By Ousman Saidykhan
The Gambia’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) organized a two-day training for media practitioners at its Headquarters in Kotu featuring a cross-section of media houses across the country. The event commenced on Monday, July 6th and ended on July 7th 2021. During the training session, NHRC Vice-Chairperson, Jainaba Johm told journalists to “name and shame the government to an extent that they will do the needful”.
The training seeks to enhance the knowledge and awareness of media workers with regards to the standards of Human Rights reporting.
NHRC Vice-Chair, Jainaba Johm, while addressing the participants said knowledge in Human Rights and Human Rights Reporting is very critical at this time.
‘This training could not have come at a more opportune time; an election year, for which a lot will have to be done by you [the media practitioners], more so in fact, in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission,’ Ms Johm says.
In Ms Johm’s view they’re a lot of international Human Rights Treaties already Ratified by the Government and believes that is another subject media practitioners should be reporting to enlighten the masses about how their rights are stipulated in those treaties.
She added; ‘We hope this medium will give you [media practitioners] an insight [about the Human Rights treaties ratified by the Government] so that you publicize them and name and shame the government to an extent that they will do the needful.’
Ms Johm challenges participants to use their various media platforms in promoting Human Rights in the country.
‘There is no doubt that an active press is critical in a democratic society. And so, it is therefore essential especially at this time in the Gambia and particularly in the current context of supporting efforts towards sustainable peace and ending impunity, that we have a credible press,’ Johm affirms.
Some of the issues dealt with during the two-day training includes; Fundamental Human Rights, International Human Rights Law and best practices, monitoring of Human Rights in the context of an election, Ethical reporting of human rights in the media among others.
National Human Rights Commission is an independent body set up by an Act of Parliament in 2017 to protect and promote human rights in the Gambia.