[Statement] Putting human rights online, Moving people into action

HronlinePH.com Statement on the International Human Rights Day
10 December, 2011

This year, we have all witnessed the transforming power of social media. It has become a vehicle that stirred the ordinary people in every city across the globe to come together to claim for their rights and to effect change even in the face of violent repression.

Philippines is no exception. Social media in the country have already transcended from a mere venue for self-expression and entertainment to a source of alternative news and a platform for social connection, participation, or even political mobilization.

That is how HronlinePH.com came into being.

From a simple collaborative effort of individual human rights advocates to bring the different human rights advocacies online, we grew into a network of human rights activists whose shared motivation is to make human rights a reality for all. Using the available digital technology, we inform, inspire and mobilize the general public especially the underprivileged and the marginalized sectors to assert and defend their basic human rights.

And we will continue to perform this role.

We will keep on providing a space to show the plight of Filipino workers from the brunt of unfair labor practices and job insecurity here and abroad. We will continue to voice the cry of farmers for genuine agrarian reforms. We will carry forward the rights of children even those who are in conflict with the law. We will never cease to expose the detrimental ecological effect of mining on land and water resources and the displacement of farming communities from their indigenous agricultural lands. We will advance the right for sexual orientation and gender identity against any forms of discrimination. We will continue to support the women’s right of choice and access to reproductive health. We will condemn at the highest level the act of torture, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings. We will reprove inhumane and violent demolition of informal settlers. We will stand side by side with the writers, artists, journalists in preserving the freedom of the press and expression. We will demand for a guarantee of standard of living with adequate social services free from corporate greed. We will steadfastly exercise and defend our rights offline and online.

Hence we will not leave any story untold.

We will keep every human rights issue a major topic of our blogs. We will cover our websites with news and updates on human rights situation. We will share photos and videos of actual footages that capture the reality on the ground. We will create a trend in twitter and facebook. We will swamp the chatrooms or form online fora or email groups to share and exchange information. We will be in every nook and corner of cyberspace whenever human rights are concerned.

We pose a challenge to the mainstream media, by bringing in new voices which previously had no outlet, and by putting human rights at the center of public discourse. We do not aspire to incite a revolution nor to lead one, but we intend to contribute in reshaping the texture of public opinion to get people involved in the movement for social transformation.

Today as we commemorate the International Human Rights Day 2011, we should keep in mind that human rights belong equally to each and everyone of us. It is what binds us together in a common humanity.

Because human rights are about all of us. Our lives are the message. Our views and actions are the medium.


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