The Children’s Authority has responded to the call made by upset mother Krystal George, for an investigation to be launched into the unauthorised use of a photo of her seven year old child, by radio personality, Barrington Skippy Thomas. The photo, shared by George, was taken with Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley. In it, her daughter is seen sitting with her back facing the Prime Minister, and a broad smile across her face. The Prime Minister is also seen smiling in the photo. Thomas has come under fire for manipulating the sentiment of the photo and more than that, using the photo of the child, without any authorisation from her parents.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the Children’s Authority condemned Thomas’ actions as it said that persons in the media, in whatever form, have a duty to ensure responsible coverage of children and their rights. For this reason the Authority said it is alarming that an irresponsible action would be committed by someone entrusted to be the voice and ears of the public, which includes children.

The Authority has since urged persons to refrain from misusing or posting photos of children that infringe on their rights and privacy, or inappropriately posting photos and captions that may lead to the exploitation of a child. It also sought to remind the public that parental consent is required before posting any image, video, recording or caption of, or related to a child.

The Authority says that while the advent of social media allows the public the right to express their views, the public must ensure that their
online activities and actions do not negatively affect the wellbeing of children.