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.
WPFD 2014 Focuses on the Role of Media in Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda
An International Conference in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 5 to 6 May 2014. This year’s theme was “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. Central to the discussion was the role of free media in underpinning good governance and effective institutions, the safety of journalists as a prerequisite element of the rule of law, and the issue of reporting and monitoring the progress of the sustainable development goals. Read more.
IPDC approves 13 safety-related projects
The International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC) 58th Bureau Meeting took place 20-21 March 2014 at UNESCO. The Bureau approved 80 projects, including 13 related to journalists’ safety and the UN Plan of Action coming from Liberia, Nigeria, Bamako, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Sudan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia and the regions of Central Asia and Central America. The IPDC, the only forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss media development, provides small grants to media projects in developing countries. Read more.
SaferJourno Toolkit: Digital Security Resources for Media Trainers
Internews has developed a toolkit named SaferJourno: Digital Security Resources for Media Trainers. SaferJourno is a free and open-source curriculum guide for media trainers who teach students, professionals and peers digital safety and online security. The curriculum for the toolkit, for which Internews consulted journalism and cyber safety experts, aims to help journalists, and the trainers and educators who work with them, integrate the fundamentals of digital safety into their craft and daily practice of journalism. The toolkit can be consulted here.
UNODC launches Global Study on Homicide 2013
On 10 April, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched simultaneously in London and Vienna its Global Study on Homicide 2013. Under the section “Shooting the messengers: the killing of journalists and humanitarian aid workers”, UNODC recognizes the specific dangers journalists face while exercising their profession. Describing findings of UNESCO and civil society on the killing of media workers, UNODC concludes that “the killing of journalists has consequences beyond the loss of individual lives”. Read more.
24-hour Media Hotline Opens for Journalists in Peshawar, Pakistan
The police in Peshawar, Pakistan, have created a media hotline at the Central Police Office where journalists can file a complaint in case they have received threats of any kind. Journalists who want to lodge a complaint can reach the newly established free media hotline 24 hours per day. The aim of the media hotline is that, once a complaint has been received, the hotline’s operator registers it and directs the appropriate officials to take action instantaneously. Read more.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Announces Creation of a Media Commission
After a meeting with a delegation of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), headed by Kati Marton, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that a Media Commission will be created to guarantee the safety of Pakistani journalists. This Media Commission, consisting of both media workers and government officials, will set out measures to protect journalists in the field as well as to give recommendations on effectively monitoring the prosecution of crimes against media workers. Read the full article or the summary of the government's commitments.
Council of Europe Organizes Round Table on Safety of Journalists
The Council of Europe will host a round table on safety of journalists on 19 May 2014 in Strasbourg. Encouraging dialogue between international institutions and media freedom organizations, the Council aims to find methods to better address human rights violations against media workers. One of the expected outcomes of the meeting, following a call by the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General, is the creation of a specific monitoring mechanism to prevent abuses of the European Convention on Human Rights’ articles on freedom of expression and assembly. Read more.
Human Rights Council Will Debate Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity
From 10 to 27 June 2014, the 26th regular session of the Human Rights Council will take place in Geneva, Switzerland. The safety of journalists and the issue of impunity will be part of the debates. Read more.