At this year's Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union's gathering in Beijing, the Kansai Telecasting Corporation of Japan has the ABU CASBAA UNICEF Child Rights Award 2006 for its documentary entitled "Conquering the Darkness - The Fight Against Memories of Abuse."
At the Award ceremony, Shinichi Sugimoto, the producer of the documentary, was praised for the film’s powerful, engaging and sensitive treatment of an issue often hidden from the public eye. The documentary follows Aya, a 33-year-old mother, who suffered abuse as a child and subsequently abused her own children. It is the tale of a parent’s personal struggle to end the cycle of child abuse in the family.
The Child Rights Award, established in 2001, is given each year in recognition of the best television programming on a child rights issue produced in the Asia-Pacific region. It recognizes the efforts of broadcasters in pursuing both the production of top quality children’s programs and better news coverage of children’s issues. This year, the Child Rights Award received a total of 40 entries from countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Singapore.
The judging panel was comprised of: Amar Keshar Simha, an independent producer from Pakistan; Wang Yan, a producer with China Central Television (CCTV); Ariunjargal Luvsantseren, Director of Children's Programmes for Mongolian Radio and Television; Francis Smith, Executive Producer of Infocus Asia; Ian Carroll, CEO of Australia Network; and James Gibbons, VP Programming, Discovery Networks Asia.
The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) and the UNICEF Regional Communication Office for East Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok support the awards.
The top ten finalists in 2006 are:
WINNER Conquering the Darkness - The Fight Against Memories of Abuse (Japan) Producer: Shinichi Sugimoto Production Company: Kansai Telecasting Corporation In Japan, every three days a child dies from abuse. It is estimated that up to 80% of parents who abuse their children were themselves abused in childhood. These parents have been psychologically damaged by the trauma they have experienced. The documentary takes a close look at Aya, a 33-year-old mother who was abused as a child and who subsequently abused her own children. This documentary is the result of a year-long reportage on the struggle by Aya and her three sons to overcome the cycle of child abuse.
FINALISTS Dark Street Kids (Malaysia) Producer: Nawar Hani Kamaruddin Production Company: Radio Television Malaysia This documentary tells the story of children who are born and live in dark alleys or brothels of Malaysia. It chronicles the hardship, as well as the stigma and discrimination, they face being the children of commercial sex workers.
Korean Children - I am All Alone (Korea) Producer: Kim Kyung Eun Production company: Production Purume Minho is an 11-year-old boy neglected by his parents. His only friend is a TV set. He lives on frozen yoghurt. He is also addicted to computer games. A stark portrayal of how a child is deeply affected by the problems and negligence of his parents.
Tuesday Report: Pocket Money (Hong Kong) Producer: Wong Yuk Kuen Production company: Television Broadcasts Limited Although Hong Kong is regarded as rich city, nearly 30% of children live below the poverty line. This programme documents the life of three children who live in cramped flats and have to sell scrap paper and scrap metal for their pocket money.
Young People on Wheels (Bhutan) Producer: Dechen Roder Production company: Bhutan Broadcasting Services Corp (BBSC) The documentary follows a group of unemployed youths who are creating awareness of a campaign on HIV and AIDS in Bhutan.
The Orphans, Childless & Predators (Singapore) Producer: Ong Hee Yah Production company: MediaCorp News Ptd Ltd On a single day in December 2004, tens of thousands of children lost their parents when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck. The documentary looks at on how orphaned children coped with the devastating experience. It also features a child trafficker who agreed to tell his side of story and tries to justify his actions.
Get Real Child Sex Tourism - Sold for Sex (Singapore) Producer: Sharon Hun Production company: MediaCorp News Pte Ltd The programme investigates the plight of child sex workers on the Indonesian Island of Batam. It explores how it is driven by demand from predominantly Singaporeans men, who head for the island every weekend.
Emergency - Junior Boxer (Philippines) Producer: Sherilyn Bruan Production company: GMA Network Inc. Residents of General Santos City (Philippines) are very fond of boxing. Even children, some as young as three years old, undergo intensive training to become professional boxers. As part of their training, the frail bodies of these children are exposed to regular beatings and many sustain grave injuries that sometimes even result in death.
We Shall Overcome (Bangladesh) Producer: Kazi Roksana Parvin Ruma Production company: Boishakhi Media Limited This documentary chronicles the life of an eight-year-old girl who is deaf and mute. It tells the story of how with tremendous courage she confronts many problems and continues to believe she can succeed in her dream to become a fine arts teacher.
School of the Highlands (Philippines) Producer: ACPC Sikat Production company: Asian Council for People’s Culture (ACPC) and Schools of Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions (SIKAT) The importance placed on education by indigenous communities in the Philippines is recounted in this documentary which looks at the challenges families face in schooling their children and promoting their rights.