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Journalists vow to promote human rights issues

Feb 23, 2012, 12:56 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Journalists who took part at the just concluded four-day advanced training on human rights and international humanitarian standards in The Gambia have assured the organizers of their continued commitment in promoting human rights issues in the country.

More than 20 journalists from both the electronic and print media took part in the training and after which they were equally certified.

The training was organised at the Gambia Red Cross Society as part of the Non-state Actors Strengthening Programme in The Gambia being funded by the European Union.

The training was aimed at equipping journalists to report on human rights issues and international humanitarian standards in The Gambia.

The training came as a follow-up to the previous one held last month with the aim of equipping journalists to report on human rights and international humanitarian issues in The Gambia in more timely and professional manner.

Lamin Gassama, Dissemination Coordinator of the Gambia Red Cross Society and EU NSA Project Manager, after the certification, told The Point in a brief interview that “human rights is about advocacy, it is raising awareness, and choosing the media in our opinion is the right forum to get to the people in order to have a wide spectrum to awareness creation in the society”.

According to Lamin, the training was the second in two months for the media, adding that the follow-up was possible due to the keen interest the media did show in the last training.

Training media personnel on these issues will go a long way in helping them write credible stories and also getting to know what violation of human rights are and how to redress them, he said.

“The media is central to every development, and the Red Cross is not an exception, we will continue to work and partner with the media to attain our goals,” he said, adding that the media is an advocating and awareness tool.

He also said: “The overall objective of this programme is to promote awareness creation, and human rights promotion and international standard and principles. Our targeted outcome is to raise more awareness on the issues of human rights, especially human rights in the area of development.”

Humanity is central in Red Cross, Mr. Gassama said, adding that they are on course as far as humanity is concerned.

“When we talk of human rights violation, we are not talking about animals we are talking about human beings, and if you talk about promotion of the rights of the people, that are human, so talking about people what their rights and benefits are is noble.”

At the end of the training, participants reaffirmed the commitment in promoting human rights issues in The Gambia through their respective mediums.