Safety of Journalists > Blog > Investing in Safety of Journalists

Investing in Safety of Journalists

02 August 2013

The pursuit of safety in journalism is a multi-faceted undertaking, with continuous efforts and new initiatives to strengthen the protection of journalists. This work requires, among other things, adequate resources to meet the formidable challenges in the current media crisis which is affecting journalists the world over.

The International Federation of Journalists has always campaigned for the safety of journalists .The launch of a dedicated safety website is part of the IFJ new strategy on human rights and safety. As our President Jim Boumelha noted, “The launch of the IFJ’s safety website marks a new chapter in our history, making it a vital tool for journalists and their unions to manage risk, raise awareness, provide safety training and advice, create a culture of safety and join the campaign to end impunity. “

It also starts the implementation of the Resolution adopted by our recent world Congress in Dublin which called on the IFJ leadership to properly fund the work on the safety and protection of journalists. However, the magnitude of the challenge is not lost on IFJ’s leadership and members who are acutely mindful of the need for global action to bring down the levels of violence against journalists and turn the tide of rampant impunity for such crimes.

A series of recent initiatives by the international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies UNESCO and Human Rights Council have added to the momentum in favour of media protection. A Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity was launched in 2012. In the same year, the Human Rights Council adopted a Resolution requesting a report on good practices in the protection of journalists, the prevention of attacks on media and the fight against impunity. This report will be presented at the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council next month in Geneva. The IFJ contributed to both the UN Action Plan and the report on good practices. Last month, the UN Security Council held a session on the safety of journalists.

These events also represent a form of investment in resolving the safety crisis in media which is still being played out in Egypt, Syria and many others parts of the world. We welcome these measures which contribute to the protection of journalists. But the primary responsibility for keeping the issue of media high on the international policy agenda remains firmly with journalists and their organisations.

The IFJ is ready to continue mobilising its unions for this purpose. Above all, through this new website, we are committed to providing journalists with information, skills and training on safety they need to understand, assess and manage the risks to their physical security.
Beth Costa
IFJ General Secretary