Asian Catholic Media professionals focus on modern day slavery

Signis Asia Assembly 2012 core group meeting

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Asian Catholic media professionals meeting in Petaling Jaya (Malaysia) 1- 5 October will study the plight of migrant workers, refugees, victims of human trafficking and children in the Asian context.

The study theme is: Engaging the Creativity of the New Generation, with the sub-theme “Visibility for the Vulnerable.”

Some 70 delegates are expected to participate from 19 member countries of SIGNIS Asia including reps from SIGNIS World office in Brussels. The 11-member Indian delegation (representing 13 regions) also includes a member of the Daughters of St Paul from northeast India.

“These modern day slaves face several critical problems and obstacles that severely restrict their capacity to be fully socially integrated persons,” said SIGNIS Asia president Mr. Lawrence John from Malaysia.

Explaining the urgency of the topic he said, “In most cases, their struggles require interventions by governments, civil society organizations and media.”

Stressing the need for providing visibility for their plight, film maker and SIGNIS India president Mr Sunil Lucas reiterated, “Visibility includes highlighting – to the general public and to specific authorities – their struggles and challenges, enabling their voice to be heard where it matters, conducting inclusive programs in which their involvement and participation is valued, and initiating and maintaining structures for their integral development.”

Malaysia is a hub for human trafficking, migrant workers and refugees of Asian countries. It is also the place to get a close look at what the secular media, NGOs, and Institutions are doing to make a difference.

“Our idea is to expose this situation to media practitioners, so that they can make a difference in their programming priority,” said SIGNIS Asia Secretary Miss Delia Hernandez from the Philippines.

The CEO of Racing Times and SIGNIS Malaysia President Mr Joe Fernando promised an exclusive screening of award-winning Indonesian feature film “Soegija” as one of the Assembly’s highlights.  The film, released three months ago, is directed by senior Indonesian director Garin Nugroho and tells the extraordinary story of Monsignor Soegijapranata, one of the architects of the United States of Indonesia in the 1940s.

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Filed under SAA 2012, SIGNIS, SIGNIS Asia, Signis Malaysia

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