Building peace in the minds of men and women

Promoting freedom of expression and security in the field of the new media in Morocco

With the support of Sweden, UNESCO’s Rabat office organized, from 20 to 22 January 2014, a workshop for Moroccan NGOs, journalists, lawyers and bloggers to ensure their security online and strengthen their capacities in freedom of expression monitoring and advocacy on the web.

Expressing a view in a free and a safe way has always been a sensitive exercise. The advent of the Internet allowed creating significant improvements and opportunities for freedom of expression advocacy but it also developed new threats for Internet users.

 UNESCO has been mandated by the United Nations to ensure the safety of journalists and information professionals. In this wake, the Rabat Office brought together, for three days, professionals from different backgrounds to shed light on ways to protect their web surfing, email exchanges and downloads to prevent possible installation of malicious software, third party interference in users’ connection and identity theft.

This new type of workshop also helped create a real network. A part of the workshop’s programme was dedicated to new forms of online monitoring and advocacy of freedom of expression. Through the use of a collaborative online platform, Moroccan Press Freedom Observatory (Observatoire de la liberté de la presse au Maroc), participants have learned how to identify cases of violence against journalists, to categorize and to report them in order to advance freedom of expression. Moreover, they developed e-advocacy tools, particularly through the use of the social networks. A Facebook group, which has been created during the workshop, received about thirty posts: sharing articles, library resources and comments.