HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER JALAL APPEALS TO PACIFIC NEWS MEDIA TO EDUCATE

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By Ulamila Kura-I-Marrie

SUVA, Fiji Islands (February 26, 2002 - PINA Nius Online)---A Pacific Islands human rights lawyer has appealed to regional news media leaders to take up the challenge of educating citizens of their countries on their rights.

Imrana Jalal told the PINA News Media, Human Rights and Democracy conference at the Fiji Mocambo Hotel, Nadi, that most regional governments had not educated their citizens on international conventions they signed.

Ms. Jalal, from the Pacific Regional Human Rights Education Resource Team (RRRT), said this was despite this being among provisions of the international conventions.

She said: "Human life and human dignity have been disregarded throughout history and continue to be disregarded today."

Pacific Islands television, radio and newspaper leaders are attending the five-day conference organized by the Pacific Islands News Association. It is supported by RRRT and Britain's Department for International Development (DFID).

During opening ceremonies, PINA's president, Johnson Honimae, of the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, also urged participants to come up with a set of guidelines for promoting human rights coverage.

PINA had already adopted a declaration on the Media and the Pacific Child, during its convention in Madang, Papua New Guinea, last year.

The conference earlier in the day discussed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and media coverage of this.

This session was led by two former editors, Virisila Buadromo (Fiji Women's Rights Movement) and Lisa Williams (Pacific Women's Bureau, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.)

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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