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Fruits of Media Training

Fruits of Media Training

  • 17 September 2015
  • Author: Beryl Orao
  • Number of views: 1306
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Fruits of Media Training

Journalists play a very important role in promoting the respect of human rights through their continuous reporting on varied societal happenings. To this, they automatically become human rights defenders and thus their working environment must be favorable to enable them report objectively.  They investigate expose and publicize ongoing human rights abuses. In fact, journalists can be said to be in a generally better position to promote human rights than most human rights defenders. This is because of their ability to reach larger constituencies of people.    
On the other hand, there exists human rights defenders, persons who are not in the media fraternity but speak on varied issues affecting their communities and leaders. Often, these human rights defenders are suppressed by varied powers such as leaders and even community members when they attempt to fight for or speak on human rights issues. Thus, the media play a key role in exposing violations against human rights defenders, creating awareness on the existence of human rights defenders and highlighting the roles played by human rights defenders in the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights.

The Commission has been engaging with media in Busia County through organizing for training and workshops where they share a platform with human rights defenders. The aim of these engagements is to create a continuous conversation platform where the media are able to pick HRD issues and HRDs are also able to reach out to the media when matters arise.
In July, 2015, Mr. Godfrey Oundo, a journalist from the Nation Media Group who was trained on human rights reporting by  the KNCHR, highlighted violations against the right to health of close to 30 children who had suffered various forms and degrees of paralysis after receiving treatment from health centers in Teso South sub-county in Busia County. The report was picked up by other media houses and this gave it wide national coverage. Consequently, prompt steps were taken by the Ministry of Health to investigate the alleged violations. The Busia County Government also constituted a team of health experts to investigate the issue. The investigations are still ongoing. Meanwhile, the affected children, most of whom came from poor families, were treated at a private hospital in Nairobi after the Hospital volunteered to treat them at no cost.     

Mr. Oundo alerted the commission as soon as he learnt of the incident to have a human rights angle in the story and has constantly update the Commission through our Kisumu office on the progress of the issue.
This was an indication of how crucial the role of journalists is in the promotion and protection of human rights. The KNCHR will continue working closely with journalists from Busia County in its quest to ensure full realization of all rights by residents of the County.

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