Workshop on human rights for DCAB members held

A workshop, namely Human Rights Day: Importance and Expectation from Media, was held today, 28 January 2021. SoMaSHTe and United Nations in Bangladesh organized the online event for the members of the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB).

Twenty-nine members of DCAB and representatives from SoMaSHTe, UN in Bangladesh, UNDP, UNHCR, and UNIDO, attended the workshop.

Huma Khan, Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team in Bangladesh, spoke the occasion. In her speech, she emphasized human rights sensitive journalism. She said that they follow some principles in their work while working on sensitive information; journalists also can adopt these in their practice.

Huma Khan speaks the workshop.

“While writing a report and gathering the information, we have to be careful that we will not hurt the survivor or victim or people who provide us with information or expose them to further risks,” Huma Khan said. “We have to anonymize (the source) to make sure that nobody can identify them is to make sure that he/she is not, later on, threaten, harassed, or intimidated by any party that may haven’t interest and someone again whom he /she provides information,” she added.

“Confidentiality is another principle we follow, so we can check with the source of information to make sure either he/she wants to share their name or details,” Huma Khan also pointed out. She also responded to questions from journalists on different aspects of human rights and journalism.

Md. Zahid Hossain, human rights officer at the  UN in Bangladesh, said, “The UN declaration on the rights and responsibilities of individuals which very much includes journalists and human rights defenders. There is also a UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. That plan also has to be understood and digested by us, also by the journalists what sort of protection is available there.”

Pantho Rahman, president of DCAB, said, “Every journalist is working to defend human rights. DCAB members have been dealing with burning human rights issues like the Rohingya crisis. They have a role to play to solve the issue peacefully.”

Mir Masrur Zaman, director of SoMaSHTe, said, “Human rights are not confined to a geographic location or a nation; these are universal. Journalists covering diplomatic issues are playing the roles in globalizing the national issue or nationalizing the global issues.” “That is why addressing human rights angle in diplomatic reports are immensely relevant,” he added.
In the later part of the workshop, participating journalists were divided into groups. They worked on the challenges and solutions in integrating the human rights angle in diplomatic reports. Angoor Nahar Monty, Rashed Mehedi, Abida Sultana Mukta, Tanzim Anwar, Emrul Kayesh, Morshed Hassib Khan, Mahfuz Mishu, Mainul Hasan, Masud Karim, Mahadi Hasan presented the challenges and recommendations on the issue.

Dr. Monir Uz Zaman from the UN and AKM Mainuddin, secretary of DCAB, also spoke in the workshop’s closing session.