The Church of North India Works with Regional Media Groups on Gender Rights-Related Reporting
In the interest of reducing human trafficking of and violence toward women and children.
In the interest of reducing human trafficking of and violence toward women and children CNI held a Consultation on the subject of how the media reports on these issues.
The Church of North India in partnership with UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) is working in the Eastern Himalayan Region covering the districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal and Kokrajhar in Assam to tackle newer emerging vulnerabilities leading to trafficking in children and women in Eastern Himalayan Region. While the work on the issue is going on quite well, the challenges that come with it demand for a wider recognition of the need to address root causes and explore possibilities to strengthen the social structure to reduce the vulnerabilities of women and children especially in the context of exploitation of women and children.
Therefore, the Diocese of Eastern Himalaya, Church of North India in partnership with UNIIFEM & USAID and in collaboration with National Coalition of Media Persons against Gender Violence and Trafficking organized a “Consultation on Gender Sensitive Rights Based Media Reporting : Building Positive Partnerships” from June 12th – 14th, 2006 in Darjeeling. The Consultation brought together media persons from the national and vernacular press, both electronic and print media, from throughout the country as well as media persons from West Bengal with the objective of using the platform to exchange knowledge and tools for enabling sensitive, responsible journalism, especially in the case of violence against women and children. Also in attendance were representatives of NGOs, CBOs, faith-based organizations, the academia, and the community. While the focus of this Consultation was on Darjeeling and the Eastern Himalayan region, the issues of concerns were not limited to one area alone, but as prevalent throughout the country and throughout the world.
The Rt. Rev. Naresh Ambala, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Himalaya in his Inaugural Address reflected on the Constitutional Rights of human beings from being protected from exploitation and the right to live a life of dignity. He challenged the people of all faith to reflect on the Scriptures which talk of Justice and dignity of all creation. In her Key Note Address, Ms. Archana Tamang, Chief, Women’s Human Rights and Human Security Unit UNIFEM, South Asia Regional Office spoke of the role played by the Media Coalition covering the electronic, alternative and print media through sensitive reportage of the issues of concerns. Ms. Nandita Baruah, Regional Anti Trafficking and Equity Advisor, U. S Agency for International Development, in her address emphasized the need for addressing macro issues that lead to vulnerabilities even while working on micro issues.
The Consultation began with a report sharing of CNIs Anti-Trafficking Program in the Diocese of Eastern Himalaya which was presented by Ms. Sanjana Das who also facilitated sharing of people’s experiences and struggles in the prevention of trafficking and violence against children and women, in rescuing and in enabling and supporting communities to address vulnerabilities that lead to trafficking. This was presented by a cross section of representatives of the Diocese from development practitioners to grassroots workers to the community leaders and the survivors of trafficking as well as the pastors from different areas of the Diocese.
The Consultation was facilitated by Mr. Sudipta Singh, Director Programs Church of North India, Mr. Jaishankar Gupta, Secretary, Press Information Bureau and Special Correspondent Hindustan, Ms. Archana Tamang, Chief, Women’s Human Rights and Human Security Unit UNIFEM, South Asia Regional Office and Ms. Sanjana Das, Co-ordinator, Children’s Concerns, Church of North India.
At the Consultation‘s end, the Darjeeling Commitment was released. A team of media persons, and development practitioners all from different backgrounds gathered together to work on the Commitment, bringing to fruit the personal commitment of media persons present at the Consultation to the anti-trafficking cause and their pledge to report form a rights-based, sensitive perspective.
This article is excerpted from a July, 2006 issue of Church of North India News
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 July 2006 )|