What: International Observatory of Human Rights Anniversary and Launch of IOHRTV – the First Human Rights TV channel.
When: 15th January 2019
Where: The Frontline Club, London
On Tuesday 15 January, in a week dominated by Brexit discord in the UK, the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) invited VIP guests, partners, press and IOHR Ambassadors to celebrate its one year anniversary in London by launching the world’s first dedicated human rights multi-channel TV platform.
The evening was hosted by Yalda Hakim, award-winning BBC presenter of the flagship BBC news programme ‘Impact with Yalda Hakim’. IOHRTV’s chief presenter Trish Lynch and IOHR Director Valerie Peay were interviewed in on stage by Yalda and shared the journey of the NGO from its inception to the launch of its web based IOHRTV channel on the Netgem TV platform.
Commenting on why IOHR was launching IOHR TV in this multi platform approach, Peay said:
“ We want to bring human rights programming to a new audience who want to engage with the issues impacting human rights on a global stage.” Peay described the aim of IOHRTV;
“ We aim to put human rights into the front line of mainstream media,”so it was appropriate that the launch was announced at the Frontline Club, known as the home of journalists in London.
In its first year, IOHR has focused on human rights Issues Including press freedom, counter extremism, the refugee crisis, and the impact of Brexit on human rights. Some of the content also includes interviews with people such as UNICEF Ambassador and TV star Charley Boorman, who attended the launch in London to show his support. Other guests have included the families of dual-nationals imprisoned in Iran, SKY TV presenter, Ashish Joshi reporting on his visit to the Rohingya camps and the genocide that took place in Myanmar, and Tima Kurdi, the aunt of Alan Kurdi, “the boy on the beach” who drowned with his mother and brother in the Mediterranan while fleeing the horror of war in Syria.
The content delivered on the IOHRTV platform is produced by a team of human rights professionals, researchers and award-winning journalists of diverse backgrounds including Trish Lynch, a former CNN and Sky News presenter who anchors the NGO’s shows and televised conferences.
Lynch reflected on how the interviews she does now for IOHRTV touch her in a different way and highlighted the personal impact of meeting such brave people when covering sensitive and deeply moving human rights issues. IOHRTV guest, Theresa Tinggal who was the victim of illegal adoption in Ireland spoke from the audience to share a few words on her story.
New format shows include NGO Focus, a talk show dedicated to showcasing the work of non-governmental organisations and those who dedicate their lives to championing civil society worldwide. Episodes feature interviews in the UK with organisations such as Save the Children, Care International and Refuge dedicated to helping women facing abuse. NGO Focus Is also produced internationally with shows already filmed in Copenhagen with the Danish Refugee Council and Dignity, working with the first torture rehabilitation centre in the world.
Peay said “we’re proud to be the first organisation taking this approach in the UK – TV is a great platform to share the many incredible stories we encounter, and we aim to use that platform to make long-lasting and meaningful change.”
IOHRTV is now available via Netgem.tv enjoyed by thousands of people subscribed to their service worldwide. In December 2018 IOHR announced its partnership with Netgem.TV which has a subscription platform of viewers in twenty countries on four continents across Europe, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East.
The IOHR young Ambassadors also participated in the event and were able to interview some of the guests while enjoying an evening of entertainment as Oud player Zayn Mohammad performed to the attendees at the closing of the event.