|New toolkit for journalists reporting on gender and human rights issues|
|Written by Philip Lee, WACC Deputy-Director of Programs|
|Friday, 09 March 2012 09:27|
Respect for the rights of women and girls worldwide continues to lag behind that for the rights of men. Domestic and sexual violence, exploitation in the workforce, human trafficking and many other human rights abuses disproportionately affect women and girls. Although 187 nations have acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), many have stipulated that they do not consider themselves bound by certain provisions.
When rights are violated, media can play a vital role in putting a stop to the abuses. Whatever the platform, media raise awareness about violations, inform people about their rights and encourage discussions about the role of governments, legal codes, and international mechanisms to safeguard those rights.
The toolkit grew out of the Internews Global Human Rights Program, which aims to provide journalists in developing countries with the skills, knowledge and tools to report responsibly on human rights issues and generate innovative coverage of these topics. The Introduction states,
"Internews believes that a critical first step toward ending human rights abuses is revealing them to the public through a variety of media platforms. However, we also know from experience that for journalists working in countries emerging from conflict or decades of autocratic rule, reporting on human rights can be extremely challenging. They face dangers associated with reporting on sensitive issues while also striving to protect the rights of victims andother vulnerable groups."
The toolkit is both a human rights reference guide and a workbook. Much of the information it contains is not new. It draws on a variety of research, training and experience – especially that of the United Nations and the International Centre for War and Peace Reporting. It combines background information on international human rights mechanisms; guidelines on producing nuanced, objective reporting on rights issues; and practical exercises that walk users step-by-step through the production of a solid human rights story. The toolkit also helps journalists understand how international human rights mechanisms, laws and treaties work.
Global in scope and written in an easy-to-understand language, the toolkit is intended to be used as a training aid in targeted journalism trainings around the world. It is available in English online as a free PDF download, with French, Arabic and Spanish language translations planned for the future.
The toolkit is based on a series of trainings in human rights reporting that Internews conducted in several countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East between 2009 and 2011. It was developed and produced by Internews’ Global Human Rights Program.
The toolkit can be downloaded HERE.