Oct 15, 2009, 7:18 AM
A five-day human rights training for journalists, organised by the Network of Human Rights Journalists, The Gambia Chapter, on Monday kicked-off at the Gambia Press Union Secretariat.
Sponsored by the United State Embassy in
Sam Sarr, the Managing Editor of Foroyaa Newspaper in declaring the training open, pointed out that it is common knowledge that the constitution makes provisions for the protection of human rights. He noted that the executive has its legal role to play in the protection of peoples' rights and respect for fundamental rights.
He said the media has an important role to play in assuring that fundamental rights are respected in the country, adding that when enlightened the media can make headways.
Sarr who also spoke at length on the need for the recognition of human rights cited that democracy is incomplete where fundamental rights and freedoms are violated.
For his part, Emil Touray, the Secretary-General of the Gambia Press Union underscored the importance of the programme, noting that it has brought together competent trainees for the purpose of enlightening them.
He urged participants to share the knowledge gained from the workshop with others, noting that at the end of the training they will be able to understand that human rights are a universal concern and not a western concept.
"Human right is in the interest of everyone," the GPU Secretary-General stated. He advised journalists not to be sentimental when reporting human rights issues.
Musa S Sheriff, the Coordinator of the Network of Human Rights Journalist in The Gambia said the network seeks to train 50 human rights journalists working in both print and electronic media.
"The training on the media law, the African and International Human Rights system, research, networking, monitoring, documentation, research, among others, will serve as a platform for formulation of a media policy environment, under which the media can operate freely, based on ethical and professional standard," he said.
He commended US Ambassador Wells and the staff of the Embassy for considering the network.