The Human Rights Defender’s Office initiated discussion procedure upon its own initiative in respect of the alleged violation of the pupil’s right studying at School N 20 after John Kirakosyan in Yerevan. Immediately after the event gained publicity, the Human Rights Defender’s Office contacted the child’s mother and held a private conversation with her. The question was also discussed with Yerevan municipality, and a respective written statement was addressed to it. The question will also be discussed with the schools directorate.
Examination of mass media publications of this case, as well as other similar described events, enabled to reveal issues which lead to violations of children’s rights.
We encourage journalists and social network users to be guided by the principle of prioritising the best interests of the child when publishing materials about children. The private and family life of the child should be maximally protected.
In publishing materials about children, it is obligatory to be guided strictly by the specific requirements of that field, always present verified and objective information, taking into consideration the right to respect for the private and family lives of children and their family members.
It is permitted to publish private details concerning children only upon the consent of the legal representative of a child under 16 or that of a child aged between 16 and 18. It is necessary to avoid publication of the child’s photos or other means of identification, except in cases when it is crucially important for the protection of the best interests of the child and it is impossible to reach that objective without identification. In separate cases, considering the principle of prioritising the best interests of the child, it is necessary to abstain from publishing such details even in the existence of the consent.
It is always necessary to consider that the child will continue living in his/her social environment and that publication of details about private and family life can obstruct that environment. The Human Rights Defender’s Office has examined cases when a parent had to change the child’s educational establishment because of the negative consequences of a public discussion.
It is expected to present conclusions and recommendations of preventive nature after examination of the circumstances of the case concerning the pupil of School N 20 after John Kirakosyan.