About Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR)
To Support poor people’s Causes and Amplify their Voices, Prompt Humanitarian Assistance in Distress, Disaster and Conflict Situations; Sensitize Media, Journalists and People on Development Discourses, Human Security (disasters- response, risk reduction and preparedness and conflicts- response and resolution), Climate Change, People’s centric Governance, democratic norms and Human Rights; Build Capacity of media professionals on how to cover human rights and development issues to maximize people’s space in media enabling them to secure their rights.
Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR)- www.jdhr.org is an independent think tank and a pro-people campaigning/policy outreach, capacity building and research organization that strives to set Media’s Agenda and to create more Media space for Common People, taking gender as a cross cutting issue. Working since 1998, JDHR was registered in 2004 in Islamabad Pakistan under Social Welfare organizations’ law. JDHR is a countrywide network of Media, Social Journalism and Development practitioners and analysts.
The organization Supports poor people’s Causes and Amplifies their Voices, Prompts Humanitarian Assistance in Distress, Disaster and Conflict Situations; Sensitizes Media, Journalists and People on Development Discourses, Human Security (disasters- response, risk reduction and preparedness and conflicts- response and resolution), Climate Change, People’s centric Governance, democratic norms and Human Rights; Builds Capacity of Media professionals on how to Cover human rights and development issues to maximize people’s space in media enabling them to secure their rights.
JDHR works through its various Centres and Forums, such as:
Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR)
Centre for Human Security and Disaster Management (CHSDM)
Centre for Trade, Economics, Environment and Development (CTEED)
Centre for Development Communications (CDC)
South Asia Centre for Economic Journalists (SACEJ)
Child Rights Media Forum (CRMF)
Women Journalists Forum (WJF)
All these centres and forums focus on various level networking among journalists, academia and civil society and deal with human rights and development issues with rights based approach.
A leading journalist, researcher, campaigner, communications specialist and policy analyst Mr. Shafqat Munir (Tel +92-321-5305452 and email: email@example.com) is the President of the organization with academia, civil society activists and journalists on the Board of Governors. While senior television journalist Khalid Jamil is the secretary general and Executive Director of the organization. Other officer bearers included two vice presidents, joint and finance secretaries. Different coordinators coordinate all centres and forums. Organization has four provincial heads. All office bears and members of the Board of Governors are Media, Social Journalism and Development practitioners, analysts, researchers and human rights activists.
JDHR has its headquarters in Islamabad (Pakistan) and its provincial links in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta and sub regional links in Multan and Hyderabad. It has South Asia regional links in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Bhutan and South East Asia links in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.
Scope of Work and Experience
At present, Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) is undertaking the following major campaigns through its various Centers and Forums in collaboration with other partner organizations and donors.
Campaign ‘Child Not Labourer’- Eradication of the worst forms of child labour
During this over five year-long campaign, JDHR has been focusing on elimination of the worst forms of child labour. It creates awareness through various means primarily media to impress upon people that child is a child and not a labour who can bear the brunt of hectic and hazardous work environment. JDHR has conducted training programmes and ran other programmes against child labour with support of various organisations including ILO. JDHR had established Media Coalitions in various media hubs in the country with initial support from ILO. All of them are networking in a googlegroup online. The Media Coalitions’ members share story ideas and their stories online. The Media Coalition and the campaign ‘Child Not Labourer’ is still continuing beyond ILO support. Now JDHR in collaboration with its media partner Infochange News and Features Network (INFN-www.infochangepakistan.net) has been able to profile over 50 exclusive stories on the working children. For the first time, JDHR-INFN profiled stories on the plight of the children working in circus, a new area explored as one of the worst forms of child labour.
Campaign ‘No more empty plates’- Ensuring Right to Food
Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) in collaboration with FIAN International, Actionaid, Oxfam Novib, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad and Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) is undergoing a campaign pushing for a legal-frame to ensure Right to Food to millions of Pakistanis now at the verge of hunger. Millions more have been added to the tally of the poor and the hungry after the floods in 2010-11. The Campaign ‘No More Empty Plates’ gets moment since the JDHR organized Pakistan’s firs National Right to Food Conference in October 2011. Over 120 delegates including women farmers actively participated in the conference. The campaign pushes federal and provincial governments for a new legislation in the spirit of Article 38 of the Constitution of Pakistan to ensure Right to Food and other basic necessities of life for the poor and the marginalized people.
Campaign ‘Nine is mine’- Ensuring 9% budgetary allocations for Education and Health
This campaign focuses on mounting public pressure on governments (federal and provincial) to get increase budgetary allocation to 9% for Education and Health to achieve targets committed in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and SAARC Development Goals.
Campaign ‘Flower not Bullet’- De-radicalizing narrative in the interest of peace
This campaign focuses on building a counter narrative among the masses for peace building rejecting the extremism in the name of Islam. It will facilitate dialogue among various stakeholders through media, social media and public policy seminars and other awareness tools to help people resolve conflict at local level and counter radicalization.
JDHR provided policy outreach support to South Asian civil society organisations during SAARC summits since 2007 SAARC Summit in Colombo when they conducted South Asia Policy Forums in Kandy (Sri Lanka) and in Kathmandu in Nepal. JDHR provided lobbying, logistic, thematic and media related support.
JDHR conducted a policy seminar for South Asian Economic Journalists on “Road to Hong Kong” during 11-13 July 2005 at Pokhra in Nepal in collaboration with the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) (Nepal), and the Centre for Trade and Development (India), an Oxfam GB Initiative. The participants and organizers of this seminar decided to form “South Asia Centre for Economic Journalists (SCEJ) to be housed at the Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) Pakistan. Another, training for economic journalists of South Asia was conducted in Sri Lanka in 2006. Similar training seminars/workshops were conducted in Pakistan for economic journalists.
Training of Journalists for policy outreach and advocacy on human rights and Media Alliance/Coalition building at national and Asia regional level have been the strength of Journalists for Democracy and Human Right (JDHR), which has conducted several such activities in and outside the country and had trained and networked over 1200 journalists during last five years.
JDHR has conducted dozens of capacity building workshops for representatives of civil society organisations on Policy Outreach, Advocacy, Media Work, Campaigning, Research Uptake, Lobbying, Communications, Gender Sensitive Reporting and Social Media. These workshops were conducted in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and in Pakistan (Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar).
JDHR also conducted media training workshops on Reporting and Editing Skills, Media Ethics, Child Rights and Child Labour issues, Women’s rights and Gender issue, Economic and Trade Issues and Conflict and Disaster Reporting. These training workshops were held in Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
The support for these workshops were provided by South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), Nepal, Institute for Policy Studies, Sri Lanka, Asia Media Forum, Actionaid Bangladesh, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), The Embassy of the United States, UNDP, UNICEF, International Labour Organization (ILO), Oxfam, Actionaid Pakistan, AWARD and National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD), Ministry of Women’s Development. The Ministries of Commerce and Information, Government of Pakistan also provided support.
JDHR being a research partner of the National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) North South, Switzerland conducted research surveys to support a PhD level, three Master’s level studies. It conducted a livelihood survey in NWFP. Forestry sector has been focus of research with different livelihood approaches. The PhD research topic is “Analysis of Institution Changes in Forest Management and its Impact on Rural Livelihoods in NWFP, Pakistan”. Master’s level study focused on “Livelihood Survey in the Highland-Lowland Context of the NWFP, Pakistan.
Conducted a research on influence of media on policy making in forestry sector with the support of NCCR Switzerland.
JDHR led in Punjab a lead research work on trafficking of women and children initiated by Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA). JDHR has contributed research papers and policy positions on human trafficking and migration and presented them at national and regional level conferences. It has also conducted sessions with media on human trafficking and migration related issues.
Conducted a field based study on “Child Birth Registration-Post Devolution Plan”
Conducted a research study on best practices on child labour published in London
Recently conducted a research on Talibanization- Paper published by London School of Economics, London
Contributed dozens of research based articles published in leading English dailies on gender related issues, development discourses and human rights.
JDHR has published a book by Dr Abid Suleri, on “Social Dimensions of Globalization- the case of Pakistan” The book is of international standard and quality and has jointly been published by JDHR and NCCR, North-South Development Study Group, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
JDHR is part of half a dozen national and international civil society network and media groups. It houses in Islamabad the secretariats of FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FINAN), Asia Media Forum (AMF), South Asia Centre for Economic Journalists (SACEJ). JDHR is member of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economic and Environment (SAWTEE) and University of Zurich, Switzerland