The Office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in Kyrgyzstan held a two-day training on “NGO and the Media: development of effective strategies to attract society to discuss critical issues in the field of human rights” for journalists and human rights defenders, non-governmental organizations in Bishkek and Chui region.
The training was conducted in the framework of the project “Creating a Culture of Investigative Journalism for Furthering Democratic Reform – Linking Human Rights Organizations, Government Officials and the Media to Promote Change”, funded by the European Union and the Government of Norway.
During the training, participants have learned the concept of human rights, and how they are related to the lives of ordinary citizens, what laws ensure their compliance, and how to deal with the violation of human rights, how to attract the attention of authorities and the public to this problem.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, journalists and human rights activists have worked during practical sessions: media workers have learned to interview victims of human rights violations, and human rights defenders and their clients have learned how to share their stories and other relevant information. All this took place with the participation of a real victim of torture by law enforcement agencies.
These trainings, on the one hand, will help the media to be aware of original relevant and controversial topics, and, on the other hand, by illuminating them, the human rights community has an opportunity to draw the attention of public authorities and local residents to the violations of human rights, seek permission for solution of various contentious issues.
Head of the Human Rights Centre “Adam jana Ukuk” Elmira Arapova has admitted that she participated in such training for the first time, where the techniques of interaction of human rights activists with journalists are explained in practice.
“Unfortunately, there is no stable contact for interaction between us [the media and human rights NGOs], although we could closely and usefully cooperate with each other, – said Elmira Arapova. – Now we will develop contacts with journalists and will work with them in close relation, since without them, we cannot communicate the important issues and problems in our area to the public and the authorities”.
The training was attended by 20 people – 10 journalists and 10 representatives of human rights non-governmental organizations from Bishkek, Talas and Chui oblasts.
Participants noted the practical orientation of the training and said that they would use this knowledge in the development of topics, during the work on various materials, writing press releases and coverage of human rights cases.
“We hear a lot about human rights, protection of human rights, but only during the IWPR training, I learned what it is in reality, and how it affects our lives, – confessed Aizada Kalkanbaeva, a journalist of Suusamyr FM community radio. – Looking more attentively, it turns out that the rights of ordinary citizens are violated in many places, especially when referring to state institutions. And it is important to talk about it, to help solve these problems, because if we do not require compliance with the law, our rights will still be violated”.
Trainers were prominent human rights activists and experienced professionals in their field: Heads of PF “Kylym Shamy” Aziza Abdirasulova and «Voice of Freedom» Abdumomun Mamaraimov.
“Although Kyrgyzstan has a lot of actively working media and human rights organizations, and their activities is often overlapping, but stable contact between them was not established earlier. We want to ensure that journalists and human rights activists have worked side by side, helped each other, as this will ultimately have a positive impact on their work, and most importantly – on the work results”, said Meerim Shamudinova, program manager of the IWPR office in Kyrgyzstan, about the purpose of the training.
Two-day training was carried out on March 6-7 in Bishkek. On March 10, a similar training began in Naryn.
The next training on effective interaction for journalists and human rights defenders will be held on March 13-14 in Karakol, and on March 17-18 in Batken
To participate in the training, you need to send your CV and statement of purposes (100-150 words) by email: email@example.com
For more information, you can contact us by phone. +996 (312) 313097.
About the organization: The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) is a British non-profit media organization, covering the situation and supporting local media in crisis regions around the world. In Kyrgyzstan, the IWPR has been working since 1999.