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 influence Media’s Agenda in public interest and to create more Media space for Common People, taking gender as a cross cutting issue. Working since 1998, JDHR was first provisionally registered in 2004 and then was permanently registered in 2009 in Islamabad, Pakistan vide Registration No: VSWA/ICT/550/2009 under Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Regulations and Control) Ordinance 1961 (XLVI of 1961).
The office bearers and members of the Board of Governors of the Organizations are:
President: Mr. Shafqat Munir Ahmad, a senior journalist, editor, researcher and policy specialist
Vice President: Mr. Salim Khilji, a senior journalist and editor
General Secretary: Mr. Muhammad Khalid Jamil, a TV journalist and defence& foreign affairs reporter
Finance Secretary: Dr. HumairaIshfaq, Researcher and academia
Member: DrAbidQaiyumSuleri, a senior researcher, policy and political economy analyst
Member Mr. Qaisar Ahmad Rana, a senior journalist, editor and TV anchor
Member: Mr Muhammad Majid Bashir, former judger and a lawyer of the Supreme Court
Member: Mr. Muhammad Salim Khawaja, a veteran writer and author
Scope of Work and Experience
Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) has been undertaking the following major campaigns in collaboration with other partner organizations and donors.
Campaign ‘Child Not Labourer’- Eradication of the worst forms of child labour
Under this 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 in collaboration with ILO. The Media Coalitions’ members share story ideas and stories online. The Media Coalition and the campaign ‘Child Not Labourer’ is still continuing beyond ILO or any other support support. JDHR in collaboration with its media partner ‘Infochange News and Features Network’ (INFN-www.infochangepakistan.net) has contributed over 50 stories on 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) under this campaign pushes for a legal-framework to ensure ‘Right to Food’for all citizens of Pakistan, especially those who face hunger and poverty. The Campaign ‘No More Empty Plates’ emerged as an outcome of the National Right to Food Conference held in October 2011. Over 120 delegates including women farmers actively participated in the conference. The campaign pushes federal and provincial governments for an improved 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, health and resilience building in line with SDGs
This campaign focuses on mounting public pressure on governments (federal and provincial) to get increase budgetary allocations to 9% of GDP for Education, Health and Resilience Building to achieve the targets committed in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SAARC Development Goals.
Campaign ‘Flower not Bullet’- De-radicalizing narrative in the interest of peace in line with the objectives of the National Action Plan 2015 and ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ national narrative 2018
This campaign focuses on building a counter narrative among the masses for Peace Building and Interfaith Harmony rejecting the extremism in the name of religion. The campaign facilitates dialogue among various stakeholders through media, social media and public policy seminars and other awareness tools to help people resolve conflicts at local level and counter violent extremism. JDHR sensitizes and trains journalists and editors on the objectives of National Action Plan 2015, Paigham-e-Pakistan 2018 launched by the President of Pakistan on 16th of January 2018 as a national narrative to achieve the broader objectives of promoting Interfaith Harmony, peace building by rejecting violence extremism so that play their role in creating space in media for citizens from across the faiths.
Capacity building is a core strength of ‘Journalists for Democracy and Human Right’ (JDHR), which has conducted series of training workshops for media professionals on various subjects and has trained and networked with thousands of journalists. JDHR has also conducted capacity building workshops for representatives of civil society organizations on Policy Outreach, Advocacy, Media Work, Campaigning, Research Uptake, Lobbying, Communications, Gender Sensitive Reporting and Social Media. 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, Disaster Reporting. The training workshops were and are being conducted on safety and protection of journalists and how to make media inclusive and objective by creating space for those who are missing from the media space.
JDHR has been conducting training workshops for journalists/editors to impart conceptual knowledge around ethical and professional standards of reporting, editorial responsibilities and on media’s role in promoting interfaith harmony in the country in line with the objectives of the National Action Plan 2015. In addition to the above short term programmes, JDHR is also implementing a long-term training programme to promote responsible and objective journalism/inclusive media. In this project, JDHR aims to promote media pluralism, especially greater diversity of opinions and beliefs, which in the long run, will increase tolerance, respect and mutual understanding among all faiths in Pakistan in line with the objectives of National Action Plan 2015 and ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ national narrative 2018.
The support for these workshops have been provided by the then National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD), Ministry of Women’s Development, Ministries of Human Rights, Commerce and Information, Government of Pakistan, UNDP, UNICEF, International Labour Organization (ILO) and other development partner organizations/INGOs.
- 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 the focus of research with different livelihood approaches. The PhD research topic “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 a book
• Conducted a research on “Construction of Taliban Image in Pakistan: Discourse Analysis of Editorials of Dawn and The News- Paper” published by London School of Economics, London,http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/events/MeCCSA/pdf/papers/Malik%20and%20Iqbal%20Paper.pdf
• Contributed dozens of research based articles published in leading English dailies on gender related issues, development discourses and human rights.
• Conducted a research study on “Media Analysis of Women’s Participation in Politics” under a project of AWAZ/SDPI with the support of DFID.
JDHR has published a book by DrAbidSuleri, 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.