The Uganda Human Rights Commission, in collaboration with the Uganda Editors’ Guild, has trained a total of 40 journalists from various parts of the nation in human rights protection and promotion.
The Editors’ Guild is Uganda’s umbrella group for news editors, whereas the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) is a government entity tasked with monitoring and advancing the country’s human rights.
The two-day training, held at the Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe, was aimed primarily at journalists and editors, who were given knowledge and skills on human rights-based complaint reports and mechanisms in order to better defend media rights.
“The importance of the media in the protection and promotion of human rights cannot be overstated. It makes it easier for duty bearers and citizens to exchange information. According to Meddie Mulumba, the acting chairperson of the UHRC, “media practitioners are required to build capacity on how human rights-based approaches may be used to promote media professionalism through compliance with the ethical code of conduct.”
“It is hoped that the training would lead to a stronger strategic collaboration with the commission as a result of a better understanding of each stakeholder’s duties and mandates, as well as how the two can work together to preserve and promote human rights for all people in the country.”
During the two-day training, journalists learned about the Uganda Human Rights Commission’s mandate, powers, and functions, as well as an overview of human rights principles, UHRC complaint handling, human rights protection through adherence to the journalism code of ethics, and a human rights-based approach to journalism.
Several experts in human rights and journalism guided journalists through the best ways to approach their work during the session.
During the seminar, Uganda Media Council’s Peter Jabweri Okello pushed journalists to constantly bring value to their profession by solving challenges faced by the public.
“You don’t offer value to journalism if you don’t look at issues from the public’s perspective. This type of involvement is fruitful because it helps journalists remember their code of conduct as well as how to do their jobs well,” Jabweri explained.
“As journalists, you must also be aware of the law’s provisions and how to apply them in your reporting. Take the information you’ve learned in this class seriously.”