Media seen as key to promoting human rights

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By Rebecca Kuku
THE media, including social media, can play a big part in addressing human rights issues, Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker, pictured, says.
He said human rights issues in the country could be addressed though awareness both in the main stream media and social media.
“The media and social media can play a big part in raising awareness of people’s human rights, the nation’s Constitution and laws and also where people’s rights are being abused,” Barker said.
“But it also requires looking at the role and performance of the government and institutions, including companies and even civil society organisations, including churches, to ensure that they’re meeting expected standards and not failing their employees or communities or sometimes even covering up abuses.”
Barker said that strong leadership and courage by people to speak out and stand up for what is right and against abuse of the rights and freedom of men, women and children across the land was also vital in addressing human rights violation issues.
“Leadership by political, church, business and civil society leaders, men, women and persons from different backgrounds, is critical, and a willingness to stand up for even the least empowered can make a huge difference,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about empowering every man, woman and child in Papua New Guinea to be able to stand up for themselves, individually and collectively, for what is right.”