15 Apr 2010

UN holds workshop in Fiji on documenting human rights

6:21 pm on 15 April 2010

The United Nations is holding a workshop in Fiji to train human rights workers in the region in monitoring and documenting human rights.

The workshop comes as human rights advocates have raised concerns that the Fiji interim government's new immunity and media decrees could allow further abuses to occur with impunity.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for the Pacific says it cannot comment publicly on the issue as its strategy is to work to improve the situation in other ways.

The office's regional representative, Matilda Bogner, says during the workshop they talk with human rights workers about other approaches they can take to use the information they document in countries where media freedoms are restricted.

"There are many strategies that can get information out. Not all advocacy has to be done publicly through the media. A lot of advocacy can be done behind closed doors with key people who are decision makers."

Matilda Bogner says there are forums other than traditional media to make the general community aware of human rights violations.