The following makes reference to IT and role in human rights:
>ATTN: NEWS EDITORS
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>FEBRUARY 23, 1997
>MEDIA AND NGOs PLAN STRATEGY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DRIVE IN GREAT LAKES REGION
>Plans are underway for the media and human rights organisations in the
>Great Lakes region of Africa to work closer together in order to promote
>human rights in the region.
>Around 60 delegates from mainstream media and human rights organisations
>based in Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania met in the
>Ugandan capital Kampala from February 19-22 to discuss ways in which the
>two groups could co-operate more closely. The region which has seen
>widespread abuse of human rights in recent years.
>The workshop - the first of its kind - was organised by the Africa bureau
>of Inter Press Service (IPS), the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), and
>the Human Rights and Peace Centre at Kampala's Makerere University. Funding
>for the conference was provided by the Ford Foundation in Nairobi.
>The conference identified five main areas for future action by an alliance
>of the region's media and human rights organisations: improved networking,
>addressing human rights issues affecting displaced people and refugees,
>promoting media freedom and media ethics, advancing the human rights of
>women, and improving the research and documentation of human rights abuses
>in the region. Action plans for future work in the five areas are to be
>drawn up between now and the end of March, and will then be submitted to
>the Ford Foundation and other donors for possible funding.
>During the conference, it became clear that a gulf existed between the
>media and human rights organisations in terms of understanding and
>communication. Human rights organisations complained about the media's
>inadequate and sometimes reckless coverage of human rights issues, while
>journalists criticised the lack of relevant and newsworthy information
>being provided to them by their human rights counterparts.
>New communication technologies such as electronic mail and other Internet
>services were identified as powerful tools for bridging this gap and for
>allowing the better flows of information between media and human rights
>organisations. Such technologies could also allow for better archiving and
>documentation of human rights information at national as well as a regional
>level. For their part, media delegates agreed to help their colleagues in
>the human rights sector to package their information in a way more suited
>to use by the media, while the human rights organisations undertook to
>campaign more vigorously on media freedom issues.
>Concern was also expressed at the amount of inaccurate information being
>put out on human rights violations in the Great Lakes region. In this
>regard, workshop participants stressed the need to lessen dependency on
>outside information sources and to develop indigenous sources of news,
>information and research on human rights issues in the region.
>A particular emphasis was put on gender during the workshop, with women
>delegates stressing the need for a more holistic view to be given to human
>rights, as African women were particularly vulnerable to the violation of
>so-called second and third generation rights - social and economic rights
>such as the right to food, shelter, health, peace and development.
>In particular, women delegates - while supportive of the sanctions as a
>means of bringing about negotiations - expressed concern that the current
>economic blockade of Burundi by neighbouring states was having the greatest
>impact on women and children, who, as a result of the blockade, were being
>denied access to medicines and food. "We are concerned that women are not
>involved in the negotiations and in the (Burundian) peace process," said a
>spokesperson for the women delegates.
>FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
>L. MUTHONI WANYEKI
>INTER PRESS SERVICE - NAIROBI BUREAU
>RM 3, 1ST FLOOR
>PO BOX 42005
>E-MAIL: [log in to unmask]
>KENYA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
>FLACK HOUSE, SOUTH 'B'
>PO BOX 55235
>E-MAIL: [log in to unmask]
>Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
>Private Bag 13386
>Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016
>e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Private Bag 13386
Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016
e-mail: [log in to unmask]