Recognizing Human Rights Journalism in the DRC
Kinshasa, 16 October 2011 - The NGOs Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), The Carter Center and Search for Common Ground, along with the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), have launched a competition to reward the best news reports on human rights. The competition is open to all Congolese journalists in print, radio, television and web, in addition to news agencies working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The NGOs Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), The Carter Center and Search for Common Ground, along with the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO), have launched a competition to reward the best news reports on human rights. The competition is open to all Congolese journalists in print, radio, television and web, in addition to news agencies working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
"The Journalists for Human Rights prize aims to recognize journalists who cover difficult topics in an insecure environment" explains Freddy Matta, Country Director for JHR. "It also aims to encourage more Congolese journalists to become interested in covering human rights issues which are of such pertinence and importance to everyday life in the DRC".
This will be the second year that UNJHRO awards a special prize in the 'Fight Against Impunity for Sexual Violence' category. In 2010, the prize was awarded to a journalist from the written press who covered the arrest of a rebel chief for rape, and to two radio journalists, the first who covered the rape of men by men in conflict zones in the DRC, and the second how to file a legal claim for rape committed by a soldier.
"The Journalists for Human Rights prize is an integral part of our work to fight impunity for sexual violence in Congo," emphasizes Scott Campbell, Director of UNJHRO in the DRC. "We believe it is very important to encourage journalists to cover this sensitive issue in an appropriate manner. In doing so they are able to raise awareness, combat stigma and fight impunity".
The JHRO program to fight impunity for sexual violence is supported by the Swedish International Development Agency. It covers a broad range of activities including public awareness campaigns, free legal access to justice for victims, and the reinforcement of the judicial system. It is being implemented in the provinces of Kinshasa, Bandundu, Bas Congo, Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental and Katanga.
The human rights situation in the DRC remains of great concern. In a general context of impunity, perpetrators of human rights violations are seldom brought to justice, despite the Government "zero tolerance" policy towards abuses committed by the Congolese security forces.
To apply, please download the (FR) and the (FR). Applications can be submitted at any UNJHRO office around the country, or one of the participating organizations' headquarters in Kinshasa. Alternatively, electronic copies can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Articles must have been published for the first time between 10 November 2010 and 10 November 2011. The deadline for applications is the 11 November 2011.
Photo Credit. Journalists at a UN Press Conference, 6 June 2011, Photo MONUSCO/ Myriam Asmani