NEWSLETTER: UN PLAN OF ACTION ON THE SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS AND THE ISSUE OF IMPUNITY

Issue 5 | November/December 2013

5th Newsletter on the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

Greetings Colleagues,

As part of the information sharing mechanism under the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, we are issuing this newsletter once every two months. Through this newsletter, we share with you information on the implementation of the UN Plan of Action. It includes developments from various ongoing and upcoming initiatives that could contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the UN Plan of Action. We invite you to submit relevant information concerning your initiative that would contribute to the UN Plan)

IFEX Launches International Day to End Impunity Campaign

Credit: IFEX

IFEX launched the third annual International Day to End Impunity campaign. The campaign's hub is daytoendimpunity.org. Something new will be featured there every day between 1 and 23 November. IFEX created multimedia resources to help people understand the problem and find ways to add their voices to a global network of activists working together. This includes the "5 Things You Need to Know About UN Plan" interactive media. Through infographics, videos, online interactive experiences, articles, country profiles and interviews, IFEX hopes to engage more people than ever in this campaign that strikes at the very roots of the injustice and insecurity that silence expression. Read more.

IFJ launches End Impunity Campaign

Credit: International Federation of Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) launched a new high profile campaign to end impunity for violence against journalists. This new rolling campaign will urge the authorities of the countries with the highest death tolls of journalists to investigate these killings and bring their perpetrators to justice. The campaign will focus initially on Iraq, Pakistan and Russia. Over the next few months, they will be calling on the governments in these three countries to investigate cases of impunity by sending letters, using social media, issuing statements, holding protests and events to highlight specific cases. Read more

Al Jazeera Supports the UN Plan of Action

From left: Lauren Taylor, Al Anstey, Jim Boumelha, Abdelfattah Faid, Sami Elhaj at Al Jazeera's Seminar "Protecting the Messenger"

Al Jazeera Media Network organized the seminar “Protecting the messenger: the challenges of media coverage in conflict zones” on 12 November in London. The meeting brought together journalists, senior producers, regional, and international media organizations. Al Anstey, the Managing Director of the Al Jazeera Media Network opened the event and emphasized the commitment of the organization in ensuring the safety of their staff who often operate in hostile environment. The news network and the participants expressed strong support for the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity and to be part of the global media partnership with UNESCO on these issues.

Safety of Journalists Issues Stirs Strong Interest at IGF

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) took place on 22-25 October in Bali Indonesia. The overarching theme of the forum was "Building Bridges"- Enhancing Multistakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development. Safety of journalists were discussed at a fully-packed special session. The issue of safety of journalists including online safety clearly struck a cord with many of the participants in the forum. The session was organized by UNESCO with the participation of Article 19, CELE (Argentina), the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), The Jakarta Post Digital, and the Press Council for Indonesia.

Brazil Supports the Safety of Journalists

Symposium on the protection of journalists in Rio de Janeiro. Credit: UNIC Rio

The Brazilian Minister of Human Rights, Maria do Rosário, expressed her strong support for the UN Plan of Action during the Global Investigative Journalism Conference which took place in Rio de Janeiro from 12-15 October. She also recommended that Brazil should adopt the UN Plan of Action in the upcoming World Forum on Human Rights to be held in Brasilia December. The Minister who also supported the demilitarization of the police said that preventing the threats facing journalists is the responsibility of the State in a colloquium which took place during the conference. Read more

 

Pakistan Government Supports the UN in Safety of Journalists

Participants at the inaugural meeting of Steering Committee of Coalition on Media Safety in Islamabad. Credit: UNESCO

Pakistan’s federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rasheed told the inaugural meeting of Steering Committee of Coalition on Media Safety that “the PML-N Government supports the efforts of United Nations and its partners in Pakistan to combat impunity against journalists to keep them safe, particularly the implementation of the UN Action Plan on Impunity against Journalists.” Key media stakeholders, including journalists, media houses, civil society, parliamentarians and national and international media support organizations, attended the Steering Committee meeting. Read more

Honduras: 3rd Roundtable on Safety of Journalists

Credit: C-Libre

A third roundtable discussion on journalism safety has been held in Honduras, as a result of support by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The meeting on 28 September in Catacamas, department of Olancho, gathered 20 local journalists to discuss the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, the freedom of expression situation in the area, alert systems and security protocols. Read more.

Nepal: Orientation Workshop in Kathmandu

As part of its campaign to help improve the safety situation of journalists in Nepal, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu organized an orientation workshop for journalists on the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in Kathmandu on 9 September 2013. Among the presenters was Laxman Datt Pant, coordinator of the project ‘Increasing the Safety of Journalists’ funded by UN Peacebuilding Fund who said during the workshop that the project envisages creating a national mechanism with the involvement of National Human Rights Commission and other state bodies like judiciary and security agencies as part of the UN Plan of Action. Read more.

Coming Soon:

DCMF to host workshops for Syrian journalists

Credit: Doha Centre for Media Freedom

Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) is organising six training workshops for Syrian journalists, which will be held in Turkey and Jordan over the coming two months. From 17-23 November 2013, the centre is hosting two workshops in Istanbul; the first on international standards of quality and the second on online journalism.  A third workshop to be held in Gaziantep will focus on safety, as part of DCMF’s Ali Hassan Al-Jaber Safety Training for Journalists programme launched earlier this year. Read more.

Journalists Safety Indicators Rollouts

UNESCO Journalists Safety Indicators

The newly developed UNESCO Journalists' Safety Indicators (JSI) which is an extension of the current Media Development Indicators will soon be carried out in Pakistan, Honduras, and Guatemala. The JSI will provide crucial baseline data on the level of safety of journalists and of impunity which is often not available to media organizations, policy makers, researchers, and donors. This kind of baseline data will enable the assessment of the progress or regress of safety of journalists and impunity and help guide future policy making. The JSI is available at the international and national level as well as in multiple languages. An accompanying guidebook is also available.

UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2013

UNODC is in the process of publishing the Global Study on Homicide 2013. The study brings together global, regional, national and sub-national homicide data in one publication. The data and analysis of the most violent crime against the person is hoped to assist global efforts to design evidence-based policies to prevent and reduce crimes. The new edition will include a special section on killing of journalists. You may read the previous study here.

AMARC Hosts 3rd Asia Pacific Regional Conference

The 3rd AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Conference and Assembly will be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 2-5 December 2013. The Korean Association of Community Radio (KACR) will host the conference where community broadcasters and advocates from over 30 countries of Asia-Pacific region will gather to take stock of the sector and to chart the way forward. Increasing the safety of community media workers will be one of the topics to be discussed in the conference. Read more.

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