Journalistes en Afrique pour le Développement, in partnership with Association des Juristes pour les Droits Humains and Caractères sans Frontières organised a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop in Douala, bringing together journalists and other actors involved in the promotion of human rights.
The different actors, comprising journalists, jurists and security personnel, drawn from various regions of Cameroon, participated in the four-day workshop that ran from October 13 to 16, in Bonaberi.
The workshop was themed on looking at the type of synergies to develop between all the actors for the better promotion of press freedom and human rights in Cameroon. With skilled facilitators and resource persons, the participants were drilled on various international and national Human Rights instruments, which serve as guides on that Human Rights are all about.
During the workshop, group activities were also organised, and the participants were given different tasks to deliberate on and do presentations on their assigned tasks. Participants also shared experiences and lessons to help them better understand the intricacies of the various human rights challenges in the different parts of the country. Participants also asked questions regarding certain instances and challenges, and were advised on how to report such cases.
On challenges faced in reporting on Human Rights, the stakeholders outlined the need for synergy between the various actors, which they stated, will facilitate such reporting and help the journalists to better paint clear pictures of the human rights situation in the country, and as such, help to make the situation better, by highlighting them.
At the end of the workshop, the stakeholders and journalists pledged to synergize efforts, in order to report and improve on the respect of Human Rights in the country. Journalists at the workshop, also took engagements to pay particular interest on Human Rights related stories, by mainstreaming them in the news reporting.
At the end of the workshop, Etienne Tasse, Coordinator of the workshop lauded the multi-stakeholder participation and expressed the need for them to join hands in paying more attention to Human Rights issues in the country.
On what occasioned the workshop, he, Tasse stated that “It is because we were told of the difficulties that journalists go through as a result of fear of what might happen to them after they cover a story.” He further stated that “besides the formation of journalists we will also be training lawyers on the liberty of the press and human rights. These lawyers who will be trained, will constitute a group of lawyers who will defend journalists when they have a problem that involves their articles.”
Asked about some of the difficulties which even lawyers go through to defend clients, and are sometimes denied access, Tasse told The Post that they are working to create a scenario wherein such circumstances, it will be the place and “the job of journalists to write and publish articles on these issues. It is our job as journalists to write on them so that the high authorities of the country can be aware so that they can intervene because if we don’t write on them the highest authorities will never know that such thing happened and it will continue.
“After the formation, journalists are called upon to write articles on human rights under our supervision.” He stated.