A draft document has been released by the International Convention On The Safety And Independence of Journalists And Other Media Professionals.
The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the safety of journalists and other media professionals in times of peace and during armed conflict, and to safeguard their ability to exercise their profession freely and independently in an enabling environment, without facing harassment, intimidation or attacks against their physical integrity.
Download and read the document here:
The document was part of the discussions on Saturday 28th September 2019 at a breakfast roundtable discussion on “The combating of harassment and abuse of journalists: Seeking new rules of engagement” at Media24, 69 Kingsway, Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
SANEF has organised a media and political party roundtable to share their perspectives on this crucial matter.
Sanef has also invited Rana Ayyub Shaikh, internationally acclaimed Indian journalist and writer, as our keynote speaker. Commissioner Lawrence Mute, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression in Africa will also be in attendance.
Download other documents presented include Presentation by Media legal expert Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti
Download the Sanef Proposed MOU on The Treatment Of Journalists
In the document, the Convention has lamented the impact of attacks against media professionals on everyone’s right to receive information saying it was deeply concerned that such attacks, especially when perpetrated with impunity, have a chilling effect on all media professionals and the right of all persons to enjoy their right to freedom of opinion and expression.
“Bearing in mind that ensuring accountability for all forms of violence against journalists and media professionals is a key element in preventing future attacks, the States Parties undertake to adopt all practicable measures to prevent threats, violence and attacks on the life and physical integrity of journalists and other media professionals. These shall include the adoption of criminal legislation and the training of law-enforcement personnel on the safety of journalists,” the document says.
The Convention has also undertaken to incorporate in their laws and practices specific measures with a view to combating gender-based violence against women journalists and media professionals.
“The States Parties shall adopt measures to protect journalists and other media professionals facing an imminent threat through the establishment of an information-gathering mechanism permitting the collection and swift dissemination of information about threats and attacks against journalists amongst law-enforcement agencies.”
“States undertake to establish an effectively funded early warning and rapid response mechanism in consultation with media organizations, with responsibility for providing journalists and media professionals, when threatened, immediate access to the relevant State authorities and protective measures.”