01.02.2015 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

UNESCO calls for proposals to analyse journalist safety in Iraq

©UNESCO Iraq Office

As Iraq remains one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, UNESCO is launching a call for proposals to carry out a comprehensive analysis of safety situation of Iraqi journalists on the basis of the UNESCO Journalists’ Safety Indicators (JSI). The assessment aims at establishing an evidence-based baseline about the state of journalists’ safety and the impunity of crimes against journalists in Iraq.

UNESCO is inviting qualified institutions or experts to submit a written proposal on how to undertake the research work by 28 February 2015.  The detailed call for proposal is available here.

Iraq has, for so long, been one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. Recent incidents pertaining to the killing of journalists has only re-affirmed this notion. In 2013, Iraq was selected as one of five countries for implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The UN Plan of Action aims to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers in conflict and conflict free areas, with a view to strengthen peace, democracy and development worldwide.

The assessment of journalistic safety will largely be based on the Journalists’ Safety Indicators, a set of indicators mapping out key features that can help assess the extent to which journalists are or are not able to carry out their work under safe conditions, and determine whether adequate resources and follow-up are given to crimes committed against them.  The JSIs serve to identify the actions that are taken by the various relevant stakeholders in promoting journalists’ safety and fighting impunity at national level. These actors include the UN, State and political actors, civil society organizations and academics, and media and intermediaries.

The JSIs also serve as guidelines to which changes can be systematically registered over time. They will be used to help Iraq develop a national roadmap on media safety and combating impunity as well as guide interventions by stakeholders through identifying areas of priority. 

As the only UN agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression, UNESCO strongly supports the Iraqi government and the Iraqi media sector in building an enabling environment to create the conditions where sustainable local initiatives can flourish in defence of freedom of expression and press freedom.

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