Kyiv, 13 September 2020 – The Third Human Rights Media Festival, attended by more than 80 students and professors of journalism from 21 Ukrainian universities, ended today with a call to put human rights at the center of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the ten days of the festival, which was organized by the Institute of Journalism, the ZMINA Human Rights Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), students and professors of journalism worked closely with human rights defenders, civic activists, and media experts to study how to fight all forms of discrimination and cover topics of social relevance in the media.
Manal Fouani, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in Ukraine, congratulated the participants and urged them to look at everything through the lens of a human rights perspective, especially during the ongoing pandemic. “All our decisions and actions individually and collectively should be human-centered to eradicate all forms of discrimination, inequalities, and intolerance,” she said.
Yevhenia Zadorozhna, a graduate of the Masters Programme in social and human rights journalism of the Institute of Journalism, participates in the Human Rights Media Festival for the second time. She believes that human rights should be a part of journalism curriculum. “The first Media Festival became a launching pad for me in human rights journalism. My priorities regarding advocacy journalism hasn’t changed, on the contrary, they become more explicit,” said Yevhenia.
During the numerous workshops, participants learned how to produce videos on human rights topics. Working in five thematic groups, students and professors of journalism were challenged to produce video projects covering the issues of gender equality, children's rights, conflict, national preventive mechanism, and inclusivity.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Fouani stressed that the role of journalism is to serve “as a voice for the voiceless,” calling on the students to “use the light of your laptops and notebooks to illuminate the way forward for everyone, everywhere, so that no one is left behind.”
The Human Rights Media Festival is a continuation of the Human Rights Academy for Journalism Professors launched with UNDP support in September 2017 by the Institute of Journalism, the “ZMINA: Human Rights Centre” Civil Society Organization, and the Ombudsperson’s Office. The first and the second Human Rights Media Festivals became a platform for human rights discussion for young professionals.
The initiative is implemented as part of the Human Rights for Ukraine project, which is implemented by UNDP in Ukraine with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
Media inquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, +38 097 139 14 75