» CALLS FOR REGISTRATION: The massive open online course (MOOC) on issues related to freedom of expression, acc...
15.02.2016 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

CALLS FOR REGISTRATION: The massive open online course (MOOC) on issues related to freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists is once again opened for judicial operators from Latin America and the Caribbean

Freedom of expression and the right to information are fundamental rights that enable one to exercise of all other human rights. This right also has a central role in achieving the objectives of sustainable development, particularly in order to promote peaceful and inclusive societies with a accessible justice for all (SDG16).

UNESCO and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have joined efforts and have coordinated a wide range of relevant actors to deliver an extensive range of training for operators of the regions judicial systems. The second round of this online course, titled International Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Protection of Journalists will be take place from 4th April to 15th May 2016.

The course is co-organised by UNESCO and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and coordinated by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. It also has the support of the Ibero American Judicial Summit, Latin American Network of Judicial Schools, the Foundation for Freedom of the Press, the American Association of Internet, the Government of Sweden and a number of respected judicial schools and institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The course is developed through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, MOOC methodology and adapted by UNESCO and the Office of the Rapporteur. The course is addressed to operators of justice systems in Latin America, particularly judges.

The activity is organised in 6 weekly thematic modules to address subjects such as: the International Framework for Freedom of Expression; the role of the judiciary system in the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against individuals in retaliation for exercising their right to that freedom; the difficulties posed by the use of criminal law for their exercise; new challenges on Internet; the right of access to information; and finally diversity and pluralism in the media.

The first version of the regional course offered in the last quarter of 2015, gave nearly 1,300 judicial officials from 17 countries in the region the opportunity to discuss these issues. For 88.25% of the participants the course was excellent; 99.38% said the content offered by the course should be incorporated permanently in programs for judges and other judicial officers offered at the national level. For Lidia Brito, Director of the Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean of UNESCO, "this initiative goes beyond the idea of training. What we are seeking is to join efforts with the administrations of justice systems in Latin America and Caribbean. We want to encourage a broad regional debate on the protection and promotion of freedom of expression in the context of the judicial branch. It is a debate about which we all have much to learn from and much to teach. "

Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, adds that "the Office of the Rapporteur underlines in a special way the importance of judicial officers in the protection and promotion of freedom of expression. In this sense, we consider that all, judges, prosecutors, lawyers are key allies in defending and protecting this right for the consolidation of our democracies. The experience of the past year particularly strengthens this assessment and therefore the decision to continue offering this opportunity for dialogue and training to judicial officials in Latin America. "

Professor Rosental Calmon Alves, who conceived of MOOCs offered by the University of Texas, states: "the Knight Center has specialised in providing online training for journalists. However, the protection of freedom of expression is a complex activity that demands have all the pieces of the puzzle and so, for us, is a pleasure to add, once again, to this initiative for the training of judicial operators. "


Registration will be open from 15th February to 25th March 2016.

 

 




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