The role of the media in championing for Human Rights during elections

By Sammi Nderitu

During an election period in Kenya, the media, both the mainstream and community platforms, tend to place a lot of focus on campaigns reporting and political deals that are being made among the various candidates.

Sadly though, in the midst of the hullabaloo that is elections reporting, cases of human rights abuses largely go unreported therefore the victims and their families hardly get justice.

At IMLU Elections’ Hub, we are aiming to change this narrative. We believe that every media outlet has a role to play in highlighting cases of injustice especially those perpetrated by the authority.

According to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an non-profit global organization that advocates for responsible reporting and champions for rights of journalism, “a free and aware media is a tool, which prevents the transformation of human rights violations into a part of everyday life.”

To encourage reporters to bring into focus cases of human rights violations, we are working with different media partners from the mainstream media outlets to the community reporters.

It is our utmost belief that every person has a right to exercise their democratic right in a peaceful and secure environment. Political candidates too have a right to assemble and meet their supporters, sell their agendas and campaign freely without being restricted by state agencies.

As we head to the August polls, we call upon the mainstream media, community radio and citizen journalists to take up an active role in reporting human rights abuses within their spheres of influence. We invite you to reach out to us through all our social media channels for any cases that may require active documentation and pursing legal means in holding the perpetrators accountable.