Newsletter - Issue 4 (September/October 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 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.


Global Survey on Violence Against Female Journalists

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) has launched a global survey on violence against women journalists in collaboration with UNESCO as part of promotion of the safety of journalists and combating impunity. All news media workers, and particularly women journalists, are invited to participate in the survey, which will run until 20 September 2013.
The survey is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and was created together with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). It is aimed at looking into the global situation of female journalists and the nature of the dangers they face in connection with their work. Read more here.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UNSC Debates on Protection of Journalists

The UN Security Council held an Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict concerning the protection of journalists on 17 July 2013. It is the first time the Council has considered this issue in a separate meeting since the adoption of the landmark Resolution 1738 on the protection of civilians in December 2006. The United States, which holds the rotating Council Presidency in July, noted the alarming increase in world-wide violence against journalists since 2006 in its decision to hold the Open Debate. The UN Deputy Chief urged the Council to do more to protect journalists. Over 50 speakers took to the floor showing very strong support for the protection of journalists. Read the summary here and other related documents here.

IFJ in Solidarity Mission to Egypt amid Media Safety Crisis

The IFJ General Secretary, Ms Beth Costa, led a solidarity mission to Cairo in early July 2013 to support journalists covering the protests. The mission, organised in cooperation of the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) and the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate (EJS) also gathered first-hand information about safety challenges journalists, especially female reporters, faced.
Members of the IFJ delegation, General Secretary Beth Costa, Senior Vice President Younes M’Jahed and IFJ Gender Council Co-Chair Mounia Belafia, heard accounts of journalists who were forced into hiding, fearing for their safety after criticism in some political circles which led to their names and addressed being published in some media. The mission provided an opportunity for the IFJ to urge all parties in the crisis in Egypt to respect the safety and independence of all reporters. Read more.

Office of OHCHR publishes compilation on good practices

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression published a compilation of good practices in the protection of journalists, the prevention of attacks and the fight against impunity for attacks committed against journalists. The report contains an overview of the situation facing journalists, applicable law and initiatives taken by Member States, the UN agencies, and other organizations. It is available for download in the six official languages here.



Nepal: Orientation Workshop to Journalists on UN Plan

The UNESCO Kathmandu Office is organizing an Orientation Workshop to Journalists on UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists on the 9 September 2013 for around 50 print, television, radio and online journalists. There will be a presentation on the UN Plan of Action, the Journalist Safety Project of UN Peace Fund for Nepal/UNESCO, and the current safety situation of journalists in Nepal. For more information, please contact Mr Laxman Datt Pant.

Pakistan: Pilot Testing of Journalists' Safety Indicators

Pakistan will be the first country to pilot the new UNESCO Journalists' Safety Indicators (JSI) which are based on the current UNESCO's Media Development Indicators (MDI). This new component of the MDI has expanded the current indicators regarding safety of journalists and the issue of impunity to provide a much more detailed assessment of the situation on the safety of journalists and of impunity in the a country. The pilot version of the JSI in English is available here. Spanish and Portuguese versions will be available shortly.

Brazil: 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 co-organize a session with UNODC, OECD, and Transparency International during the event which focuses on safety of investigative journalists of crimes and corruption. Visit the conference site.