Journalists for Human Rights 2017 Annual Report

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Empowering journalists to cover human rights stories. For everyone in the world to be aware of their rights.




Partnered with more than 400 media organizations

65 million individuals reached



COVER: Mini doc production in DRC, Raïssa Tshikandama and Hénoch Nova researching and interviewing unregulated health clinics. Photo: Munor Kabondo JHR Annual Report 2017 | 3

FOREWORD “Truth matters. Facts matter.” “Competency and honesty among elected leaders and in our public service matters.” These core insights, made in a recent speech by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, are so theoretically self-evident, it is a damning indicator of our times that these points need to be made at all. Yet they do. Facts matter. Truth matters. Public officials making decisions based on facts and truth leads to better governance outcomes, stronger transparency and clearer accountability. That builds integrity of leadership and trust in government. Public trust in institutions, in turn, strengthens democracy. And stronger oversight ensures those institutions’ governors are, in fact, governing in the interests of the governed — rather than in their own self-interest. How does this relate to international assistance? It is fundamental. To quote development economist Amartya Sen, there has never been a famine in a country with a free press. That’s because a free press requires leaders to make decisions in light of credible information about how those decisions affect the lives of those who are governed.

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If a large number of people in a country are at risk of starvation, journalists sound the alarm. In a state with a free press, action is invariably taken — before the situation (or, crucially, its leadership’s perceived ability to manage the situation) lurches to crisis. These truths, these facts, are why media development matters. And in an era when truth itself is under fire, media development’s capacity to supply truth and facts on a global scale matters — more than ever. What is media development? It is work designed to strengthen journalists’ ability to do their jobs. It is work that Journalists for Human Rights does across sectors and countries, both at home and abroad. Thank you for your support of this vital work. Please consider doubling it in 2019. JHR works daily to help journalists fight dictators and despots with facts and truth. The need for facts and truth is greater than ever. Rachel Pulfer Executive Director Journalists for Human Rights For more, please read the op-ed: https://www. how-truth-and-facts-can-change-the-world.html



he world is in such tumult and pain that viewed from the safety of Canada it sometimes seems there’s so much wrong in so many places that we don’t know where to begin to help makes things better. At JHR, we can’t say our work has overturned despots or set entire countries on a more just path. We don’t high-5 a successful completion of a program and fly home. We know we have to be patient and take the long view. As Canadian hero Roméo Dallaire, the former general who has dedicated the rest of his life to getting guns out of the hands of child soldiers and whose speech at last year’s gala inspired us so much, says: “If it’s meaningful, change takes a while. Sometimes years. Sometimes it won’t even be in our lifetime. But when change has happened and you can see it, and when people look back to where it all began, wouldn’t you like to have played even a small part in that beginning?” The answer of course is yes. And the journalism supported and taught by JHR’s staff and volunteers is playing a part in shining spotlights on human rights abuses and effecting change. And sometimes - just sometimes - change happens right away. Take for example the investigative reporting led by JHRtrained Raïssa Tshikandama in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You can find the full story on page 9 in this annual report. Raïssa led a student investigation into

fake health centres across the capital city, Kinshasa ... and the change? A city-wide crackdown that resulted in crooked “doctors” being exposed and shut down. Again this year, the assignments we undertook and places in which we work expanded to meet growing need. We were active in Africa, the Middle East, and here at home, with Indigenous communities. Led by Executive Director Rachel Pulfer, working with staff and our Board of Directors, milestones included: • A new pilot program to train journalists in Syria. • Working with the Syrian radio station Nasaem Souria to secure funding for its human rights reporting. • Holding SPLA soldiers in South Sudan accountable for rapes. • Launcing JAMLab, the first ever media entrepreneurship incubator in Africa, at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. • Holding Mookitaakosi, the first conference in Canada for Emerging Indigenous Reporters. • Creating an Indigenous Reporting Style Guide. • Co-Chairing the first regional forum for protecting media in East Africa. Our efforts were buttressed by help from many volunteers. We thank all of you who support us in various ways. With your help, we will continue our efforts to help and teach and commit powerful journalism that gets ... change. Anthony Wilson-Smith Chair, 2012-2017 | Vice-Chair, 2017- Michael Cooke Chair, 2017JHR Annual Report 2017 | 5


Mookitaakosi conference

CANADA JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program launched Mookitaakosi, the first conference in Canada for Emerging Indigenous Reporters; and an Indigenous Style Guide to inform the style guides of major newspapers.

The JAMLab teams

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SYRIA/TURKEY JHR worked with four Syrian media outlets. These included Nasaem Souria, which used JHR training to help develop new business for itself to support human rights reporting.

SOUTH AFRICA JHR helped see six teams of new media entrepreneurs through Africa’s first ever media entrepreneurship lab. Four teams, of which three are female-led, have secured first-round funding.

JORDAN JHR launched the first-ever data journalism manual supporting human rights reporting in Arabic, mentored stories on torture in police detention and contributed to a successful outcome helping to repeal Article 308, which previously allowed rapists to avoid prison when marrying their victims.

The regional JHR conference for protecting media

SOUTH SUDAN JHR South Sudan’s team held SPLA soldiers accountable for rape and convened the first-ever regional forum for protecting media in East Africa.

JHR-JDH Freddy Mata and Canadian Ambassador Ginette Martin

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO The JDH DRC team won the Canada 150 Award for being an “Exemplary partner in promoting and implementing Canada’s priorities.”

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JHR trainee, Simona John Peter of Voice of Hope Radio interviewing an internally displaced person. Photo by Laura Bain.



tatistically speaking, women tend not to work in media, tend not to hold authority positions in newsrooms, and enjoy less access to media and information than men. This profoundly affects how they live their lives.

Stories JHR has helped mentor in 2017 ensured soldiers in the South Sudanese People’s Liberation Army were held accountable for their use of rape as a weapon of war — in the most visible way possible.

News media, no matter the format, is still a primary source of information and ideas for the global populace. Yet too often, news media organizations run by men reinforce existing gender inequalities, barriers and stereotypes in society.

Further, JHR-trained journalists in Jordan used data journalism techniques to put the issue of honour killings on the public agenda. This led to the repeal of a Jordanian law that allowed rapists to marry their victims, thus restoring family honour.

Media development, through the twin outcomes of improved governance and strengthened oversight, can publicly track progress toward policy targets and improved policy outcomes, on gender as well as all other policy goals.

JHR’s gender strategy is simple: engage both women and men in a process to mentor women into positions of leadership in media. Work with these women and male allies to help them own their leadership role. This often results in depoliticized coverage in favour of putting socalled “women’s” concerns - stories about health, education, child and community welfare and the environment- high up the agenda. Putting a spotlight on women’s issues helps prioritize solutions. The result, as JHR has seen over ten years of gender programming, is both good for communities, and good for the outlet’s business.

That, properly leveraged, can help local and international authorities and other development practitioners achieve every one of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is harnessing the power of media for good. And crucially, when run through a gender lens of emphasizing women’s rights, voices, stories and authority through engaging women as agents of development change across societies, it creates transformational change for women and men worldwide. 8 | JHR Annual Report 2017

For more, please read Speaking Up, JHR’s Gender Impact Report: uploads/2018/03/JHR_EqualityRights_D2-1online.pdf

Raïssa Tshikandama

JDH/RDC’S STUDENTS INVESTIGATION INTO ‘FAKE’ HEALTH CENTRES GETS ACTION It’s an enormous task that you are doing with the students, showing them where to set foot in their profession.”

Communication (IFASIC) to collect information about the proliferation of makeshift health centers in the Congolese capital. They produced a mini-documentary that reached a wide audience, exposing unregulated health centres in the DRC and reducing the risk they represented to people’s health.

— Professor Tshiomba Onga Binsalu Tharcisse, head of the Department of Forensic Medicine of Kinshasa’s General Hospital (HGRK)


Professor Tshiomba Onga Binsalu Tharcisse, head of the Department of Forensic Medicine of Kinshasa’s General Hospital of reference (HGRK) greatly appreciated the team’s work. His response is to initiate a forensic training school with the aim of separating fraudulent doctors from professional doctors. “This is my struggle for now,” he concluded. The forensic training school is a way to train the next generation of Congolese doctors — as JHR/JDH trains the next generation of Congolese journalists.

Raïssa is a 3rd year graduate student in journalism at the National Pedagogical University (UPN). In 2017, JHR’s training made it possible for her and her fellow student Hénoch Nova of the Faculty Institute of Information Sciences and

Raïssa is one of sixty students that has benefited from JHR’s work in the DRC in 2017: “JHR has turned me into a point of reference among the activist girls of Kinshasa, and I am very grateful to JHR for the training,” she says. “I am now a project manager at Jeune en Action,

aïssa Tshikandama led a student investigation into a proliferation of fake health centres in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The resulting story led to a crackdown on these centres across the city.

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an organization that is implementing a project supported by UNFPA. Everyone wants to know more about JHR clubs when they learn that this is where I received my training”. The mini-documentary can be viewed on JHR’s You tube channel: watch?v=RX5SYFLsBHA&

OVERVIEW Since 2007, JHR has worked with over 1450 journalists and journalism students in the DRC to produce media about human rights abuses, crime, corruption, democracy, and good governance. JHR initiatives have built a network of ten autonomous press clubs that span the country, and work to promote coverage of human rights issues.

Our programming in the DRC consists of training workshops for journalists and journalism students, providing mentorship for journalism students to produce stories, documentaries, and radio shows, and organizing an annual JHR award ceremony to reward the best stories on human rights. Future plans include supporting youth internships, holding public forums, bursary support for student documentaries, management training and curriculum development. GOAL JHR trains journalists and journalism students to produce media about human rights abuses, crime, corruption, democracy and good governance. Through continuing to instill principles of good journalism practice on human rights themes in journalism students in the DRC, we believe a stronger media will emerge.

WORKING WITH LA PRESSE AND ERIC TROTTIER ON SUPPORT IN THE DRC In 2017, Journalists for Human Rights launched a new partnership with La Presse, Québec’s largest and most influential daily newspaper.

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La Presse sponsored one of their star journalists, Michèle Ouimet, to go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with JHR. She conducted workshops in

JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer spoke with La Presse editor in chief Éric Trottier about the partnership.

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WHAT INTERESTED YOU AND LA PRESSE ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED IN THE WORK OF JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS? The fact that we could help some journalists in a foreign country where the work of journalists is not easy to do as it is here, help them to do a better job and get some tips from our superb expert trainer Michèle Ouimet - that was very appealing. I was very happy to help those journalists in the DRCongo and their readers to get better information. That is the main reason why.

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WAS THERE ONE STORY IN PARTICULAR THAT MICHÈLE WROTE WHILE SHE WAS WITH JHR THAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU ? The story about the doctor who was conducting surgeries reconstructing girls who were survivors of rape - that was the most powerful and best story in my view. But they were all powerful articles.

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TYPICAL APPROACHES TO INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRESS THE BUILDING OF HOSPITALS AND SCHOOLS. JHR BUILDS THE MEDIA SECTOR BY WORKING WITH JOURNALISTS. WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF JHR’S THEORY OF CHANGE: THAT BY TRAINING JOURNALISTS AND STRENGTHENING THE MEDIA SECTOR YOU CAN IMPROVE DEVELOPMENT, STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE? For me, journalism, it is one of the pillars of democracy. Of course it is important to have hospitals and schools. But in my opinion, if we can help journalists to do their work well – that’s a gift for the entire population. In the end,

journalists do their work to help the society and the democracy to function. The experience offered something new for readers about the DRC, and our trainer Michèle very much appreciated the experience and grew from it. [The partnership with JHR] is a win for everyone.

If we can help journalists do their work well – that’s a gift for the entire population... In the end, journalists do their work to help the society and the democracy to function.” — Éric Trottier, La Presse






Kinshasa, the capital, as well as Bukavu, at JHR’s affiliate vocational training school partner École Téchnique de Journalisme or ETC. She also provided expert training and mentorship on stories, with a particular emphasis on working with women journalists. When not doing training work with JHR, she worked on her own reporting, which was featured in a powerful and compelling series in La Presse through the summer of 2017.

23 stories

human rights reporting curriculum created with local faculty human rights reporting networks’ administrative structure established


100,000 I N D IVI D UALS

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Leslie Spence with JHR trainer Sarah Mai Chitty and Terry of Webequie First Nation

YOUTH CREATING CHANGE OVER THE AIRWAVES IN WEBEQUIE FIRST NATION Most importantly, I learned how to have a voice. I’m able to empower other people” — Leslie Spence For the past four years, JHR has worked in remote First Nations communities across northern Ontario to provide journalism and media literacy training. In Webequie First Nation, Leslie Spence began amplifying the voices of youth in the community over the airwaves. Read about Leslie’s experience in creating his weekly youth radio show below.

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WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE INDIGENOUS REPORTERS PROGRAM? I met JHR community trainer Sara Mai Chitty, who was working with all the students. She helped me with doing a youth gathering, for me to put the word out there for those summer students she was working with. [Sara] helped with outlines, put on paper what the topics are and such. In the past I used to talk on the radio and help with bingo calling and whatnot. That’s when I realized: the radio - there is more to this.

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WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THROUGH THE PROGRAM? I learned how to run a youth radio show, put together news bulletins, and put news on social media. I was able to operate the radio show, and gain confidence to talk about youth-related

Q. |

THROUGH THE PROGRAM, YOU’VE DEVELOPED A YOUTH RADIO PROGRAM. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT IT? It’s for the youth, to get the word out and to have a voice. We talk about what’s going on in the community in relation to the youth. I want to get Elders to talk on the radio about storytelling for the youth, and get the youth to call in too, especially from different communities.

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WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO IN THE FUTURE WITH THE SKILLS YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH THE INDIGENOUS REPORTERS PROGRAM? I want to inspire people, and empower the youth. I want to help them overcome their shyness, and assure them that you can do what you want to do — positively.

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WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL CANADIANS, INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS, TO CARE ABOUT THIS WORK AND WORKING WITH FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES? It gives a positive perspective on being First Nations. Sometimes you see on the news, they give us very negative images. People should care about this program because it puts a whole different perspective on First Nations in a positive way.

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OVERVIEW To date, 850 community members in 17 different Canadian First Nations have been trained. They have produced more than 650 stories and new bulletins, reaching an audience of over 2.2 million

people. We have produced 27 scholarships and 27 internships for emerging Indigenous reporters to pursue post-secondary education and launch their careers in journalism. Of those students, 20 interns now have jobs in the media industry. In addition, over 1450 non-Indigenous journalists and journalism students have received training to more effectively report on Indigenous communities in Ontario and across Canada. GOAL JHR’s multi-award-winning Indigenous Reporters Program exists to increase the quantity and quality of Indigenous stories and voices in Canadian media.

CANADA 2017 Trained



225 stories

journalists R EAC H E D



communities in Ontario &


community in Manitoba

2.2 million I N D IVI D UALS


5 internships and 3 jobs

Mookitaakosi conference for Indigenous journalists


issues around our community. Most importantly, I learned how to have a voice. I’m able to empower other people.

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Article 308 protests in Jordan

DATA-ASSISTED REPORTING HELPS STOP ‘RAPE-MARRIAGES’ The honour killings story had largely been avoided by other media outlets in Jordan, and it was difficult to dig up data to back up the terrible accounts Mussa was hearing from families and NGOs.” — Lee-Anne Goodman


or years in Jordan, it was both conventional wisdom and the law: better for a rape victim to marry her rapist – she’s damaged goods, after all, and will bring shame and dishonour to her family since no one else will marry her. It was perhaps a step up from honour killing, the rarely talked-about practice of family members murdering female relatives who had been sexually “interfered with” in an attempt to restore the family’s “honour.” Article 308 of Jordan’s Penal Code permitted pardoning rapists if they married their victims and stayed with them for at least three years, provided the victim was between 15 and 18 years old. Proponents of the provision argued it helped “protect the honour” of rape victims. Due in no small part to the courageous reporting of Jordanian journalist Remaz Mussa, the

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Jordanian government finally voted to repeal Article 308 in August. The 26-year-old blogger used his training from Journalists for Human Rights on data-assisted reporting to link honour killings and Article 308, and to hold the government to account. At a JHR workshop, Mussa learned the basics of using data to develop human rights stories. The honour killings story had largely been avoided by other media outlets in Jordan, and it was difficult to dig up data to back up the terrible accounts Mussa was hearing from families and NGOs. He began searching court records for data, reading the decisions in hundreds of honour killing and rape cases, and developing a series of infographics showing how authorities had dealt with them since 1995. Mussa’s reports caused a sensation given they laid bare the dreadful choice faced by Jordanian rape victims – either marry their rapists to defend their family’s honour, or risk being slain by family members. Jordanians, including the late King Hussein’s sister, were horrified by Mussa’s revelations. Princess Basma urged the media to keep up the pressure and push for a public debate about honour killings and Article 308. Mussa’s stories, widely circulated on social media and cited in outlets that included Human Rights Watch, helped trigger debate in the Jordanian Parliament. JHR’s team in Jordan followed up with online forums and radio shows that kept attention on the issue and kept the debate alive. The result? Rapists can no longer get around prosecution by marrying their victims. Lee-Anne Goodman is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

OVERVIEW To date, JHR has trained over 250 journalists, journalism graduates and students on human

rights reporting, the majority of which have been women. JHR’s commitment to improving accessibility is demonstrated through the creation of online platform Maidan. Maidan is a platform that enables the public to participate in the process of collecting data and reporting human rights violations to hold governing bodies accountable, and acts as a resource for media and CSOs. Currently, key program activities include practical mentorships for journalists to improve journalists’ access to information, the expansion of the Maidan platform, and fostering more radio shows, online debates, and public forums. GOAL Through training, public engagement and story production, JHR has worked to increase freedom of expression in Jordan and create a space for more open, informed and constructive dialogue on human rights issues affecting the country.

JORDAN 2017 Trained

128 journalists

forums 1 7 radio manual data public 8 debates onjournalism in the live region stories 2 streams MENA



4 million I N D IVI D UALS

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Lebo Ramafoko presenting on Jamlab’s DemoDays

INNOVATIVE JAMLAB IDEAS GET FUNDED ...there is a need for a platform for women who are tired about the injustices they face daily and want to do something about it.” — Lebo Ramafoko of Soul City


ackling the question of how to financially support new ideas in media, J H R worked in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand and Ryerson University to launch the Journalism and Media Lab (JAM Lab) this year. Six teams of young South African journalists and media entrepreneurs worked to develop new ideas in media, determine how to reach new audiences and figure out how best to sustain themselves with new revenue. To date, four of the six have received funding to continue their work. Says Rachel Pulfer, executive director of JHR: “All winning projects were designed to ensure voices of women, girls, township dwellers, and those too-often excluded from coverage in South Africa took their rightful place in the public conversation.” The winning teams work on diverse issues that affect young people such as setting up

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a financially viable radio and digital platform for women (Soul City), connecting freelance journalists in underreported parts of the country with national newsrooms while improving coverage in rural areas (Media Factory) and delivering local news in local languages through community radio (Volume News). Lebo Ramafoko of Soul City says, “Winning confirms that there is a need for a platform for women who are tired about the injustices they face daily and to do something about it. Soul City will run Not Yet Uhuru Radio on a digital platform, aim to refine their concept, attract advertisers and develop the long-term financial viability of the radio station. Media Factory, led by Nelisa Ngqulana, aims to link national newsrooms with freelancers in under-covered parts of the country. The goal is to improve coverage of the country outside the metropoles, and to create better income opportunities for journalists in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Volume News is a startup led by Nieman Fellow Paul McNally and Roland Perold. It is already delivering local news in local languages to more than 100,000 listeners on community radio stations. Their goal is to grow that to nine million listeners.“This gives us an opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the independent media landscape in South Africa,” says Perold. “We will use the funding to roll out our product to more radio stations and increase our audience, and further improve and develop our suite of products.”

OVERVIEW JHR has worked around the world to ensure reporters and citizen journalists have the skills they need to objectively and effectively report on issues affecting their communities and hold duty bearers accountable — especially young, emerging journalists. In that time, JHR has seen that an

independent media that serves its democratic purpose is only possible when it is able to sustain itself. This is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s disrupted and digital age. Six teams of South African media entrepreneurs entered the lab to incubate or accelerate their ideas for six months. In that time, teams had access to mentorship, facilities, and contacts and support to help realize their ideas and ambitions. To date, four of the six teams have received funding: three are the receiver of grants from the South African Media Innovation Fund to grow and launch their ideas. GOAL JHR launched the Journalism and Media Lab (JAMLab) in 2017 to consider and support new ideas in media, in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand and Ryerson University.


6 teams participated in JAMLab


team proposals funded




100,000 I N D IVI D UALS

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Maura Ajak; photo by South Sudanese journalist Samir Bol

REPORTING ON MASS RAPES LEADS TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION Despite the risks involved, Maura was determined to report on this issue. She told me “we shouldn’t allow these abuses to go unreported because we are scared of what they will do to us.” — Mustapha Dumbuya, JHR trainer in South Sudan


hen journalist Maura Ajak entered the room full of survivors of a vicious Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) gang rape, her stomach dropped. Women and children, some as young as 11, waited quietly for the opportunity to share their stories. Ajak was initially approached by Bishop

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Paul Yugusuk, who told her horror stories about the women and children of Kubi, a small town near the city of Juba where she worked. After gaining access to the hospital room where the women were being treated and hearing about their experiences, Ajak faced the challenge of reporting such a disturbing and sweeping allegation against the South Sudanese Army. “Walking into that hospital room I was so angry, I was shaking,” says Ajak. “Listening to women and children who experienced such pain...I had never experienced violence like that.” “After speaking with colleagues we agreed we needed to have every side of the situation covered before we could move forward with our coverage.” That’s where Mustapha Dumbuya, a media trainer for Journalists for Human Rights, was able to help. Dumbuya encouraged Ajak to pursue a statement from SPLA leadership.

With the help and guidance of Dumbuya and JHR, Ajak formed a strategy on how to effectively report the story that would start the much-needed conversation about rape and gender violence in South Sudan. “My advice to her was to delay the story until she was able to get all sides,” says Dumbuya. “It would help mitigate the risk of a backlash from the security agents.” “Despite the risks involved, Maura was determined to report on this issue. She told me ‘we shouldn’t allow these abuses to go unreported because we are scared of what they will do to us.’”

OVERVIEW To date, JHR has trained and mentored over 200 journalists, editors, and media managers on covering the issues of human rights especially the rights of women and girls. Additionally, we have trained 50 government representatives on communicating with media and on human rights issues in order to build bridges between the government, civil society, and media to better understand the role of each sector in public life. GOAL Since February 2016, JHR has been implementing the project “Strengthening Media in South Sudan” for the purpose of enhancing the public accountability in the country on human rights issues.


At the same time that Ajak was working on a report for Radio Bakhita, fellow journalist Kidega Livingstone was writing pieces about the atrocities for the Juba Monitor newspaper.

Ajak’s work sparked conversations about the wider problem of sexual and gender violence against women in the country. The SPLA leadership eventually created a committee to look into the allegations. Based on the committee’s recommendations, several soldiers were arrested and charged. “It is a good feeling, being able to shed light on these tragedies,” says Ajak. “It’s important for people to understand what happened here and just how easily it can happen.” “I am proud of my work, but I am more proud of the women who trusted me to tell the public what happened to them.” Devin Jones is a Toronto-based freelance journalist. This story has been slightly edited for space.



journalists media managers trained


Shortly after they aired their report over the airwaves, the journalists received an outpouring of support from the South Sudan community, and there were calls for justice for the women and children involved.


& 47


Working as a radio reporter for Radio Bakhita, a subsidiary of the Catholic Radio Network, Ajak interviewed everyone she could – from other rape survivors, a women rights activist and eventually higher-ups within the Liberation Army itself.


regional conference in Nairobi, Kenya


Civil society representatives trained




1.5 million I N D IVI D UALS

UNESCO award for 3 Radio Bakhita reporters

Partnership between UNESCO and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

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Reem Haleb, founder of Nasaem Souria radio

GROWING AN INDEPENDENT VOICE IN SYRIA With JHR’s professional and balanced support, a mutual relationship of promoting human rights is fostered.” — Reem Haleb, founder of Nasaem Souria radio

Reem Haleb is founder and manager of one of JHR’s leading media partners, Nasaem Souria Radio. We spoke with Reem on the experience of working with JHR: As a young female journalist who started her career at the age of 20 I have faced many challenges and attempts to restrict my progress: my age, patriarchal society and lack of support from international organizations to keep the work going. I had to face the first two challenges but still I needed a team and support to address the third. I have established Nasaem Souria radio station in 2012 to give the Syrian people a voice. With JHR’s help we are broadcasting from Gaziantep in Turkey to hundreds of thousands of Syrians in Syria, Turkey and the region. JHR is one of the few organizations that focuses on professionalizing humanitarian and rights-based media content. Even after the establishment of independent media, Syria has never known this kind of journalism.

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After ISIS targeted our journalists and broadcasting towers, we had to turn towards internationally-controlled funding that is often accompanied with political agendas. However, with JHR’s professional and balanced support, a mutual relationship of promoting human rights is fostered. Producing non-politicized human rights content strengthens the basis of promoting a new culture, especially in a time of war and conflict. JHR’s programs in other countries inspire a new Syrian media that will tackle hate speech, promote peace narratives and move towards a new space for all.

OVERVIEW In 2017, JHR created a network of 40 Syrian journalists working inside and outside of Syria, in order to ensure that outlets working in different geographic territories can share resources, collaborate on tough stories and give outlets access to territories they cannot usually work in freely. An example of our program in action is Nisreen Anabli, a Syrian woman journalist based in Turkey, who has been trained and mentored by JHR to cover human rights issues, especially the rights of women and girls in the Syrian diaspora. Crucial stories on suffering, struggle and hopes of women in refugee camps are coming to light

thanks to their work and JHR’s support. To date, the project has received funding from the United Nations Fund for Democracy (UNDEF), the Donner Canadian Foundation and Unifor Canada, in addition to individual donations from human rights supporters. GOAL Working with independent Syrian media outlets through Turkey, JHR is building the capacity of journalists and managers to mainstream human rights journalism in Syria and create dialogue channels amongst the public.

SYRIA 2017 Trained

93 journalists

and media managers



In 2017, we worked with JHR on strategic planning, the development of a business model and how to address other obstacles. We have been able to start our own production company broadcasting commercials for private businesses on our radio when project funding stopped. This gives us greater sustainability and independence.





stories I N D IVI D UALS

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Bill Fortier, second from right, back row., with Syrian journalists and JHR’s Zein Almoghraby (third from right, back row).

“A PALPABLE REMINDER” BILL FORTIER, CTV NEWS In the midst of one of the most terrible ongoing crises on earth, a positive thing happened. Some Syrians found a voice, through journalism.” — Bill Fortier Bill Fortier went to Gaziantep in Turkey, in September 2017 to work with JHR’s Syria Program as a short term expert trainer. His work there was sponsored by CTV News. This is the final blog of a series Bill wrote while there: As we wrapped up our final day of training Syrian journalists in Gaziantep, Turkey, most of the groups we worked with came back to a meeting room at our hotel. We presented them with certificates for completing our workshops, and chatted one last time.

commitment to them and to their work doesn’t end when we depart from Gaziantep Airport. I intend to keep that promise. I want to stress one more time, that these people are doing something important, despite facing great personal risk for doing it. Many sides of this conflict don’t want balanced, accurate journalism and are reportedly willing to torture and kill to stop it. We got a reminder of that danger when two Syrian journalists were murdered in Istanbul while we were still in Turkey. Local media reports that investigators are looking into alleged connections between the suspect and the Assad regime. The danger is very real. The same thing could happen to many Syrian journalists. They have seen so much and experienced so much, they almost seem to have no fear of death. But they also seem to have held on to a remarkable love of life. Despite the fact that powerful groups want them arrested and possibly even killed, they smile, they laugh, and they work hard to become better journalists.

Then, we visited Nasaem Souria radio. Seeing these groups of journalists come together was a very palpable reminder of what we came to Gaziantep for. Many of them told us that our workshops – a partnership between Toronto-based Journalists for Human Rights and CTV, made a difference for them. They told us about their ideas for human rights stories. We assured them that our 22 | JHR Annual Report 2017

To Syrian journalists I offer the following encouragement: don’t stop writing. Be fair and balanced and people will find truth in your reporting. In the short term, words can seem ineffective weapons against warplanes and guns. But you are arming the people of Syria and the world with knowledge and information. Over time, that does have the power to invoke change. Thank you for changing lives.

SUPPORTER ROMEO DALLAIRE JHR’s Executive Director Rachel Pulfer spoke with Ret’d Lt-General Roméo Dallaire. They discussed why good journalism is crucial for fragile states and conflict zones.

Q. |

WHEN YOU SPOKE AT NIGHT FOR RIGHTS LAST YEAR, YOU STARTED OUT BY ASKING JOURNALISTS: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU IN RWANDA. WHY? Let me put it this way; I was there since the previous August, and the genocide started the following April. Although there had been a civil war between the government and the rebels, they had signed a peace agreement which garnered a bit of publicity. After that, for the rest of the year until the genocide, Rwanda fell off the radar of the media. The political impasse created a degenerating situation that led to the explosion. But next to no reporting at all was done by the media, written or electronically. To me, journalism is not just reporting on what has happened but also what is going on - anticipating and influencing what is to happen. Even though there were riots and assassinations, tensions between sides, unexpected returnees, there was next to nothing that was published. All these were factors that led to the genocide exploding — but no journalists were present at that at all. I have no problem on reporting when a conflict is happening and providing the information but there is an acute absence of anticipating, of being aware, reading the tea leaves and preparing people to listen to those who are giving warning signs that the whole thing is going to be catastrophic. I recognize that journalists are caught up with budgets, but to me it’s an indication that journalists are not sufficiently informing people in how to

participate in actually influence the future. The goal is not to be a passive entity in regards to crisis.

Q. |

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE VALUE OF MEDIA DEVELOPMENT IN SUCH CONTEXTS? You have to work diligently at building an objective, credible, journalistic capability in the nation, to ultimately say that you have free speech that gives voice to the people. And we are all the more required to do that in countries where it is difficult for this to happen because … – the more the country is in crisis, the more the country is at odds, the more you have to produce journalists with those skills. Journalists have to be credible –and it is not just by helping them do more local reporting but also helping them be the critics - that is part of the nation becoming democratic. There is a price in becoming democratic – it is not only politicians that are killed, journalists are on the front lines too. You are on the front lines. There is a price to truth. There is a price to peace also, but in peace you have to tell the truth. Like the soldiers who pay the price of truth, it is people like eminent academics, the judicial system and journalists who are the references that a society needs in order to be able to feel (free). You are in the front lines of that.

Q. |

WHAT IS YOUR OWN INITIATIVE, THE ROMEO DALLAIRE CHILD SOLDIERS INITIATIVE, DOING WITH MEDIA? We are doing work with radio stations to educate and inform the youth of the countries in South Sudan and Sierra Leone. Eminent journalists and other credible workers should be able to talk to young people as well as adults. That way, you can reinforce the education of young people to prevent their recruitment into militia as children, and instead include them as part of the peace and reconciliation process. JHR Annual Report 2017 | 23


MASAI UJIRI, PRESIDENT OF THE TORONTO RAPTORS: “What JHR is doing, is speaking out and teaching people how to speak out and tell stories about human issues that are going to continue to affect us for a long time.”

JHR ACHIEVEMENT IN HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING AWARD 2017 In 2017, JHR recognized Sara Mojtehedzadeh of the Toronto Star with the JHR Achievement in Human Rights Reporting Award. Sara won for her powerful and tenacious reporting on workers’ rights in Ontario, which changed legislation to ensure fairer outcomes for workers and stronger oversight for laws governing temp workers’ rights in particular. Sarah Niedoba and Danielle Klein, from The Varsity, were the joint winners of the Fraser MacDougall / National News Media Council Prize for Best New Canadian Voice in Human Rights Reporting Award. These two young journalists won the 2017 award for their piece entitled “A Constitutional Black Hole.” It examined the evolving nature of personal privacy juxtaposed against the growth of cloud-storage technology. The judges thought the extension of ‘privacy rights’ into the conversation about ‘human rights’ was one that heeded the spirit and intent of the MacDougall Award.

24 | JHR Annual Report 2017

TROY REEB, SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT OF NEWS, GLOBAL, JHR BOARD MEMBER: “The message of JHR resonates. People have seen the power of truth, the power of information, the power of understanding, and that is the promise of JHR.”

SENATOR AND RT. LT-GEN. ROMEO DALLAIRE: “You are the eyes, ears and the voice, you are the extraordinary -as a soldier would say- multipurpose capability. You are a primary system in this world for not only reporting on destruction that is happening, but in fact to be a significant instrument, on the one hand to prevent catastrophes, and on the other to assist and aid in reconciliation.”



“Night for Rights was a brilliant, touching event. In my capacity as volunteer, it was inspiring to see the level of dedication and passion of all the staff to make this event as successful as possible; always keeping in mind that the ultimate goal: to have the capacity to continue important work in media development across the world, and at home with Indigenous communities.”

“The Assad regime is more afraid of a camera, a mobile camera, than a weapon. Tyrants hate the truth, they silence journalists and create black holes to separate their victims from the world.”

JHR Annual Report 2017 | 25


Q. |

YOU’R E B USY WITH NAFTA N EGOTIATION S, YET STI LL FOU N D TI M E TO ATTE N D OU R AN N UAL GALA AN D DONATE D $10,000 TO OU R SYR IA PROG RAM M E. WHAT I N S PI R E D YOU TO DO THAT? The incredible work that our members do who are journalists – we have a natural affinity for organizations that pay attention to media and the work you do hits very close to home. It is also in line with our own social justice work. We wanted to send a clear message of support to the families we are supporting in Jordan and the families we brought over from Syria. You are working on these big global questions and that is where we also see a fit.

Unifor’s generous support of Journalists for Human Rights has helped JHR develop the Syria Story Fund, an innovative partnership with the Canadian Press getting Syrian stories from Syrian partners out on the CP wire.

26 | JHR Annual Report 2017

Q. |

HOW DO YOU SEE OUR WORK HELPING THE SITUATION IN SYRIA? Think about the incredible work journalists are doing, reporting on Syria, reporting on atrocities, taking their lives in their hands. These people deserve ALL our support.

Q. |

HOW IS THIS WORK IN LINE WITH UNIFOR’S PHILOSOPHY OF GIVING BACK? We are an organization with a soul, and we will continue to develop that part of our identity – we want to be asking ourselves constantly: what can we do, now, in the community, nationally and internationally to help. We have members whose families are directly implicated and deeply impacted by all of this. We cannot just sit back and stay on the sidelines – as a union we are doing everything we can for our Syrian families and our members who are journalists. Supporting Journalists for Human Rights is part of that.

Tamam Hazem, Project Coordinator Syria

JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer sat down with UNIFOR head Jerry Dias to talk Syria, human rights and more.


HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK FOR JHR? I first started as an intern at JHR six years ago. I was finishing my undergraduate degree and the idea of using media as a tool for development really interested me. After finishing my degree, I worked in Ghana on youth and women’s empowerment programming. Soon after returning to Canada, I applied for a job at JHR and am now working as a Senior Program Manager on our programs in Canada, Jordan and South Africa.

Q. |

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS? In our Indigenous Reporters Program (IRP) a 2017 highlight was our Mookitaakosi Conference. For the first time, we brought together past trainees, many of whom where youth, to Sioux Lookout, Ont. for three days of learning from and sharing ideas with working Indigenous journalists from across Canada. Beyond it just being wonderful to meet so many people engaged in the program in person for the first time, it was awesome to see community members we had worked with work on story ideas and collaborate with one another. In Jordan, despite recent slides on international Press Freedom rankings, our team on the ground has been unstoppable. I began working on the program in the past year and to see the work they’ve done to ensure journalists are able to report on important human rights issues such as honor killings, police brutality and LGBTQ rights in the country has been a huge highlight for me.

Q. |

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES? Sustainable change and building trust with beneficiaries in all our programs takes time.

Being a small organization, funding can obviously be a challenge to grow and scale programs effectively. More funding allows us to have more robust programming and time to build meaningful relationships.

Q. |

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Working on IRP is extremely important to me. The lack of Indigenous representation and stories in Canadian media is extremely problematic. I am so honoured and proud to work with the superb team in the field and the amazing communities that we do. The success the program has experienced to date speaks to the power of the Indigenous voices that are showcased in the stories written by the emerging Indigenous journalists we work with. More generally, I am also very proud of JHR’s approach to development. We focus on longterm systems change, ensuring populations have access to objective and effective information (which is more important than ever these days) and, that women are leading agents of change, truly having their voices heard.

Q. |

WHAT GOALS WOULD YOU LIKE TO REACH WITH THE INDIGENOUS REPORTERS PROGRAM AND IN JORDAN? For IRP, we are hoping to expand to new provinces and expand our work in Canada to engage other diverse groups in the country. In Jordan, we are starting to work outside of the capital of Amman. In both cases, we are working to take on lessons learned from previous activities and listen carefully to our partners in order to have sector-wide impact.

JHR Annual Report 2017 | 27

DONORS AND SUPPORTERS CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE ($50,000+) Ian and Catherine Delaney Flatley Family Foundation Bill Young PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE ($10,000 - $49,000) Accenture APTN Bell Media Inc Bruce Power CBC Claude Galipean Coca Cola Corus Entertainment Inc. / Global News CTV News Derek and Adrienne Fisher Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. McCarthy Tetrault Power Corporation of Canada R. Howard Webster Foundation Rick Anderson Royal Bank of Canada Ryerson University TD Bank Financial Group The Canadian Press The Flanagan Foundation Toronto Star Unifor Waste Connections of Canada MASTHEAD SUPPORT ($1,000 - $9,999) Alethea Au Angela Bardeesy Anu Koshal Axia Investments Bay Tree Foundation Blakes Bobby Walman

28 | JHR Annual Report 2017

Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship CAA South Central Ontario Canadian National Railway Company CPAC Canadian Public Affairs Channel David and Shelley Peterson Dawna Friesen Diana Zlomislic Edward Greenspon Facebook Farzad Alvi Glenna deHaan Hal Jackman Foundation Ipsos Reid LP Janice Neil* John Honderich Joseph Hillier Kaley Pulfer Karim Bardeesy* Karyn Pugliese Lifeline Syria Lisa LaFlamme Marci McDonald and Clair Balfour Masai Ujiri Massey College Melissa Shin Michael Cooke Mohammad and Nayla Al Zaibak Mohamad Fakih National NewsMedia Council Oskar Johansson Patrick Gillen Queens Park Legislative Press Gallery Rachel Pulfer* Robert Bruser Roméo Dallaire Service Employees International Union Sisters of St Joseph Stikeman Elliott LLP The Asper Foundation

The Law Society of Upper Canada Torys LLP William D. Martin MEDIA MOVERS ($1 - $999) Adam Stewart* Adrienne Arsenault Alex Mlynek Alexandra Henderson Alison Loat Alison S. Williams Andrea Baillie Andrea Hamilton Andrew MacDougall Andrew Phillips Andrew Stobo Sniderman Andrew Young Ann Rauhala Annie Berube Anver Saloojee Asmaa Malik Auctionjam Brent Jolly Bridget Buckingham C.V. Romeo Cameron Revington Cara-Marie O’Hagan Carleton JHR Carolyn Jarvis Catherine Cano Chad Rogers* ChiChi Liu Chris Di Matteo Christine L. John Colette Murphy Cornell Wright Cristina Tamburini Daniel Risein Danny Glenwright David Bruser David Malkin David Scanlan David Walsh Deb Matthews*

Deborah Rowe Elizabeth K. Linley Eric Sorensen Erin Valois Frank T. Switzer Gale Bourjot Generation Capital Limited Gillian Kerr Heather MacDonald Helen Hambly Odame Howard Chang Howard Green Ian Kalushner Ian Morrison Jacky Habib Jacqueline Thorpe Jaimie Donovan Jane Hilderman Janet Chong Janine de Vries* Janis T Page Jayme Poisson Jennifer Hollett Jessica Martin Jim Pulfer Joanna Mullard Jodie Wallis Joe MacInnis Joe Vaccaro John D. Wilkinson John Ferri John Fraser John O’Leary Joseph G Hood Joshua Gorner Judith Rae* Julia Davidson Julie Scott Kaitlynn Furse Karen Moore Kathryn Sheppard* Kayla Hounsell Ken Zolotar* Kirsten Mercer Lakshine Salhiyanathan Laura Bogomolny* Laura Dougan Leonard & Laura Fitch Linda McAuley Lise Jolicoeur Luke M. Vitale Lynn Bessoudo Lynn Mahoney

Madia Javid-Yazdi Malcolm Kirk Margaret Pulfer Maria Milanetti Mark Train Mary Deanne Shears Massieh Moayedi Matthew Blackshaw Mavis Himes Meghan Banks Melanie Brown Michael Jamah Mike MacDonald Nana-Aba Duncan* Nancy Poapst Natalie Holdway Nick Taylor-Vaisey Nicole Flippance Norma Penner Paisley Woodward Patti Tasko Paul Knox* Paula Matthews Peter Herrndorf Prashant Komandur Probus Club of Vancouver Rachael Borlase Rey Pagtakhan Rhonda L. McMichael Robert Cribb Robert E. Johnson Robin Honderich Sally Armstrong Sarah Andrewes* Scott Clark Fenwick* Scott Dawson White Scott Laurie Scott Weisbrod Sean O’Shea Sean Simpson Sevaun Palvetzian Shafraaz Kaba Shawn Micallef Sherritt International Corporation Siloni Waraich Sonia Bahl Stacy Voudouris Stavro Stathonikos Stephen Meurice Stuart Coxe Suanne Kelman* Sunny Freeman Susan Curran

Susan M. Mahoney Susan Ormiston Tamara E. Pimentel The CLAC Foundation Tiffany Haskins* Tim Borlase Tom Mathew Travis Dhanraj Troy Reeb Vian Ewart William E. Burt Ziya Tong PROGRAM SUPPORT Bealight Foundation Donner Canadian Foundation Global Affairs Canada J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Netherlands Embassy in Jordan Ontario Trillium Foundation RBC Foundation UNESCO United Nations Democracy Fund Webster Foundation Winnipeg Foundation JHR BOARD OF DIRECTORS Alethea Au Anthony Wilson-Smith Benjamin Peterson Bobby Walman Catherine Cano Chad Rogers Derek Fisher Farzad Alvi Michael Cooke Theresa Ebden Troy Reeb IN-KIND Coca Cola Ellis Don Erin Simpson Law Osler Postmedia Network Inc. Steamwhistle The Auctionista The Canadian Press Toronto Life Toronto Star Wine Council of Ontario * monthly donors

JHR Annual Report 2017 | 29







Government remittances receivable



Advances and prepaid expenses























ASSETS Current Assets: Cash and bank Accounts receivable

Capital assets

LIABILITIES Current Liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued liabilities Deferred revenue

Deferred capital contribution

Net Assets: Unrestricted

30 | JHR Annual Report 2017





Foundation donations



Donations and contributions







Project support
















REVENUES Government grants

EXPENSES International projects

Professional fees National programs Exchange losses 21% | Foundation Donations 23% | Donations and Contributions

Excess of revenues over expenses Net assets, beginning of yearGrants 56% | Government Net assets, end of year

EXPENSE ALLOCATION 2017 7% | Admin 11% | Fundraising

82% | Charitable Projects

Revenue Allocation 2017 $74,028 $74,371 Government grants 56% Foundation donations 21% $178,243 $103,872 Donations and contributions 23%

Expenses Allocation 2017 Admin 7% Fundraising 11% REVENUE ALLOCATION 2017 Charitable Project 82% 21% | Foundation Donations 23% | Donations and Contributions

56% | Government Grants

JHR Annual Report 2017 | 31

7% | Admin

WWW.JHR.CA | INFORMATION@JHR.CA | @JHRNEWS phone: 416 . 413 . 0240 | fax: 416 . 413 . 1832 147 Spadina Avenue, Suite 206, Toronto ON M5V 2L7 Journalists for Human Rights is a registered Canadian Charity #860372853RR0001