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Red Cross Society trains journalists on Human Rights

Jan 16, 2012, 1:07 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah & Isatou Senghore

A group of Gambian journalists recently took part in a three-day training on human rights as part of efforts at promoting human rights and international humanitarian standards in The Gambia.

Organised Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS), the training, which fell under Non- state Actors Strengthening Programme in The Gambia being funded by the European Union and implemented by the GRCS, was aimed at equipping journalists to report on human rights issues and international humanitarian standards in The Gambia.

In his address to participants, the acting-secretary general of the GRCS, Katim Nget, reminded journalists of the crucial role they play in disseminating accurate information on human rights and international humanitarian standards in The Gambia.

Mr Nget said: “The Gambia Red Cross deems it befitting to build the capacity of the media in order to report on human rights issues. It is important because people cannot demand their rights if they don’t know about them and we believe the media have a role to play in that aspect.”

He urged the participants to make the best use of the knowledge gained from the three-day training and disseminate the information responsibly to the public.

“Where we talk of human rights we talk about the survival of human beings at family, community and national level, the media has a role to play in disseminating information but information must also be reliable, timely and rightful and quoted to the level of the audience. We have rights but many a time we don’t know our rights.”

For his part, Lamin Gassama, Dissemination Coordinator and EU Project Manager, said humanitarian workers “cannot do their work without the involvement of the media.

“The media is a fundamental pillar in promoting human rights and humanitarian standards in The Gambia,” he said.

He recognised the efforts of the media in enlightening the masses while urging them to do more in humanitarian reportage, adding that the media is an agent of change that contribute positively towards the development of The Gambia.

He gave synopsis of the project saying it was implemented in both the CRR and the URR, where five communities are being assisted with good drinking water.

Karin Kathan of the Spanish Red Cross Delegate at the GRCS also reminded the media practitioners of their being an import channel of information, saying they should try all their best and work hard to disseminate accurate information.

Madi Jorbateh, lead trainer, also admonished journalists to take responsibility of human rights issues.

Human rights issues are developmental issues, the human rights activist noted.