Lian Buan

Lian Buan

Senior Journalist

Report human rights better so it’s not corrupted by autocrats and their trolls

“Justice and human rights are the most underrated and underreported aspects of society, even though access to it is a crucial part. I want to contribute to the improvement of reporting on justice in my country mainly because I believe that a law that is hard to understand is a law that is easy to weaponize. I also want for media to reduce, or eradicate, the harm that comes with reporting on offences and offenders; and lastly to increase consciousness and appreciation for the justice system so that it gets more attention both in current governance and national memory.

Human rights in the Philippines was demonized by former president Rodrigo Duterte that it’s become hard to communicate any aspect of it without being branded as highly partisan at best, or a terrorist at worst. Human rights is also trolled with the aim of obscuring facts in order to confuse people further. There is a better way to communicate human rights so that autocrats and their trolls cannot corrupt it – and that includes being more honest about its limitations and disadvantages, not only to make the public trust in the processes but more importantly, to not add to the harm and pain suffered by victims.”

Lian Buan is a senior journalist for Philippines’ award-winning newsroom Rappler. She covers human rights, justice, corruption and impunity. She has been covering the Philippine situation at the International Criminal Court since the preliminary examination opened in 2018.

Twitter: @lianbuan