UNESCO training material helps improve relations between journalists and Iraqi police

Baghdad, Iraq, 15 September 2015 – UNESCO’s manual “Freedom of Expression and Public Order” was the main reference of a series of workshops to improve the relations between police and journalists in Iraq. The training events that concluded today in Iraq’s Ministry of Interior in Baghdad were organized by the Burj Babel Organization with the logistical support from the International Media Support.

The UNESCO manual, on which the training was based, was developed as part of a programme for the training of security forces on human rights, freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in Tunisia.

It aims at equipping members of the security forces with the tools to maintain public order in compliance with human rights and freedom of expression, while also guaranteeing the security of journalists. It provides legal references and tools with the aim of promoting transparency, facilitating and improving relations between security forces and the media, and encouraging respect for the safety of journalists in the field.

The workshops “Maintaining order and freedom of expression” started in August 2015 in Baghdad.  They covered topics such as ‘Journalism, democracy, and freedom of expression‘, ’Protection of journalists‘, ’Journalistic tools to cover conflicts, riots, and demonstrations’, ‘Conflict Sensitive reporting‘, ’Enabling journalists to obtain the information they need from security forces” and ’Security measures implemented in dealing with the media‘. 

UNESCO works to enhance the security of journalists in Iraq within the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.  The Plan aims at creating 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. In 2013, Iraq was selected as one of five countries for the implementation of the plan.

The text book is available in English:

 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002313/231305e.pdf

and Arabic: 

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002279/227977a.pdf