Good Practices on Safety of Journalists

Sharing of good practices in promoting safety of journalists is one of the effective approaches to achieve expected results identified in the Implementation Strategy of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.  

At the national level, UNESCO advises Member States on the implementation of existing international standards at national level and on the development of journalist safety mechanisms. Member States are also supported in regard to the sharing of good practices and capacity-building among various actors, including the criminal justice chain, to promote a safe environment for journalists at national level. Fostering such collaboration especially within the South-South framework is highlighted in the UNESCO Work Plan on the Safety and the Issue of Impunity which was approved by the 191st Executive Board in April 2013.

Globally, UNESCO encourages organizations to integrate good practices into their respective policies. This could be done through building partnership among stakeholders in media development programmes, workshops, and awareness-raising campaigns to adopt good practices in issues such as:

  • Newsroom safety protocols
  • Training - Journalism training, security training, first aid training, training of trainers (training journalists to be trainers and deliver training in their own language)
  • Safety and security manuals
  • Security and confidentiality
  • Hotlines
  • Safe houses
  • Support groups
  • Financial support
  • Practical assistance and protection
  • Technical assistance
  • Secure communications
  • Safety committees
  • Legal assistance
  • Equipment
  • Monitoring

The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/RES/21/12, prepared in consultation with States and other relevant stakeholders, a compilation of good practices on the safety of journalists, the prevention of attacks and the fight against impunity which was presented in a report to the Human Rights Council at its 24th session.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published the Reporting on Corruption: A Resource Toolk for Government and Journalists. The Tool complements multiple anti-corruption efforts by the United Nations, other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sector worldwide in the area of reporting on corruption. It is designed to examine and highlight good practices – both in the journalism profession and in legislation promoting broader freedoms of opinion and expression – that can support United Nations Member States in their anti-corruption efforts.

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) through the support from the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) has produced a compilation aimed at highlighting some of the good practices on safety of journalists titled “Threats to Media Workers and Measures to Protect Them”.