Newsletter - Issue 3 (July/August 2013)

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 development from the first-phase countries (Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, and South Sudan), 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.


Nepal launches safety initiative

UNESCO launched a new two-year project aimed at increasing the safety of journalists and ending impunity in the crimes against media and media professionals in Kathmandu. The new initiative is aimed at improving the security situation of media professionals by a multi-level approach based on the comprehensive framework of the “UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity”.
Funded with a budget of USD 566,500 by the United Nations Peace Fund for Nepal (UNPFN), the project aims to contribute to the establishment of sustainable peace and the rule of law by helping protect the freedom of expression. Read more.


Journalists from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela trained to report on drug trafficking and organized crime

Recent support provided through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) has enabled 17 journalists from Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to receive training on self-protection mechanisms and techniques of investigative journalism specific to covering drug trafficking and organized crime. The workshop covered topics such as the handling of confidential sources and information, in order to reveal the facts without putting others’ safety at risk. As a result of the workshop, six investigative reports relating to drug trafficking and organized crime were produced by the participants, some of which were published by major Colombian media outlets. Read more.

Tunisia: Enhancing cooperation between security forces and journalists

UNESCO and the Tunisian Ministry of Interior announce a new series of training sessions in the region aimed at sensitising security force officers on the issues of human rights, freedom of expression and safety of journalists.Four six-day training sessions will take place in the cities of Gafsa, Sbeïtla, Bizerte and Sidi Bouzid during June and July 2013.
Two days will be dedicated to joint sessions for members of security forces and journalists working in these governorates. In total, 90 officers from the police, the National Guard and the Emergency Preparedness, as well as about 30 journalists will attend the training. Read more.

Recommendations of the Warsaw International Conference on Safety of Journalists

The International Conference on the Safety of Journalists which took place from 23-24 April 2013 in Warsaw, Poland has issued its recommendations on safety of journalists.The conference was co-hosted by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Austrian and Swiss embassies and the Polish Institute of International Affairs. Participants included the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary of State Henryka Mościcka-Dendys; Polish Minister of Administration and Digitalization Michał Boni; OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Ms Dunja Mijatovic; UNESCO Chief of Section for Freedom of Expression, Ms Sylvie Coudray; President of Reporters without Borders Switzerland, Ms Thérèse Obrecht Hodler; Mr. Oliver Vujovic, Secretary General of South East Europe Media Organization SEEMO; and Ms Irena Lipowicz, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Poland.


DCMF concludes training workshops in Pakistan

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) has recently concluded a series of workshops organised in conjunction with the Rural Media Network Pakistan aimed at improving safety and security conditions for journalists living in rural areas of the country. The organisations united to organise a total of 12 workshops over the past year and a half, bringing together and assisting nearly 100 journalists who work in some of the most dangerous conditions in the world. In June, the final installment in the series took place, heralding the conclusion of a successful partnership and a step towards providing more media workers with protection and helping to defend media freedom in Pakistan. Read more.


IMS Annual Report Focuses on Safety of Journalists

2012 was one of the deadliest years for journalists and media workers on record. Ensuring their safety and fighting impunity therefore remains more important than ever. In recognition of the dangers that media workers face around the world, the International Media Support (IMS) Annual Report 2012 not only provides an overview of IMS’ impact in media development across the world. Read the report.
In the same year, Open Society Foundation (OSF) and IMS began discussions with UNESCO to see how our respective organisations could streamline and coordinate some of the efforts we are supporting in countries where the UN Plan of Action for Safety and Protection of Journalists is set to roll out. These efforts, building on over a decade of cooperation between OSF and IMS, involve ensuring wider civil society and media engagement in the UN Action Plan. The main focus of these efforts will be to support national safety and protection efforts and to drive forward stakeholder meetings on these issues between national, regional and international NGOs. A second aim will be to support cross-cutting activities and sharing of best practices between countries, particularly those in Latin American and in countries where the UN Action Plan is underway.



Open thematic debate on the Protection of Journalists in Armed Conflict

On 17 July 2013, the United States, which has the rotating Security Council Presidency will have an open thematic debate on the Protection of Journalists in Armed Conflict. The UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon will brief the Council. There will be four speakers; three practicing journalists from Iraq, Somalia and the United States as well as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) from the NGO community.The live webcast of the debate is available here.

8th Global Investigative Journalism Conference

The 8th Global Investigative Journalism Conference will take place from 12-13 October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 1000 journalists, media owners and researchers will be present to discuss a wide array of issues faced by investigative journalists. UNESCO will organize several sessions within the event which focuses on safety of investigative journalists. Visit the conference site.