Journalists for Human Rights JHR

Linked with our presentation of Irina Yanovskaya – Georgia.

Linked with our presentation of Situation in Abkhazia.

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is a growing charitable organization that harnesses the power of the media to combat human rights abuses. By building the capacity of the media to report effectively on human rights issues, JHR’s work pressures abusers to stop and empowers victims to fight back. Since July 1, 2003, 20 Canadian journalists have gone to Ghana. Their work has increased human rights reporting there by over 65 per cent. Now, Bonnie Allen, Colleen Ross, Drake McHugh and Jaime Jacques – all experienced Canadian journalists – have joined the list of volunteer journalists in Ghana. Their main task is to work with JHR’s media partners — typically the most popular radio stations, television stations and newspapers. JHR is member of OneWorldNet since December 5, 2002.

Since its founding in May 2002, JHR has run projects in nine African countries and throughout North America. Within Africa, JHR works with local media organizations to reach 20 million people with human rights related stories on a weekly basis. In Canada, JHR has established nineteen Chapters (or clubs) at post-secondary institutions across the country, actively engaging over 20% of Canada’s journalism students in human rights reporting. JHR is currently working to expand this program throughout the United States. JHR has offices in Accra, Ghana and Toronto, Canada. (Read more on its homepage).

And the community page, where JHR-members may write articles and comments.

By Clare Byrne – There’s no law stating that NGOs have to be run by middle-aged philanthropists with countless postgraduate degrees and years of experience. But they usually are. Which is why it’s so refreshing to interview a NGO boss who’s still living at home with his parents. Twenty-six-year old Ben Peterson is co-founder and executive director of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), a new organization that uses the media to educate Africans about their rights. The idea is simple: get the local media to step up its coverage of human rights issues thereby generating greater public awareness and wider respect for individual rights.

Ghana, one of the world’s poorest countries, was JHR’s first target. With over 15 major ethnic groups, discrimination against people of different ethnic origin is rampant: a 1997 United Nations report showed one in four Ghanaians felt discriminated against on the basis of their tribal origins. More overtly violent practices have also survived in Ghana, like forced female circumcision and the giving of young girls as slaves by parents seeking forgiveness for wrongdoing. Peterson, when he was working for the United Nations in Ghana, was particularly shocked at the high levels of spousal abuse. “Men talk openly about beating women,” he says. (Read the rest of this long article on verge-magazine online).

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) works to build the capacity of media to report effectively on human rights issues, with activities in Africa and North America. (Read all the rest on ‘the communication initiative‘).

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is a young, growing charitable organization based in Toronto that uses innovative and proven techniques to reduce human rights abuses in the African countries we work in. JHR works by building the capacity of the media to effectively report on human rights issues and create a culture of rights. Our work pressures abusers to stop and empowers victims to fight back. For example, one of many issues that JHR works on is creating awareness of the human rights related to HIV/AIDS. We recognize the linkages between HIV/ AIDS, poverty, discrimination and human rights and encourage accurate, extensive, and honest coverage on the issue. In the past, some of JHR’s HIV/AIDS projects have included working with African NGO’s promoting the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS. Since its founding in May 2002, JHR has run projects in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Canada. In Ghana, our largest African project, we have increased human rights coverage in the media by over 65%, leading to a quantifiable reduction in human rights abuses. JHR has offices in Accra, Ghana and Toronto, Canada and works exclusively in Africa and North America. (Read more about on TakingITglobal).

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