Journalists for Human Rights' Annual Report 2018

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




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Cover Photo: Human Voice, Syria. Children in Al Rukban refugee camp. Cover Photo Designed by Andres Plana.

VIEW FROM THE BOARD So I asked my journalist partner, I asked her: “What would you say if you had only one word to describe the current state of media in most of the world?” She replied: “Good!” Then I asked what she would say if she had two words. And she replied: Not good!” Comedy material aside, that sums up where we stand after two decades of JHR and two decades of digital disruption of traditional mainstream media… … d uring which governments have weaponized media… … w here zillions of people now believe the truth is whatever is at the top of a Google search… … o r the latest YouTube fakery… … o r whatever dangerous toxic nonsense their WhatsApp tells them… … a nd we have only to look at the burnings and violence and rapes in northern Myanmar to see the bloody smear left in the wake of counterfeit information… … a nd way too much of it around the whole world for traditional media to bring the balance back to truth. Of course it’s not all not good. In our digital age new voices are heard, people can converse with media they trust, people can challenge information, communities that couldn’t be reached in the old ink-on-paper model can be reached digitally, news is much more immediate. But many of the strengths give rise to the weaknesses and dangers … that’s the reality and 2018 was the worst year in 13 years for press freedom worldwide. And the shackling and silencing of journalists is no longer confined to the usual suspects. More and more bad guys around the world are being encouraged by American President Donald Trump.

What a terrible dangerous man he is. Divisive and dangerous. Trump calls journalists enemies of the state. The New York Times asks: what do governments do with enemies of the state? They attack them, They jail them up They kill them. Journalists under attack? Now 2018 saw the launch of a popular video game where the mission is to kill a journalist and “make him famous in a different way”. Meanwhile, leaders in so-called democratic countries, emboldened in part by Trump, are cracking down on the free media and getting away with it. In the Philippines, in Poland, in Hungary, in Brazil. India. Pakistan. Bangladesh. Across Africa. Across the world. Even way down there in Australia. But then there’s us. Journalists for Human Rights, and the people who support us. 2018 was also a year of inspiration and hope. Here’s one example among many: JHR worked with the Canadian government, media and government partners in war-torn South Sudan to build a coalition of support for media freedoms. No journalist has died in South Sudan in the line of work since November 2017, and none have been jailed over the past year. What’s clear to us here at JHR is that our work is desperately needed. Thank you for supporting JHR and helping strengthen media to do its job worldwide. In supporting JHR, you become the most vital part of it. This work is a part of Canada’s soft power and it could not be done without you. Truly it couldn’t. Michael Cooke Chair

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Photo Credit: Canadian Press

FOREWORD 2018 was the worst year in 13 years for press freedom worldwide. The number of journalists dying on the job, the number of journalists being jailed for their jobs, and the numbers of journalists muzzled through intimidation or worse just keeps going up. Maria Ressa in the Philippines now faces death threats and 25 years of jail time for the crime of ‘cyber libel’ - in her case, using investigative journalism techniques to expose how supporters of Rodrigo Duterte use disinformation to manipulate public opinion. Wa Lone and Kyaw Sae Oo of Thomson Reuters were sentenced to seven years in jail for the “crime” of exposing a mass murder of Rohingya by Myanmar military. And then there’s the horrific murder and dismembering of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi — a despicable act taking place at the Saudi embassy in Turkey, and almost certainly ordered by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia himself. In 2018, a mere 20 countries could be said to be “truly free,” according to the annual Press Freedom Index tracked by Reporters Without Borders. The shackling and silencing of journalists is no longer confined to the usual hotspots. American President Donald Trump quotes Joseph Stalin’s maxim that the press is the enemy of the people, and journalists become the target of death threats, both on- and offline, across America. In 2018, the United States joined the list of the top five countries globally

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in which it is most dangerous to be a journalist. Meanwhile, a wave of authoritarian leaders in democracies, emboldened by President Trump, are cracking down on the free media—and getting away with it. Duterte in the Philippines, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. And yet for Journalists for Human Rights, 2018 was also a year of breakthrough. While media freedoms retrenched across the world, JHR worked with the Canadian government, media and government partners in war-torn South Sudan to build a coalition of support for media freedoms across that troubled country - what we like to call an “enabling environment” for media freedom. Result? It’s been more than two years since a journalist died in South Sudan in the line of work. Media is the first and most public check on abuse of power. Public officials who make decisions based on facts and truth lead to better governance outcomes, stronger transparency and clearer accountability. And the sobering reality is that without a free media, societies lose the capacity for free thought. With that gone, all our other freedoms go too. So thank you for supporting JHR and helping strengthen media to do its vital job worldwide. We can’t do this work without you. A+ Rachel Pulfer Executive Director

Raïssa Tshikandama doing an interview on the impact of unregulated health clinics in Kinshasa, DRCongo. Photo Credit: JDH

TRUTH MATTERS. FACTS MATTER. Journalists for Human Rights works to empower journalists to cover human rights stories objectively and effectively and for everyone in the world to be aware of their rights. Now more than ever there is an urgency to invest in JHR’s media development considering the globally deteriorating situation for journalists, the impact of fake news, and the eroding commitment to human rights.

In the Middle East, JHR works in Jordan and with Syrian journalists based in Turkey. Jordan ranks 132 out of 180, up two steps from 2017. Syria is one of the most dangerous environments for journalists: they are targeted and intimidated by almost all parties in the conflict. At least 10 journalists were killed in 2010. Syria ranks 177 out of 180 in 2018.

As journalist Julian Sher noted in the Globe and Mail ‘... a media infrastructure can be just as crucial as the usual systems of roads, sewers or hospitals. A free media is central to strengthening democracy, rooting out corruption and yes, saving lives.”

In those contexts JHR’s partners tirelessly and bravely do their work. In South Sudan a JHR-brokered dialogue with government stakeholders, the media authority and news outlets has created more space for journalists to do their work. In Jordan, despite a strongly controlled media environment and a climate of social conservatism to LGBTQI issues, a major publication about transgender experience came out. In Syria, journalists worked together to pressure the Assad regime to open up an aid corridor for refugees in dire need. And in Canada JHR works with Indigenous communities to improve the quality and quantity of Indigenous voices and stories in Canadian media. To date, of 30 Indigenous interns placed in mainstream media, 21 are working full time in the industry.

JHR works where the need is greatest, where we can safely work and where there is a local demand. Currently we are in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Jordan, Syria and in Canada. Bar Canada, all those countries rank low on the World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders. South Sudan ranks 144 out 180, though thanks in part to JHR’s work it has moved up five spots in the last few years. In the DRC there was hope a new president may ‘loosen the grip’ on media. Nevertheless the DRC remained the sub-Saharan country where most press freedom violations occur, and where frequent violence goes unpunished. It currently ranks 154 out 180. In 2018 we started our first project in Mali, which currently ranks 112 out of 180. The biggest issue there is control over media by those who fund it. Coverage of security issues can lead to arrests.

This is impact that matters and lasts. And in 2018 JHR was recognized two different ways for this work, with the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award and the RTDNA Bill Hutton Award for Excellence. Thank you to all who continue to support us!

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Photo Credit: screenshot from documentary

Emerging Voices cover, designed by Joshua Pawis-Steckley, February 2018

CANADA “Emerging Voices” highlighted the opportunities and barriers facing Indigenous students interested in studying journalism in Ontario, as well as what journalism and media programs are doing to develop curriculum on coverage of Indigenous stories.

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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO A documentary made by two students of the Ecole Technique de Journalisme set up by JHR trained journalist Prince Murhula helped raise public attention about a militia that was commiting mass rape outside Bukavu. The militia’s commander was prosecuted and convicted for rape and crimes against humanity.

JORDAN JHR releases a Code of Conduct for journalists and media in human rights journalism in Jordan. The guide has since been widely shared, used by UN agencies and distributed across JHR’s Syria Program.

Photo Credit: Rachel Pulfer

MALI JHR initiates a two-year pilot project in Mali with the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund and in partnership with Union Des Radios et Télévisions Libres du Mali (URTEL), Maison de la Presse, and the School of Journalism in Mali.

Photo Credit: Peter Bregg

SOUTH SUDAN Women journalists shared their stories from the field in the first workshop to be held exclusively for them in South Sudan, organized by JHR and featuring Canada’s Sally Armstrong. “I love reading these stories about the impact of our feminist policy. This is great work @jhrnews and especially by smart and courageous women in South Sudan,” then-Minister of International Development Marie Claude Bibeau wrote on Twitter on March 8, 2018.

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Photo Credit: Screenshot, ETJ student documentary

STUDENT DOCUMENTARY HELPS LEAD TO ARREST OF MASS RAPIST In 2018, a member of the Congolese provincial parliament was prosecuted and convicted for rape and crimes against humanity. What found him out ? The power of local media, working in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights. A documentary made by two students of the Ecole Technique de Journalisme in Bukavu, founded by JHR award-winner, trainer and mentor Prince Murhula, directed public attention to mass rape being committed near Bukavu in Eastern DRC. This led to further investigations by authorities—and ultimately, to prosecution.

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The documentary, made by Esther Kanga and JeanClaude Bisimwa, told the story of girls as young as 2 years old, kidnapped from their houses, in the village of Kavumu, by a Congolese militia. The girls were raped and mutilated. Over two years, fifty girls had suffered the same fate. After the story went public, the militia, which was being led by an influential deputy, Frédéric Batumike, was shut down. In his speech at the JHR’s Nights for Rights Gala 2018, Prince Murhula told how he was introduced to JHR in 2010 during its training workshop for journalists in Bukavu. “Working with JHR in

Kinshasa, I created a network – Journalists for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights – and now it has more than 100 members,” he explained. In 2014, Prince launched the Technical School of Journalism, or ETJ, with a six-month program based on human rights approaches to reporting that Prince first picked up while working with JHR. The school has trained more than 500 students, of which more than 200 now work in media. Media is an essential tool in the fight against human rights violations. And when wielded by such leaders as Prince Murhula and his incredible wife Sandra Bashengezi, media shows us how the sunlight of local news can bring justice—even in the eastern DRCongo.

OVERVIEW Since 2007, JHR has worked with over 1600 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 10 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.








1.1 million


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South Sudan First National Media Symposium. Photo Credit: JHR

PROTECTING JOURNALISTS’ SAFETY IN SOUTH SUDAN Journalists are subject to violence and acts of intimidation across the world. South Sudan is no exception. Members of the press have suffered through years of a deteriorating media environment, including censorship, intimidation, violence and even targeted assassinations. State institutions frequently interfered in editorial matters and called journalists in for questioning. The establishment of a new regulatory body, the South Sudan Media Authority, in late 2016, led to further restrictions on the activities of international journalists and tense relations with media houses.

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Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), with support from Global Affairs Canada, is working to improve the media climate. Recognizing the potential of the Media Authority as a professional body capable of depoliticizing media issues, JHR engaged the Media Authority’s leadership in 2017 and 2018 to discuss how it could contribute to a stable, predictable and rights-based environment for media. The Embassy of Canada to South Sudan worked closely with JHR on this effort and engaged the Media Authority to support a dialogue with JHR and journalists.

JHR invited the Media Authority to its East Africa regional conference in November 2017. This exposed Media Authority leadership to critical perspectives and best practices from other regional media regulators, journalists’ associations and media houses. The South Sudan Media Authority subsequently formed a media development and advocacy consortium, bringing together seven key media stakeholders. This group shared ideas and concerns with the Media Authority, which began engaging regularly with other state institutions to urge them to leave matters of the media to the Media Authority. This has also had a practical effect, with the Media Authority stepping in several times to assert its authority over media matters when journalists have been summoned by other state institutions. A senior official at the Media Authority has praised the benefits of its engagement with JHR, noting that this has helped the Media Authority develop its operational strategies with a better focus on working in collaboration with the media in South Sudan. “As a regulatory body, we need to have that strategy of how to address or to resolve conflicts or problems either between the media and the government or the government versus the media.” Building on this work, on April 24, 2018, JHR hosted a media forum in Juba, organized with the Embassy of Canada to South Sudan and the Association of Media Women in South Sudan, to address another major challenge in South Sudan’s media landscape: the understanding of media laws and the mandate of the Media Authority. With strong participation from media houses, academics, government officials and other stakeholders, the forum featured presentations by regional media advocacy organizations, journalists’ associations and legal experts, as well as panel discussions on how to report on sensitive issues responsibly while avoiding hate speech and incitement to violence. Canada’s Ambassador Alan Hamson delivered the opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of media freedom as a vital part of democracy: “A strong media sector is essential for developing a strong country. Freedom of expression and of the press, and strong media institutions, are essential for any society to identify issues and find solutions, to inform the public, to engage

citizens in the future of their country, to help governments and institutions respond to the needs of ordinary people and to protect people’s human rights.”

OVERVIEW To date, JHR has trained and mentored over 260 journalists, editors, and media managers on covering the issues of human rights especially the rights of women and girls. Additionally, we have trained over 180 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.” It works to enhance public accountability in the country on human rights issues, in particular the rights of women and girls.


260 participants


500 stories




3 million I N D IVI D UALS

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Toronto Star, centre page, October 21, 2018

MORE THAN MERCURY IN GRASSY NARROWS Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, otherwise known as Grassy Narrows, is an Anishinabek community with a rich history of multicultural hunters, trappers, fishers, and harvesters of the land. However, in recent history, it has become known as the First Nation poisoned by mercury. Media coverage of the dumping, which began in the early 1960s, has exposed the incredible suffering caused by mercury contamination of the land, water, and fish—the consumption of which has made many of its members sick.

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Now, in part thanks to the work of JHR, the youth in Grassy Narrows has a message for the public: “We are more than mercury.” Darwin Fobister, 21 years old, is one of the mercury poisoning victims. He is the recreational activator at the community’s multi-purpose complex. Darwin said he decided to work with Grassy’s youth because they saw him as a leader. “I can’t say kids here have everything, but I see everything in them…I see leaders around here. I don’t see mercury,” said Darwin.

For the past five years, JHR has worked in remote First Nations communities across northern Ontario to provide journalism and media literacy training. In 2018, we worked closely with the Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, also known as Grassy Narrows. JHR helped their youth get in touch with mainstream media to raise their voice, to express their ambitions and to express their future plans to help other Canadians have better understanding of the Indigenous people. JHR supported Toronto Star in publishing a centrefold Special Report on a Anishinabek community. For the original story published in the Toronto Star on (October 21, 2018) , please click here.

1600 individuals have been trained. Finally, JHR has published 3landmark research studies: Buried Voices and Buried Voices: Changing Tones, media monitoring studies examining coverage of Indigenous stories in print and online media in Ontario first from 2010-2013 and then 20142017. And, Emerging Voices, a dual examination into access to post-secondary journalism education for Indigenous youth in Ontario, and what postsecondary journalism programs in the province are doing to implement TRC Call to Action #86. GOAL JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program works to increase the quality and quantity of Indigenous stories and voices in Canadian media.




trained & mentored OVERVIEW Since launching in 2013, JHR’s now multi-award winning Indigenous Reporters Program (IRP) has worked to increase the quality and quantity of Indigenous stories and voices in media in Canada. The program has worked with 21 First Nations in Ontario and 1 Manitoba to build the journalism and media literacy capacity of interested community members. To date, over 750 stories and news bulletins to date for local and national outlets, to an audience of over 2.2 million people. The program has also supported 30 internships for emerging Indigenous reporters in partnership with news outlets across the country and 27 scholarships for Indigenous students studying journalism or media and support them at the beginning of their careers. The program also trains non-Indigenous journalists and journalism students on best practices for reporting on Indigenous stories. To date, over

550 participants




Darcy Williamson, a hockey player from Grassy Narrows, said that sports brought him out of his shell. “I gained more confidence and started to find out that mercury didn’t have to be a huge factor in my life,” said Darcy. The young hockey player wishes the media would find a balance in coverage and talk about the good things that happen in Grassy, and not only about the mercury problem and deforestation. “When people see me, I don’t want them to see someone poisoned by mercury. I want them to see a culturally oriented community member,” added Darcy.

21 jobs

1350 770


stories REACH ED

community members directly engaged in media literacy training

2.2 million I N D IVI D UALS

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Photo Credit: My.Kali Magazine

A BIG STEP FOR JORDAN’S TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY Transgender rights in Jordan are tenuous. Cases of abuse and widespread discrimination continue, and the legal status of sex reassignment surgery continues to be unclear in this country, though some activists are working to change that. As recently as 2017, the Jordanian Parliament passed the “Medical Responsibility Law,” which prohibited “service providers to conduct sex reassignment surgeries.” In June 2018, Journalists for Human Rights Jordan supported local journalist Hiba Abu Taha in producing an in-depth story on transgender rights in the country. Abu Taha spoke with two

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transgender individuals about the challenges of transitioning in Jordanian society. Both have faced abuse, discrimination, and persecution for identifying as transgender. Maya, a transgender woman whose real name has been withheld, said that she rejected herself as a male since she was a child. “I got to the point where I either die or face everyone and start the transition process,” said Maya. Muna, whose real name has also been withheld, is a transgender man currently in the process

of transitioning. After facing abuse at home, Muna chose to run away with his lover but was reported to the police by his parents. After being detained by local authorities, Muna was sent for a medical evaluation. A psychiatrist referred him to a hospital for mental illness, where he faced humiliation and abuse. Advocate Leen Al Khayyat attributes this situation to conservative social norms. “This society is generally religious and conservative; therefore, not all individuals can enjoy their full rights, such as their right to choose their gender, because most groups in society disapprove of them.” Yet as founder of specialized LGBTQ My.Kali Magazine, Khaled Abdul Hadi, argues, “the LGBTQ community is an integral part of the Jordanian society. They are citizens, and they must be treated equally with others, and they must be granted their rights.”

status of human rights journalism in Jordan; public engagement activities on human rights and journalism; development of resources for journalists; and, the continuation of the JHR Human Rights Reporting Award recognizing outstanding human rights journalism in Jordan. 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.


Journalists for Human Rights has been working to improve coverage and public discussion on human rights in Jordan since 2013.


227 stories



Individuals in Jordan


Individuals in Canada

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Produced first ever Code of Conduct on Human Rights Reporting in Jordan


Currently, key program activities include mentoring local journalists on the production of human rights stories, including longform investigative stories, workshops on access to information, investigative journalism, and digital safety for journalism; research on the



OVERVIEW To date, JHR has trained over 285 journalists, journalism graduates and students on human rights reporting, the majority of which have been women. In Jordan, JHR has worked to enhance the capacity of the Jordanian media sector to cover human rights issues, and to engage the public, key stakeholders and media sector directly in public conversation to contribute to building a public culture of respect for human rights in the country, with a focus on freedom of expression, freedom of association, political rights and gender equality.


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Photo Credit: Human Voice, Al Rukban refugee camp

JHR-TRAINED JOURNALISTS BRING HOPE TO ‘CAMP OF DEATH’ Fall, 2018. Over 60,000 displaced Syrians, mostly children and women, are at the Al-Rukban Camp, spread across 7 km of a Syrian desert. They lack access to healthcare, nutrition, and water. Pregnant women are giving birth without primary medical care. Children are dying. Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) finds out about Al-Rukban camp last fall. JHR and Syrian media partners, Nasaem Souria, Sada Alsham, Geroun Network, Ein Infographic, and Human Voice, start work on a media campaign to get humanitarian aid to the camp.

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On October 16, members of JHR’s Syrian network publish 11 different stories, one after the other, on the “Camp of Death”, as the AlRubkan Camp was known. One day after the members of JHR’s Syrian network highlight the Syrian refugees’ ordeal through their stories, the UN office in Damascus promises to address the camp’s humanitarian problems. And the Assad regime orders a humanitarian corridor into the camp to ensure aid can get through, in collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

The first UN aid convoy reaches the camp in the first week of November. Seventy-eight trucks deliver 10,475 food parcels and flour bags, clothes for 18,000 children, 10,075 hygiene kits and plastic sheets, and newborn baby kits for 1,200 children. Naseam Radio received a voice message shortly after, from Mr. Mahmoud Homeily, Director of the Relief Office in Rukban Camp. He said “God bless you. We thank you for delivering our voice and message to the world. We thank the whole team that participated in delivering our voice and sending out the pieces and videos that speak about the conditions of Rukban Camp.”

(UNDEF), the Donner Canadian Foundation and Bill Martin — in addition to individual donations from human rights supporters. GOAL Strengthen Independent Syrian media. Working with independent Syrian media outlets through Turkey, JHR is building the capacity of journalists and media managers to mainstream human rights journalism in Syria, hold key decision makers to account and create dialogue channels among the public on critical issues such as democracy and gender equality.

Said camp resident Mr. Mohammad Ayyash: “The coverage was great. Thank you; I salute your honorable platform.”


This is media development at its very best: serving and amplifying the human rights of the most vulnerable people, and empowering them to claim those rights.




OVERVIEW JHR has worked in Syria since 2017. In that time, we created a network of 40 Syrian journalists and 20 civil society and human rights defenders working inside and outside of Syria. This allows outlets working in different geographic territories to share resources, collaborate on major stories and gain access to territories they cannot freely work in. To date, the project has received funding from the United Nations Fund for Democracy

80 journalists



100 stories



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LOCAL COVERAGE SAVES A SCHOOL IN SYRIA In the winter of 2018, JHR partner Nasaem Syria reported on the Toor Laha school in rural Idlib. The building was old and nearly collapsing, with no windows or doors for the 220 students and 14 teachers. Parents often kept their children home in winter, due to the cold. And the teachers received no pay. Most of them volunteered in order to use their degree. “The educational process has to continue no matter what happens in Syria,” one of them said. Watch the video here.

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After the report by Nasaem Syria Radio aired, Syrian volunteers and the local community stepped up. “Ceilings and floors were repaired, doors and windows installed,” says Mahmoud Qumro, the head of the school. Students are now warm and comfortable in their classrooms. And teachers are finally receiving a salary, after five years of volunteering. Watch the video here. Watch the video here.

Announcement of the JHR supported project. Photo Credit: Mali Flash, Journal Du Mali Debout

STARTING A NEW PROJECT: MALI With the support of the United Nations Democracy Fund, in 2018, JHR initiated a two-year pilot project to strengthen media’s ability to stabilize public dialogue and improve well informed public conversations. Union Des Radios et Télévisions Libres du Mali (URTEL), Maison de la Presse, and the School of Journalism in Mali are partnering with JHR to further this initiative. Moro Siaka Diallo, Communications and Marketing professional with experience in the humanitarian and health sector in Mali, is coordinating JHR’s project. The project is informing media coverage and public discussion on human rights and gender equality with the engagement of civil society organizations and actors. Media inclusiveness is being addressed by targeting change in individual media professionals’ behavior and institutions’ policies and procedures.

OVERVIEW Together, JHR and its partners will build the capacity of the media sector targeting journalists, media managers, journalism students, and institutionally. It will also help the general public better understand their rights and support the protection and promotion of these rights. GOAL To strengthen media and media institutions’ abilities to play their role in fostering an effective, inclusive and transparent democracy in one of the world’s most complex democracies.

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Rt. Lt.-Gen Roméo Dallaire, Liberal MP and Committee Chair Michael Levitt and JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer at Parliament Hill. Photo Credit: JHR

ADVISING POLICY ON PARLIAMENT HILL JHR’s Executive Director Rachel Pulfer testified at a meeting of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 29. The hearing addressed the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pulfer stressed that “urgent action” was necessary, especially for journalists and media outlets in the region. “The people of the DRC have been continually deprived of their right to freedom of information,” Pulfer said in her opening statement. She described how journalists are repeatedly

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“intimidated and harassed. Joining Pulfer at the Meeting was Senator and Rt. Lt-Gen. Roméo Dallaire. Lt.-Gen. Dallaire particularly emphasized the need to eliminate the use of child soldiers in conflict. When asked about Canada’s role in resolving the conflict, both emphasized smart, targeted civilian programming, paired with the country’s negotiating abilities, as Canada’s best asset for intervention. The audio file can be heard here.

Allison Jones, Legislative Reporter and Queen’s Park Press Gallery President and 2018 Press Gallery. Photo Credit: Cole Burston

JHR Supporters

THE QUEEN’S PARK PRESS GALLERY Allison Jones, Legislative Reporter and Queen’s Park Press Gallery President: The Queen’s Park press gallery holds a fundraising event every year called Spring Fling. The money raised was often just enough to cover our expenses, but demand for tickets was so high in 2017 that we found ourselves with a goodsized surplus. We wanted to donate that money to a worthy cause, and at a press gallery meeting following that year’s event, Robert Benzie of the Toronto Star suggested JHR’s Indigenous Reporters

Program. The gallery was unanimously in favour of it, and after our subsequent event this year, donating to the program again was a no-brainer.” We could think of no better cause than one that promotes a diversity of media voices right in the province that we cover. We all feel that it is important for Ontario’s media landscape to feature a wider variety of perspectives, particularly from Indigenous people. We are glad that the money we raised can go toward both supporting Indigenous reporting and training others to cover those communities more sensitively.”

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Monica Rusnak, Vice-President; Sam Hammond, President; Karen Campbell, First Vice-President; David Mastin, Vice-President. Photo Credit: Catherine Daton.

JHR Supporters

THE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS’ FEDERATION OF ONTARIO The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is pleased to offer support and financial sponsorship to Journalist for Human Rights, and in particular for its Indigenous Reporters Program. As an Ontario labour union, that represents elementary teachers and educational professionals, we know and understand the importance of public education, independent and inclusive media, and how sharing the personal stories of diverse marginalized voices can help to build a socially just society.

the mainstream media. Equally important, with this program, JHR and Indigenous reporters have shined a light on human rights abuses happening right here in Ontario by exposing the troubling realities and lived experiences that Indigenous peoples face. ETFO believes that programs just like this one are critical to helping foster respect and dignity for Indigenous Peoples; this is part of the vital work that must be done to step towards bringing truth, justice, and reconciliation in our communities.

By improving the quality and quantity of Indigenous voices in the media, expanding issues and the worldviews of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, the Indigenous Reporters Program of JHR provides authentic opportunities and training that helps to create positive change in

On behalf of our 83,000 members, ETFO thanks JHR for all of its important work to support and empower journalism, dispel myths and misinformation, and for all its efforts to raise awareness about human rights abuses that are overlooked and under-reported.

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Valerie Chort

JHR Supporters


The RBC Foundation has been a strong supporter of Journalists for Human Rights’ (JHR) multiple-award-winning Indigenous Reporters Program since 2014. The Indigenous Reporters Program works to “Put the Truth Back into Truth and Reconciliation,” as a cover spread in Toronto’s Metro News once described it. The program’s stated goal is to increase both the quantity and quality of Indigenous stories and voices in Canadian media. RBCFoundation’s support has been a game changer in ensuring this work can happen. “At R BC, we care about investing in the places where we live and work. It is core to our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper,” says Valerie Chort, vice president, corporate citizenship, R BC. “Helping shine a spotlight on the stories of truth and reconciliation coming out of Indigenous communities across Canada and helping to give young writers at platform so their voices can be heard, is just one way we bring our purpose to life.” To date, the Foundation’s support has enabled 30 paid internships for emerging Indigenous reporters across Canada and 27 scholarships to support Indigenous students studying journalism and media. Of those 30 interns, 21 are now working in the journalism/media sector. This includes such authoritative Indigenous voices and perspectives as Kyle Edwards, writing for Maclean’s, and Brittany Hobson, now with APTN. The IRP has helped to provide a strong Indigenous lens on breaking news across Canada. This would not have been possible without RBC Foundation’s support. R BC supported the creation of, an innovative online learning platform for

community-based journalists in the program, customized for use in areas with limited internet access. The Foundation also supported J H R’s work to offer journalism and media literacy training to community members across 16 First Nations in Ontario’s north. These elements of the project have been formally recognized with awards from both the Lieutenant- Governor of Ontario and the Canadian Ethnic Media Association Most recently, J H R’s grant from the R BC Future Launch Program supported a Podcasting 101 workshop in Thunder Bay, Ont., facilitated by Anishnaabe journalist and comedian Ryan McMahon. The training brought together seven Indigenous youth for a oneweek intensive program. At the outset, all participants reported they listened to podcasts, but lacked confidence in their ability to produce or conduct interviews on their own despite expressing interest in pursuing careers in media in the future. The training covered everything from what podcasting is and why Indigenous podcasting matters, to planning, interviewing, the business of podcasting and production skills. By the end of the training, all participants indicated in surveys that they were taught relevant skills they would use in their communities, and that they are now inspired to work in podcasting/ journalism, with their confidence in producing a podcast and interviews greatly improved. To date, one fully edited podcast episode has been produced, with six still in production as a result of the training. Still to come: bursaries providing coaching and mentorship to Indigenous youth voices looking to be published in mainstream outlets, and a Youth In Media Summer Program in summer 2020. Watch this space!

JHR Annual Report 2018 | 23


The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Hannah Clifford, Senior Project Manager JHR and Harvey McCue, Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust. Photo Credit: Ontario Heritage Trust.

ONTARIO HERITAGE AWARD In February 2018, JHR received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award. The Award recognized the success of JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program, which aims to improve the quality and number of Indigenous voices in Canadian media.

Rachel Pulfer receiving the RTDNA Award. Photo Credit: JHR

RTDNA BILL HUTTON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE In May 2018, JHR’s Executive Director Rachel Pulfer accepted this year’s RTDNA Bill Hutton Award of Excellence on behalf of the organization’s teams worldwide. This prestigious industry award was conferred on JHR in recognition of our work in media development in Canada and around the world.

24 | JHR Annual Report 2018

Photo Credit: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services. From L to R, David Anderson, Conservative human rights critic, Catherine Cano, President and CEO of CPAC, Senator Jim Munson, Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of JHR, NDP human rights critic Cheryl Hardcastle, and Speaker of the House Geoff Regan.

JHR STORMS THE HILL! On May 8, Speaker of the House Geoff Regan hosted JHR and its supporters at a reception on Parliament Hill. The event was in honour of JHR’s awardwinning work both at home and abroad. All speakers emphasized free press as essential to development and key to a thriving democratic tradition, and JHR’s work as integral to building strong societies and democracies. As Karyn Pugliese, speaking in her role as head of news at APTN and JHR’s lead partner on its Indigenous Reporters Program, put it: “this work gives our youth hope.”


Photo Credit: JHR

TRUTH AND FACTS MATTER JHR’s Executive Director Rachel Pulfer highlighted, in an editorial for The Star, the Canadian Foreign Minister Christine Freeland’s acceptance speech of a Global Award from Foreign Policy magazine. “The speech called for all those who believe in a liberal democracy to fight a rising tide of authoritarian strongmen worldwide. Her weapons of choice? The journalist’s arsenal of facts and truth,” Rachel Pulfer wrote in her editorial. “The core insight of this speech is a damning indicator of our times that these points need to be made at all.”

Photo Credit: Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press

70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, left, moderates a panel discussion, among others with JHR Executive Director Rachel Pulfer, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Ottawa, on Dec. 12, 2018.

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Prince Murhula of the Ecole Technique de Journalisme and Fanta Diaby at Night for Rights 2018. Photo Credit: Canadian Press

STAFF PROFILE: FANTA DIABY In 2018, Fanta Diaby worked on JHR’s program in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the launch of the Mali program.

there to give them the necessary tools and to empower them, but they also often inspire and empower us.”

JHR’s mission is to empower journalists to cover human rights stories and put a spotlight on human rights abuses. Nowhere is that more important than in conflict countries like the DRC.

Another highlight for Fanta has been working with Prince Murhula, who established the L’école Technique du Journalisme in Bukavu, DRC, in 2011. “Seeing what he has been able to accomplish with just a little bit of support and training is incredible,” says Fanta.

“One of the biggest highlights,” says Fanta, “is working with partners and journalists on the ground. The incredible talent they have, and the immense work they do regardless of what is happening around is very inspiring. “A lot of our partners, and the journalists we work with, face so many challenges on a daily basis and yet they continue the work they are doing,” says Fanta. “As an organization we go

26 | JHR Annual Report 2018

The root cause of these successes, according to Fanta, has been JHR’s focus on working at the local level, ensuring that there is local community buy-in and that local voices are heard. This has been a major source of pride for her and for many others involved in the work which JHR does. “Every part of a project, from its design to its implementation is run with this in mind,” says Fanta.

JHR CHAMPION: TROY REEB “Remember the Arab Spring? It was the term for a series of demonstrations and uprisings that spread across North Africa and the Middle East beginning in December 2010. Citizens of more than a dozen oppressive regimes marched, rebelled and sadly - in 60,000 instances - died in the fight for human rights. Back then, the liberating power of the Internet helped shine a light on inequality and supported pro-democracy activists as they organized to demand change. But beyond Tunisia, where it began, the Arab Spring soon dragged into an ongoing winter. Dictators and demagogues learned quickly that social media’s power to spread truth could be used even more effectively to spread misinformation and fear. In the West, populist leaders similarly have been empowered by the ability to go around the journalists who serve as a check on their power. They have used social media to spread lies and sow division among those they purport to serve. We now live in a world of “alternative facts” and confusion, and where the work of properly trained reporters, and of Journalists for Human Rights, is more important than ever. I joined the board of JHR in 2013 as hopes for the Arab Spring were waning. I had come to the organization a year earlier with an idea for how it could partner with Global News to leverage the expertise of veteran Canadian journalists

to support their colleagues overseas, while simultaneously bringing more human rights stories back to the audience at home. From day one, I fell in love with JHR, its passion for reporting and for the challenges of real people. I know of no other NGO that can stretch a dollar further, and create such meaningful change in the communities where it operates. As I prepare to step down from the board, it gives me great pride to see the expert trainer program we began six and a half years ago has evolved into a signature, multi-million dollar initiative, Canada World, with participation from multiple media organizations and the government of Canada. Social media channels are merely that – empty channels that can be filled with good, or evil. To truly make the world better requires a commitment to journalistic truth, facts and human rights, and that is what JHR stands for.” Troy Reeb is Executive Vice President, Broadcast Networks, Corus Entertainment. As Executive Vice President, Broadcast Networks, for Corus Entertainment, Troy Reeb oversees Global Television and its 15 local stations; 44 specialty television services including HGTV, Food, W Network, YTV, History and Showcase; 39 radio stations; and all online platforms and apps. He was on the Board of Journalists for Human Rights for a proud and immensely productive seven years.

JHR Annual Report 2018 | 27

DONORS AND SUPPORTERS CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE ($50,000+) Ian and Catherine Delaney Margaret Flatley Bill Young/Hamilton Community Foundation PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE ($10,000 - $49,000) Accenture Canada APTN Bealight Foundation Bell Media Inc BMO Canada Council for the Arts CBC Coca Cola (in kind) Corus Entertainment Inc./ Global News CTV National News Derek Fisher and Adrienne Fisher Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Mohamed Fakih RBC Foundation Robert Walman The Canadian Press Theresa Ebden Unifor MASTHEAD SUPPORT ($1,000 - $9,999) Airbnb Canada Inc Alethea Au Alison Arbuckle Fisher Anne-Marie Mediwake Balsillie Family Foundation Bay Tree Foundation Blakes Bloomberg Canada LLC Blue Ant Media Solutions Bruce and Edith Chambers CAA South Central Ontario Canadian Beverage Association Catherine Cano

28 | JHR Annual Report 2018

Cenovus Chad Rogers* Colin Townson CPAC Canadian Public Affairs Channel Crestview CWA/SCA Dairy Farmers of Ontario Dave Weih Don Tapscott Farzad Alvi Google Canada Ian Morrison Ipsos Reid LP Janice Neil* John Honderich Julie Di Lorenzo Julie Traves Kaley Pulfer Karim El Bardeesy* Kimberly Ivany Legislative Press Gallery Lisa LaFlamme Little Mountain Holdings Marci McDonald and Clair Balfour Maria Hale Masai Ujiri Massey College Michael Cooke Mohammad Al Zaibak Natalie Turvey Navigator Peter Donolo Power Corporation of Canada Rachel Pulfer* Rick Anderson Ryerson University Stikeman Elliott LLP TD Bank Financial Group The Balsillie Family Foundation Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. Troy Reeb William D. Martin MEDIA MOVERS ($1 - $999) Aleksandra Sagan

Alex Phillips Alex Mlynek Alexander Miller Ali Zahid Alison Loat Amanda Chan Amanda James Amara Bangura Amy Lynn Dempsey Ana Paula Lopes Andrea Charron Andrew Jones Andrew Wahl Angela El Bardeesy* Angie Stanjevich Anil Patel Anita Mannur Anna Palmer Anne O’Shea Anne Pringle Anne Sheshadri Anne Marie Owens Annie Berube Anoushka Rassau Antoinette Handley Asif Nawaz Asmaa Malik Auriol Miller Ayon Shahed Barry Campbell Barry Novak Bethany Borody* Bill Tieleman Boris Martin Bruce Creighton Carolyn Jarvis Caryn Lieberman Catherine Osborne Cathy Sobocan Charles Messina Cheryl Fullerton Chris Windeyer Chris Sterry Christian Lamarre Christine Lobas Christopher Sarpong Chrystal Vanderlinde

Corin Toporas Courtney Johnston Dani Saad Daniel Riskin Daniel Brooke Darlene Tonelli David Laubsch David Walsh David Maass David MacDonald David Morrison Dawn Calleja Dawna Friesen Diane Gies Don Pulfer Doug Sarro Douglas A Kerr Ebyan Farah Elena Major Elizabeth Bowie Elizabeth Dowdeswell Elizabeth K Linley Erica Vella Erin Bury Erin Valois Farah Nasser Forrest Elliott Franchesca Weeks Gabriela Motyckova Gabrielle Gallant Gerry Arnold Habiba Nosheen Heather MacDonald* Howard Chang Hugh Mansfield Ian Kalushner Ian Koenigsfest Jacky Habib James Munson James Janeiro Jane Rounthwaite Jane Hilderman Janet Linnell Janine DeVries* Janis Eaglesham Jason Maghanoy Jeff McWilliams Jeffrey Collier Jessica Dolman Jet Belgraver Jim Pulfer Joanna Mullard* Jodie Wallis Joe Friesen Joe MacInnis Johan H Halle John Chapman

John D Wilkinson Joseph Belliveau Joseph G Hood Joshua Gorner Judy Kopelow Julian Sher Julie Osborne Julie Smithers Julie Taylor Karen McRae Karoll Trevor Karyn Pugliese Kate Harris Katha Fortier Katherine Badeau Katherine Tapscott Kathleen Wynne Kathryn Lockwood Kathryn Sheppard* Kathy English-Serles Kathy and David Beckley Kavita Dogra Kayla Bradley Kees Van den End Ken Zolotar Kenneth Hunt Kerri N Breen Kevin Donovan Kristy Woudstra Laura Bogomolny* Laura D Green Laura Dougan Laura Fitch Laura Linnell Lauren Ryan Lindsey Scully Lisa Brownstone Lisa Mallia Lynn Bessoudo Mackay Taggart Malcolm Kirk Margaret Pulfer Margaret Sintzel Mark Blanchard Mark Hazelden* Martha Caddell Martin Roland Mary Sagharian Matthew Blackshaw Matthew Consky Matthew Gurney Mavis Himes Megan Ainscow Megan Griffith-Greene Meg Kehoe Melanie Brown Melanie MacDonald

Melissa Shin Michael Jancik Michael Stittle Mike MacDonald Moritz Karg Nancy Lawler Naseem Khuri Natalie McClure Nathan Messer Nick Brooke Nicole Inglis Norma Pulfer Orwell O’Brien Pär Pettersson Pat Perkel Patricia Reed Paul Knox* Paul Schabas Peter M Bregg Rahul Raj Ravi Sankaran Rebecca Levere Richard Goddard Rita Samson Robert Becker Robert Ferguson Robert E Johnson Robyn Smith Sally Armstrong Sam Numsen Sarah Andrewes* Scott Clark Fenwick* Scott Weisbrod Sean O’Shea Sean Sinclair-Day Shallima Maharaj Shauna Rempel Shauna Sylvester Shawn Micallef Shuah Roskies Siddhartha Lokanandi Spencer Ferron-Trip Stan Behal Stephanie James Stephen Gardiner Stephen Trumper Suanne Kelman Sujanthi Manivannan Susan Colley Tamar Satov The D.A.M. Studio Inc. Thuy Anh Nguyen Tiffany Haskins* Tim Borlase Tim Meakins Tobias S Novogrodsky Toby Stevenson

Travis Dhanraj United Way Toronto & York Region Valerie Dugale Vasiliki Bednar Ward Smith Waterloo Catholic District School Board William Scott Steele PROGRAM SUPPORT Bealight Foundation Donner Canadian Foundation CC UNESCO Flatley Family Foundation Global Affairs Canada Netherlands Embassy in Jordan Ontario Trillium Foundation RBC Foundation UNESCO United Nations Democracy Fund 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 Ontario Craft Wineries Osler Postmedia Network Inc. Steamwhistle The Auctionista The Canadian Press Toronto Life

* monthly donors

JHR Annual Report 2018 | 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

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Foundation donations



Donations and contributions







Project support






Professional fees



National programs









Loss on capital asset disposal



Excess of revenues over expenses



Net assets, beginning of year 71% | Government Grants



Net assets, end of year



REVENUES Government grants

EXPENSES International projects

Exchange losses

11% | Foundation Donations Operating Income 18% | Donations and Contributions

EXPENSE ALLOCATION 2018 5% | Admin 9% | Fundraising

86% | Charitable Projects

REVENUE ALLOCATION 2018 11% | Foundation Donations 18% | Donations and Contributions

71% | Government Grants

JHR Annual Report 2018 | 31

Photo Credit: Human Voice, Al Rukban refugee camp

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

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