Posts Tagged ‘development’

Call for Nominations for the 2018 Lorenzo Natali Media Prizes

February 6, 2018

Applications for the European Commission‘s 2018 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize, which recognises journalists doing outstanding reporting on development topics, are open from 5 February to 9 March for online, print and audio-visual works.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: “In an era of disinformation, fake news and digital algorithms, we need professional and fact-based journalism more than ever. The important work of journalists is not only crucial for democracy across the globe, but also gives visibility and a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Through their stories they inform, inspire, and call for much-needed change. With this prize, we thank them for their determination and encourage them to keep up the fight.”

The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is awarded to journalists reporting on issues such as poverty eradication and the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Journalists are invited to submit their work, be it in print, digital, radio or TV broadcast format. Deadline: 9 March 2018. Detailed information on the specific rules and criteria are available online. The prize has two categories based on age groups: 21 to 26 years, and 27 years plus. For each category there will be a winner from each region: Africa; the Arab World and the Middle East; Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe.

A “Grand Winner” will be selected among the regional winners [this is the award listed in the Digest:] and an additional thematic prize will be awarded for work focused on the elimination of violence against women and girls.

The selection will be carried out by a “Grand Jury” composed of renowned journalists from across the world. This year’s jury members include Bruce Shapiro from the Columbia School of Journalism, Peruvian reporter and founder of “Panorámica Lationamericana” Isabel Recavarren, New Delhi-based journalist and President of the Commonwealth Journalists Association Mahendra Ved, Le Soir’s Maroun Labaki, and Mary Harper, the BBC World Service’s Africa Editor.

All 11 winners will receive their awards at a ceremony during the 2018 European Development Days in Brussels this June.


Ivette Gonzalez: profile of a Human Rights Defender from Mexico

July 11, 2016

Ivette Gonzalez: Human Rights Defender from Mexico

In the ISHR Monitor of 1 July 2016 there is an interview with Ivette Gonzalez who works as a strategic engagement associate for Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER) in Mexico. Ivette was in Geneva to participate in ISHR’s Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme.


In Mexico, Ivette’s work at PODER is framed around the business and human rights agenda. PODER works to strengthen civil society to achieve corporate transparency and accountability with a human rights perspective. Ivette spoke to ISHR about her motivation to become involved in human rights work, in particular advocating for business and human rights:

‘Injustice and inequality as well as understanding the imbalance of wealth distribution and power triggered my motivation.’

Regarding the risks she and her organisation face on a daily basis, Ivette acknowledged that a focus on safety concerns is necessary in Mexico. PODER has implemented a very strict security protocol in the office to ensure they can work in safe conditions. All members, both those in the field and in the office, are required to follow the protocol.

‘By working in business and human rights, we are aware that powerful actors can consider our work as a threat.’

In the last few years, Ivette feels that human rights defenders and journalists are more at risk in Mexico. Discrediting campaigns point the finger at NGOs and defenders, questioning the legitimacy of their work and even accusing them of taking advantage of victims of human rights violations.

Implementation of laws for the protection of defenders

When talking about particular changes to legislation Ivette would like to see in Mexico, she mentions that the creation of laws is not the issue, but their implementation is. In Mexico, a law and protection mechanism for human rights defenders exists, but the mechanism needs to be improved with the inputs of the users of it and the people at risk. For that to happen, it is crucial that civil society are involved in the process and monitoring.

‘Even though Mexico already has the legislative tools in hand, using these tools, making them concrete and practical for defenders and activists on the ground is the missing step.’

Information is power

Regarding her goals at the international level, Ivette admits that the human rights agenda needs to have an impact at the international level, because some actors are large transnational corporations based in many different countries, and there is a lack of access to justice for the victims of corporate activities in the host and home countries.

Ivette interacts with UN mechanisms including the Special Procedures. PODER has interacted with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Working Group on Business and Human Rights. In speaking of interacting with the Special Procedures, Ivette acknowledges civil society’s critical role in providing information to Special Procedures.

‘My recommendation for the international community would be to work together and form coalitions. Building new structures and making steps towards change, can be best achieved by working together.’

Learning and advocating in Geneva

Regarding her participation in HRDAP, Ivette is grateful to have been able to receive such a significant amount of information on how to effectively engage with the UN system, as well as how to efficiently use it in her existing work. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge with other civil society organisations and assisting affected communities to engage with the UN. She appreciated the opportunity to lobby various actors, as well as learn how to approach missions and engage with the system – including Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies.

‘During HRDAP, I met very brave defenders with whom I developed professional relationships. Sharing experience and expertise can strengthen our work in the pursue for the respect of human rights.’

Source: Ivette Gonzalez: Human Rights Defender from Mexico | ISHR

Controversial film ‘The Opposition’ to be shown in Geneva on19 April but Australian court to rule on 14 April

April 12, 2016

In the lead up to the Universal Periodic Review of Papua New Guinea, two NGOs – the International Service for Human Rights and Media Stockade -organise an exclusive screening of the documentary film ‘The Opposition’ and discussion with director Hollie Fifer and Dr Kristian Lasslet from International State Crimes Initiative. The Opposition asks how we can ethically build sustainable business in developing countries. In a David-and-Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinea’s paradise, Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, struggles to save his 3,000 people before they are evicted. Battling it out in the courts, Joe may find his community replaced with an international five-star hotel and marina. In a recent twist, production company Media Stockade and director Hollie Fifer have been hit with a legal suit over the upcoming release of the film. On Thursday 14 April, a judge in the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney, Australia will decide if the case will go to trial. At stake is whether the film will be able to be released or not. Media Stockade stands its director who has conducted a piece of legitimate investigative reporting in the public interest.

The screening takes place on 19 April 2016 at 15h30 in the Rue de Varembé 1, ground floor, Geneva. Please note this event is a private screening and is by invitation only (and places are strictly limited). If you want to be invited you have to contact the organizers before Friday 15 April.

Source: Film Screening: ‘The Opposition’, Tuesday 19 April, 3.30pm

Regional ‘Asia Democracy Network’ created in Seoul

October 30, 2013


(The Founding Assembly of the ‘Asia Democracy Network’ and the ‘3rd Seoul Democracy Forum’ held in Seoul, Korea .Photo: TPI)

The meeting held from 21 – 24 October 2013 in Seoul, South Korea, was attended by the over 80 civic leaders, democracy activists human rights defenders from all corners of Asia. The Asia Democracy Network [ADN] is a joint initiative Read the rest of this entry »

Human rights defenders working on development issues are increasingly stigmatized, UN Rapporteur tells General Assembly

October 29, 2013


Human rights defenders working on behalf of communities affected by large-scale development projects are increasingly being branded ‘anti-government’, ‘against development’ or even ‘enemies of the State’, the Special Rapporteur for human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, has warned. Read the rest of this entry »