In September 2011, a European Commission delegation lead by EU President José Manuel Durão Barroso, visited South Africa to attend the fourth EU South Africa Summit. Whilst on his visit to SA, President Barroso and his delegation attended this particular press conference which was hosted by Save The Children Sweden. Very specifically, Media Monitoring Africa (a Save The Children Sweden partner and NGO in its own right) was privileged to have children from its ‘Children and the Media’ programme present. A total of 13 children directly involved in the project were able to engage with President Barroso on issues surrounding why they are being taught to monitor the media as well as why they believe its important for children to have fair coverage of children’s issues in the mainstream media. Issues surrounding the impact of poor coverage of children’s issues, and the subsequent impact upon children as a result thereof, was also discussed. Lastly, three children from Johannesburg-based schools, interviewed the EU President on his understanding of children’s rights and how he believes they ought to be upheld and maintained. Education was a key factor that the EU President said all children ought to insist upon receiving and work hard towards acquiring. In addition to this, Barroso also insisted upon children’s rights to protection and safety. Barosso said, “Children are our future … we need to take care of them.” He encouraged children to remain in school and that commitment to learning will ensure their success.
Text and images by Adrian Baillie-Stewart
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