A total of 40 journalists from various parts of the country have been trained on protection and promotion of human rights by the Uganda Human Rights Commission together with the Uganda Editors’ Guild.
The Editors’ Guild is the umbrella association for news editors in Uganda whereas UHRC is a government body mandated to monitor and advance human rights in the country.
The two day training held at the Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe targeted mostly reporters and editors who were equipped with knowledge and skills on human rights based complaint reports and mechanisms for better protection of the rights of media.
“The critical role played by the media in protection and promotion of human rights can’t be over emphasized. It facilitates the flow of information between duty bearers and the citizens. With such training, the media practitioners are expected to build capacity on how human rights based approach van be used to strengthen media professionalism through compliance with the ethical code of conduct,” said Meddie Mulumba, the acting UHRC chairperson.
“It is hoped that the training will lead to a more enhanced strategic partnership with the commission through clear understanding of the different roles and mandates of each stakeholder and how the two can complement each other aimed at protecting and promoting human rights for all people in the country.”
During the two day training, journalists were led through the mandate, powers and function of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, an overview of the principles of human rights, UHRC complaints handling, safeguarding of human rights through compliance with journalism code of ethics and the human rights based approach to journalism.
During the training, several scholars in human rights and journalism took journalists through how best they can go about their work.
Speaking during the training, Peter Jabweri Okello from the Uganda Media Council challenged journalists to always add value to their profession through solving problems faced by the population.
“If you don’t take issues by the public point of view, you don’t add value to journalism. This kind of engagement is a fruitful one since it helps to remind journalists of their code of conduct but also on how to do their job well,”Jabweri said.
“As journalists, you also have to be alive to the provisions of the law and how to apply it in your journalism practice. Take the knowledge gained from this training serious.”