Reporting Business and Human Rights in South Asia
CAPACITY-BUILDING ACTION FOR JOURNALISTS
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Business and human rights issues cut across all types of news stories, from fashion to politics to the environment. These stories are often complex and require a unique set of skills to identify, pitch, and investigate, but they also have the power to bring critical issues to the public and political agenda, highlight social injustices, and hold governments and businesses accountable.
In September 2021, the UNDP launched Reporting on Business and Human Rights: A handbook for journalists, communicators and campaigners with the aim to promote reportage on the impacts of business activities on human rights. To further these efforts, UNDP is organizing a training for journalists in Kathmandu, Nepal from 19-22 March 2023, coinciding with the 4th UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights.
Scholarships for accommodation and/or travel to Kathmandu will be available for up to 10 journalists from and based in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Please see the application form for more information.
A detailed programme and practical information will be communicated to the selected participants.
Participants will benefit from two half-day training sessions exposing them to key business and human rights (BHR) issues and providing them with guidance on how to best report these issues. They will also be able to attend the forum and will receive mentoring to be able to identify and, if possible, initiate the preparation of BHR-related stories.
An introductory, one-hour webinar will be organized ahead of the travel for participants to get to know each other and be able to prepare the activity.
Facilitators and resources
Charles Autheman is a French independent consultant and journalism trainer. He has been organizing and facilitating training workshops for journalists, trade unionists and communication professionals for the past 10 years in over 20 different countries, mostly in the Middle-East, Africa, and South Asia. His areas of expertise include B+HR, having contributed to the UNDP handbook Reporting Business and Human Rights: A Handbook for Journalists, Communicators and Campaigners and lecturing at HEC Paris business school on B+HR.
Bhrikuti Rai is a journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She has reported extensively on the environment, human rights, and migration since 2011. Her stories have appeared in several Nepali and international outlets like Nepali Times, The Kathmandu Post, The Los Angeles Times, Radiolab, and BBC among others. She received Bertha Challenge Fellowship in 2020/21 to investigate the impact of sand mining in Nepal. She is also the co-creator of Boju Bajai podcast.
Harpreet Kaur is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, where she oversees a regional project aiming at promoting responsible business practices through partnerships in Asia. She provides technical and advisory support to governments and businesses on how to mitigate and address human rights risks and impacts in operations and supply chains in Asia.
Additional guest lecturers and experts will be invited for specific sections.
The training will be based on the UNDP handbook Reporting Business and Human Rights: A Handbook for Journalists, Communicators and Campaigners and additional resources will be shared during the activity.
About UNDP's B+HR Asia project
The UNDP Asia-Pacific, Bangkok Regional Hub, Business and Human Rights unit (B+HR Asia), drives progress on business and human rights (BHR) through technical advisory, awareness-raising, and capacity building support to governments, businesses, civil society organizations (CSOs), and independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs). Partnering with an array of champions including media professionals, technical experts, and human rights defenders, B+HR Asia works to ensure the effective implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs set out that States have a duty to protect human rights, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, and that victims of business-related human rights abuse should have access to effective remedy.
The training will cover the ideas, principles, and skills needed to report on business and human rights (BHR), as well as focused sessions:
Background to BHR: What is it about, why should journalists be concerned?
Staying safe and working with vulnerable sources
Illustrating BHR stories
The BHR legal framework
Who should apply
The in-person training will be available for up to 15 journalists from South Asia based in one of the following eligible countries include.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
Be a working journalist (TV, radio, press, online, photojournalism) covering stories on South Asia
Have at least 4 years of experience
Have a demonstrated interest in BHR-related issues
Working proficiency in English
Nationality from a South Asian country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka
Location and dates
Kathmandu, Nepal | 19-22 March 2023
The training will cover a period of four days, starting one day ahead (19 March) and extending during the three days of the Forum (20-22 March).
How to apply
The training is free of charge and open to a limited number of journalists coming from eligible countries.