Journalist Freddy Mata reports in from Geneva


Nine journalists from Africa, America, Europe and Asia, benefited from the media engagement program on the work being done by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Several important players in the human rights sector, including NGOs and the ambassadors of a few countries, explained to the participants the priorities for the 33rd Human Rights Council session and how the various international mechanisms set in place to protect human rights operate.

It was a pleasure for me to represent both Journalists for Human Rights and the DRC. We had the opportunity to attend one of the regular sessions of the Human Rights Council, as well as the various thematic and regional meetings happening outside of the session. It was my first time participating in a United Nations human rights session and the interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi were the two highlights for me.

At the end of this dialogue I came to two conclusions: the first was that the work of promoting and defending human rights that we are doing in our country is very important. I was relieved to hear that thanks to various media reports and denunciations, the voices of the victims of abuse could be heard in Geneva. This opens a door for rehabilitation and the cessation of such acts. The second conclusion can be summed up in this question: What is meant by the word “solidarity”? Unfortunately, when addressing situations of human rights violations, most African states manifest a kind of solidarity that is almost incomprehensible because almost all of them repeat the same thing: “We congratulate this or that state for such a thing, efforts are being made and we call that state to do more”. I would have liked to hear the statements of these same states on the reports submitted by the Assistant Human Rights High Commissioner.

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