The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that the media should publish reports on children in distress or about their economic backwardness only after taking the permission of the child/children and their parents.
The commission directed the Public Relations Director to issue an order asking the media to exercise more attention and take more precautions while publishing such reports.
The commission said that names of children in need of care and protection, those who had survived psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, and those in conflict with law could not be published as per law.
This was to prevent identification of children and the resultant distress.
Reports published with the aim of helping the children caused some of them a lot of distress. Many children were not keen on revealing their family background and receiving external help. Members of the press should be more careful about such matters, the commission said.
Against this backdrop, consent letters from children and their parents should be sought before publishing reports, it said.
The commission directive comes on a case in which a child hailing from a financially backward family committed suicide after a report on her success in examinations was published.