Yogyakarta community radio declaration highlights gender equality

Kathmandu (Pahichan) November 21 -The member organizations of AMARC – Asia Pacific, aspirant members, supporters and donors gathered at the 4th World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Asia Pacific Regional Assembly in Yogyakarta, Republic of Indonesia, during November 2018. The declaration has underlined the need of addressing the issues through media. Read the full text of declaration:

1)With regard for our differences and diversity but by acknowledging our common aims and aspirations we hereby reaffirm our belief: That the right to information and freedom of expression is fundamental in ensuring other rights and freedoms.That everyone has a right to life with dignity and to be recognised and affirmed.

That freedom of thought, expression, and information, as well as diversity of the media enable cultural, ethnic, religious, social, class, caste, disabled, gendered or sexual, political and age appropriate expressions to flourish. That, as communities and individuals, people have the right to self determination and freedom from oppression, discrimination and fear.

That community radio can play a central role in the development and sustainability of resilient communities by facilitating communication and discussion within, between and beyond those communities.

2) In reaffirming these beliefs:

We acknowledge the diversity of opportunities and challenges that confront community radios and communications practitioners across the region.

We are aware that natural and human induced disasters negatively impact the social, cultural, economic and political structures of our members’ countries.

We consider that in some members’ countries indigenous peoples, women, children, older people, people with diverse sexual orientation and gender identities, people with disabilities, Dalit communities, migrants, refugees, displaced people, the stateless, the trafficed and religious and ethnic minorities are marginalised and denied basic human rights.

We recognise that in some countries there is no legislative framework to enable the creation, development and sustainability of community radio stations or where there is legal status for community radio stations, they and community radio practitioners and journalists are not afforded natural justice or protection from damage, persecution, assault or injury.

That many and varied challenges impact on our communities and hinder, restrict or obstruct them as they try and build resilience for the betterment of all people in those communities.

3) Taking into account these considerations and recognising the valuable role community radio can play in furthering human development and the expression of and support for human rights, we the participants of the 4th Regional Assembly of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Asia Pacific, hereby:

Resolve to strengthen our regional network by developing and deepening our interactions and ties with each other, AMARC International, regional inter-governmental bodies, donor organisations and supporters, national associations and United Nations organisations.

Renew our commitment to work with each other, regional and global inter-governmental bodies, the United Nations and other relevant NGOs in developing strategies and programs focusing on achieving the sustainable development goals as described in the United Nations’ Resolution 70/1 “2030 Agenda”.

Recognise the importance of the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction” as endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2015 and resolve to continue to develop strategies, programs and training opportunities for community radio stations to be better equipped to participate in disaster planning, mitigation, response and recovery resulting from natural and human induced climate change and natural and human induced disasters.

Renew our endorsement of and call for the implementation of Article 16 of the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” which reaffirms the right of indigenous peoples to establish their own community radio stations in their own languages and have access to non-indigenous community radio without discrimination.

Resolve to create spaces on the airwaves for indigenous peoples, refugees, displaced people, the stateless, the trafficked and diverse and marginalised voices, irrespective of cultural, ethnic, religious, social, class, caste, disability, gender or sexual or political identification or age.

Commit to work with local communities, of all types, to record and preserve local knowledge.

Reaffirm our endorsement of and commitment to implementing the “AMARC Gender Policy for Community Radio” and incorporate gender equality in all areas of community radio activity.

Commit to zero tolerance to violence against women in our radio stations, networks and our communities.

Resolve to abide by the provisions of the UNHRC resolution 32/2 “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” and develop, in co-operation with local gender diverse and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) communities, policies, procedures and programming that breaks the silence on and addresses “the multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of violence and discrimination faced by persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Commit to abiding by the principles set out in the 2014 World Youth Conference “Colombo Declaration on Youth: Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” and create, develop and implement strategies to empower youth to participate in all aspects of community radio training, programming, planning and management.

Reaffirm our commitment to support the establishment of community radios in conflict areas as a means of peace building and reconciliation and call upon governments to ensure protection for all affected people and community radio practitioners and infrastructure.

Resolve to develop, in partnership with campaigners against human trafficking, programs and activities to raise awareness of the need to protect the rights of women and children subject to this abuse.

Commit to working cooperatively and sharing resources across the region to develop a ‘best practice’ model for community radio capacity building and policy advocacy strategies.

Call upon the governments of the countries of the region to recognise community media as a third tier of broadcasting, including in the digital radio spectrum and other emerging broadcast technologies, and to incorporate community media in planning, policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks and to develop legislative provisions safeguarding community radio in line with the principles of community broadcasting outlined in the 2010 AMARC “40 Principles of Guaranteeing Diversity and Pluralism in Broadcasting in Audiovisual Communication Services”.

Continue to oppose violence against journalists and media practitioners and to resist legislative measures that would dilute the right to free and open reporting on matters of community interest or concern in accordance with “A Resolution for the creation of an AMARC Action Committee for the Protection of Community Broadcasters” unanimously adopted at AMARC 10 in La Plata, Argentina in 2010.

Accept the responsibility that as community radio broadcasters, practitioners and journalists we, individually and collectively, can have a positive impact within our communities by being agents of empowerment in building resilience.

We, the representatives of community radio broadcasters, production groups and other community media practitioners from the Commonwealth of Australia, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Kingdom of Cambodia, Canada, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Japan, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Republic of the Philippines, Kingdom of Switzerland, Kingdom of Thailand and Democratic Republic of Timor Leste agree to uphold this declaration and strive to implement the values and aspirations it embodies.

Former member of Constituent Assembly (CA) Sunil Babu Pant who is advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minority was also present in the program. Speaking to Pahichan he said, “After Yogyakarta Principles 2006 followed and Yogyakarta Community Radio Declaration 2018, I can say that the city Yogyakarta is lucky for LGBTIQ rights. I enjoyed meeting over 200 community radio journalists from across the Asia-Pacific, we learned allot from each-other.”