By : Dominic Kabiru March 6th 2018
The Commission Secretary, Dr. Bernard Mogesa (in spectacles) exchange the signed Memorandum of Understanding document with the Media Council of Kenya, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Omwoyo at KNCHR head office. They were joined by officers from the two institutions.
In what is billed to be a key milestone in establishing a unique relationship between two public institutions, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Media Council of Kenya yesterday entered into an understanding of cooperation. The two institutions are severally and collectively tasked with specific mandates of upholding the rights and fundamental freedoms of the media that ultimately hold duty bearers and those in power to account.
One of the key functions of Media Council of Kenya is to enhance professional collaboration among media practitioners. On the other hand, the Commission in its bid of creating awareness on human rights work, views the media as one of its key partners. KNCHR is also in the forefront to ensure protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties as enshrined in Article 34 of the Constitution.
The key tenets of the memorandum focus on the professional training of journalists and other media practitioners. “Whereas there has been concerted efforts by different stakeholders to enhance the capacity of journalists in Kenya, the Commission remains cognisant that with the emerging trends there is an urgent need for continuous training of Journalists” said Dr. Bernard Mogesa, the Commission Secretary during the signing ceremony that took place at the KNCHR head office.
Dr. Mogesa further emphasized that there is a need for journalists to report from a human rights point of knowledge and perspective. This includes but not limited to; detecting human rights violations, the role of law enforcement officers on the prevention of torture, accountability within the Law Enforcement Agencies on matters of respect for human rights and the international and regional instruments ratified by the Country which protect individuals against, extra – judicial executions, torture and ill-treatment.
His sentiments were echoed by the Chief Executive Officer of Media Council of Kenya, Mr. David Omwoyo who said that both institutions have historically utilized the grassroots network of the Human Rights Defenders to progress matters touching on the media, security and human rights.
During the signing ceremony, the two executive officers agreed to cooperate in such areas such as; mutual development of a media training manual on human rights and security reporting; undertake training for journalists and media practitioners on human rights and security reporting; develop joint funding proposals where desirable; mutually establish a Human Rights Media Network (HRMNet) and periodically hold review meetings to share information on the signed collaboration and in particular to review the capacity of the media in human rights and security reporting.