About this Guide (Click here to download)
The United Nations Human Rights Council in its Resolution 24/15 of 8 October 2013 decided that promoting human rights training for media professionals should be the target for the third phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2015 -2019). This has not been the case in Cameroon especially with community radio practitioners who cannot gain complete access to training and empowerment of human rights related issues.
The situation is made worse by an already information-poor rural community whose high rate of illiteracy prevents them from reading newspapers, which are sometimes unavailable or too expensive for the people to buy Yet, human rights awareness has in the last couple of years become a critical issue in rural communities in the North West and South West Cameroonian regions with media reports attesting to the fact that more and more people living in rural areas are trapped in court proceedings for human rights related crimes like domestic violence, gender-based violence, land theft, human trafficking, sexual harassment, arson, female genital mutilation, breast ironing etc. The victims often complain of ignorance of the law whereas no one is supposed not to know the law. Due to the radio’s ability to reach a wide audience simultaneously, it is important to use it to educate the rural communities about the relevant national and international laws, which mostly exist in Cameroon in English and French, -languages not easily understood by the grassroots.
It was in this regard that a three-day training workshop for local community radio broadcasters was organized from the 10th to 12thNovember 2017 in Buea by AFRICAphonie-Cameroon with financial support from the Canadian Funds for Local Initiative (CFLI). The whole idea of the workshop was to inculcate professional skills into the participants and equally stimulate them into producing human-rights broadcasts, using Pidgin English as a lingua franca to facilitate public understanding. The Canadian High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Nathalie O‟Neil, accompanied by her Programmes Officer, graced the event with her presence.
Paper presentations on major national and international human rights instruments (laws), gender related violence, the merits of community radio, and effective broadcasting techniques, followed by question-and-answer sessions, group work, and field trips, characterized the workshop. The five facilitators were renowned radio broadcasters and legal luminaries with a strong bias towards the defence and promotion of human rights and gender balance, drawn from relevant agencies in Cameroon.
As a product of the workshop, this Guide serves as a reminder of what human rights is and how good radio programmes could be conceived, produced and broadcast in a way as to effectively sensitize the grassroots on the issue. It consists of all the workshop lectures, supplemented with practical guidelines on how to produce radio programmes capable of empowering the rural community to know and defend their rights.
Click here to download the Guide
Executive Director, AFRICAphonie