OrganizersILO, IOM, RCO, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO
Sustainable Development Goals
The Role of Media in Countering Misinformation and Promoting Social Cohesion
“Role of Media in Countering Misinformation to Promote Social Cohesion”
Webinar of specialized media professionals
About the event
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen demonstrations of overwhelming solidarity between nations and communities working together to address the impact and challenges it poses. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also given rise to a new wave of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the scale of the pandemic and the origin, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. False information, including intentional disinformation, has been spread through social media, text messaging, mass media and even state media. In some countries, journalists have been arrested for allegedly spreading fake news about the pandemic. The World Health Organization has declared an “infodemic” of incorrect information about the virus, which poses risk to global health.
Misinformation is often the root cause of hate speech and discrimination ‘Hate speech increased during the hights of the COVID-19 Pandemic. ‘COVID-19 related hate speech’ encompasses a broad range of disparaging expressions against certain individuals and groups that has emerged or been exacerbated as a result of the new coronavirus disease outbreak – from scapegoating, stereotyping, stigmatization and the use of derogatory, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic language.
The Secretary General of the Unite Nations highlighted the key role of free, independent and responsible media to promote transparency and trust, which is essential to achieving adequate support and public compliance with collective efforts. The current crisis has highlighted the urgent need for access to reliable, trustworthy, realistic, multilingual, targeted, accurate, clear and science-based information, as well as to ensure dialogue and participation of all stakeholders and affected communities.
- The initiative
For this reason, the United Nations in Kuwait, and the United Nations Network for Migration including the UN Human Rights Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and The International Organisation For Migration are organizing a webinar for Kuwaiti media professionals in Countering Misinformation to Promote Social Cohesion through highlighting the importance of the Role of Media in times of humanitarian crisis; accurate reporting; guidance on international conventions and recommendations.
Through this workshop, the media personnel will:
- Be better informed about the importance and their role in promoting social cohesion by countering misinformation
- Acquire substantive knowledge about international human rights law and its related human rights mechanisms; and their implications in everyday reporting
- Acquire knowledge about devastating and long-lasting effects of discrimination and marginalization on children of migrant workers and their overall mental health and well-being
- Be better informed about the United Nations good practises and policies in combating misinformation;
- Identify key considerations while writing media pieces about vulnerable populations, humanitarian and persons of concern.
- Identify key considerations and use adequate terminology while writing media pieces about migration issues including foreign labour, human trafficking, and its human rights implications.
On a second day, media professionals will be given a space to discuss and reflect on the way forward in terms of combating misinformation in line with international standards and practices and their own internal policies and reporting requirements.
- Media professionals will be able to acquire substantive knowledge about Refugee Law and international standards applicable to different categories of migrants;
- Media professionals will be introduced to the tools and data portals to use to get accurate and updated information from UNHCR, UNESCO, IOM, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and other UN agencies belonging to the UN Network for Migration in Kuwait;
- Media professionals will be briefed on appropriate UN different terminologies to be used for media pieces; on Refugees, Displacement, Migration and Vulnerable populations.
- Organizers and Participants
This media professionals virtual workshop will be organized by UN Resident Coordinator Office in Kuwait in collaboration with OHCHR Middle East and North Africa Regional Office (ROMENA), UNICEF Gulf Area Office in Kuwait and UNESCO office in Doha, the Network on Migration represented by IOM, the ILO Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Kuwait (UNHCR). It will be attended by media representatives from all main Kuwaiti print, radio and TV media outlets. Members of UNCG Kuwait are welcome to attend as well.
10:00-10:25 - Opening remarks [AA1] by Dr. Tarek Elsheikh, Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Resident Coordinator to Kuwait, 5 min
- HE. Mr. Faisal AlMutlaqem, Undersecretary for Foreign Media, The Minister of Information, 5 min
- Welcome address by Dr. Samer Haddadin, Head of UNHCR Office to Kuwait, 5 min
- Introduction by Asmae Aitssi – Coordination Officer; programme Advocacy and Communication in the RCO
10:25-10:45 Between Misinformation and Freedom of Expression, Ms. Roula Mikhael, Director, ARTICLE19 Tunisia and MENA (OHCHR – Maharat Foundation)
10:45 -11:00 Share experiences on countering misinformation from the field about efforts in this area, namely Kuwait (during the Covid-19 Pandemic) and Lebanon (Lyn Eid, ROMENA Human Rights Officer to talk about the Lebanese Parliament’s Human Rights Committee Declaration against incitement to hatred).
11:00 -11:15 Risks associated with spreading incorrect and false information about the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Dalia Samhouri, Lead of the Health Emergency Preparedness and International Health Regulations at the Cairo-based WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO).
11:15 – 11:30 Q&A
11:30 – 11-45 Break
11:45-12:00 Long lasting effects of discrimination and marginalization on children of migrant workers (psychological, school performance, relationships with others, Lina ElKurd Communication Specialist, UNICEF Gulf Area Office + suggested video in relation to subject matter)
12:00-12:40 UNESCO expert on Media and Information Literacy: how to counter the infodemic in time of Covid-19 (Ms. Anoud Zoubi, MIL expert).
12:40 – 13:10 Participants’ feedback, Q&As.
13:10 – 13:30 Closing Remarks of Day one
10:00 – 10:05 Quick recap and reminder of ground rules
10:05 – 10:25 Role of Media in times of humanitarian crisis (Lisa Abou Khaled, Public Information Officer, UNHCR Lebanon
10:25 – 10:40 Importance of Kuwait’s Humanitarian contributions (Loulwah Al-Tarkeet, UNHCR Kuwait)
An Overview on the role of Kuwait in support of humanitarian crisis, contributions, donor conferences, and as a catalyst of peace.
10:40 – 11:00 Overview of UNHCR’s mandate and its areas of work, UNHCR International Protection and its Persons of Concern (Amna Al-Ahmar, Protection Officer, UNHCR Kuwait)
11:00 – 11:15 Sourcing updated facts and figures: UNHCR data portals and media page and migration data portals and media page, Loulwah Al-Tarkeet, UNHCR Kuwait(
11:15 – 11:30 Q&A
11:30 – 11:50 Break
11:50 – 12:10 Introduction to the UN Human Rights Strategy on Hate Speech and misinformation (Jessy Chahine; Public Information Officer, UN Human Rights)
12:10 – 12:30 Reporting on Migration and Displacement: definitions, key concepts and terminologies (Migration Network: Zeina Mezher, ILO to lead)
12:30 – 12:50 Writing Media Pieces with consideration to vulnerable populations (Ola Anan, Public Information Associate, UNHCR UAE) Interviewing asylum seekers and refugees, following the protection guidelines
12:50 – 13:20 Writing Media Pieces with consideration to migration issues (Migration Network: Ghazi Mabrouk, Communication Officer, IOM to lead)
13:20 – 13:30 Participants’ feedback, Q&As.
Closing session (Remarks by RC)