In 2019, a year marked by divisive politics, attacks on journalists, xenophobia, digital surveillance and harassment, and other threats to freedom of information and democracy, WACC Global continued to make a positive difference, especially among vulnerable people and communities around the world.
With WACC’s support, 79 grassroots organizations in 29 countries helped tens of thousands of marginalized people and communities exercise their right to communicate. Thirty of these organizations were community radio stations, many of them Indigenous; 23 were women’s organizations.
In pursuit of its commitment to promote communication as a basic human right, essential to people’s dignity, WACC took part in 30 communication-rights related international events and consultations held in about 15 countries.
It also issued 11 statements and calls to action on issues such as digital rights, access to information, freedom of expression, gender equality in the news media, migrant representation in media, linguistic rights, and climate change.
“WACC addresses the challenges of the global communications landscape through evidence gathering, networking, capacity building and advocacy,” says the WACC report.
The 16-page report takes a close look at some WACC-supported projects, and their local impact. “In the conviction that sustainable development requires communication rights, WACC has listened to the needs of grassroots organizations and supported local initiatives, which use traditional and new media to address specific challenges,” says the report.
It also looks ahead at the organization’s plans for 2020.
“The challenge for all of us today is to exercise moral leadership by finding new ways of pursuing the values that WACC embraces as well as of forging understanding across the many divides of tradition, beliefs, memory, history and culture,” says WACC General Secretary Philip Lee in his message. “In particular, how can communication for all help achieve the sustainable development goals? How can communication rights help advance gender equality? How can communication rights help alleviate the climate crisis? How can digital ethics help create a fairer and more just world?”