily online, on the Psychosocial impact on children of the war of December 2008 – January 2009 in Gaza.• For television, Dubai Television, Vitamin Programme, represented by Samia Mahmoud Issa, on the problem of child obesity.• For radio, Soraya Boatba, from Algerian Radio, for her programme on heavy school bags and their impact on children’s health.
A special mention was given to Shahira Amin, Egypt, Nile TV International and CNN for her outstanding work throughout the year on promoting child rights.
The media awards are given in the framework of the yearly UNICEF regional Media forum on child Rights, now in its fifth year. Media representatives from across the Middle-East and North Africa, including Iran, South Sudan and Djibouti in addition to UNICEF communication specialists were present in Beirut to discuss how to promote child rights through media. Many experiences in child protection, juvenile justice, child soldiers, violence and abuse, child labor, children in armed conflicts were presented by experts in the three days meeting.
Next year’s UNICEF regional awards for Child Rights will focus on the overall issue of Child Rights in Middle-East and North Africa, as the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November.