June 19, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) yesterday trained its commissioners on the effective use of social media to promote human rights education and advocacy.
As information technology has an ability to provide abundant information, it makes it much easier for human rights organizations to track human rights violations and use such information to advocate for those whose rights have been violated, noted Commissioner Brima A. Sheriff, in his welcome address.
He said increased technology makes it possible for information to flow around the globe, thus making it easier for human rights organizations to monitor and ensure that rights are protected.
He expressed optimism that the training would build the capacity of the commissioners and staff alike on the effective use of social media in carrying out their work and develop the skills of commissioners in identifying and navigating various social media.
Explaining the purpose of the one day workshop, Commissioner Daphne Olu- Williams told participants that social media has revolutionised the way human rights advocates broadcast their efforts as they interact with their constituent everyday to achieve organizational and political goals.
She said the use of social media has become increasingly mainstreamed and altered the character of human rights advocacy and that the Commission needs to refine its online presence and expand its ability to reach a global audience, “bearing in mind that the social media is no silver bullet but an enabling tactic to complement traditional advocacy and activism”.
Commissioner Williams maintained that a lot of opportunities could be gained using social media for human rights advocacy, although she acknowledge there were some pitfalls as well which if not handled well will militate against the work of advocacy and defending the rights of others.
“It is hope that with this one day training, commissioners and staff will acquire relevant knowledge as to how to manage effectively and efficiently the use of social media, with the a view to enhancing the quality of work of the commission,” she avers.