IFJ Projects in Europe

Current programmes include

  • Organising Turkey’s human rights based journalism fit for the digital age(European Commission)

• Building strong journalists unions in Eastern Europe (Union To Union)

• Protecting union members in the work place and demanding respect for union organising rights (FES)

• Safety of Journalists in Eastern Europe (NMFA / NJ)

• Improving the Capacity of Journalists Trade Unions in South Caucasus (European Commission)

• Campaign to Decriminalise Turkish Journalism, to promote free speech and protect work place rights (European Commission)

Organising Turkey’s human rights based journalism fit for the digital age (2018- 2021)


Lead : International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Co-applicants : European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS)

Location : Turkey

Duration : 36 months

The objective of the project is to promote and protect fundamental rights through enhancing the role of journalist in promoting democracy and good governance and the public’s right to access information.

The specific objectives are :

- to improve working conditions through raised public awareness of worker social and labour rights among journalists and media workers

- to provide solidarity to post coup journalists persecuted for their work and now prosecuted or unemployed by media closures

- to train journalists on human rights and professional journalism for the digital media to counter the post truth culture

The target groups are non-unionised journalists and media workers, prosecuted and sacked journalists under state of emergency, mid-career journalists needing to adapt to the new online work practices and digital start-up entrepreneurs.

Activities :

Work Package 1 : Social and labour rights campaign in 20 regions in Turkey

Work Package 2 : Solidarity Fund for journalists in need including legal and humanitarian support for families of targeted journalists

Work Package 3 Training of trainers for journalism academy trainers

Work Package 4 : TGS Academy training programme for journalists with necessary skills for a digital media landscape

Work Package 5 : Financial support for digital media start-ups through sub-granting programme 

This project receives the financial support of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Program managed by the European Commission. All responsibilities regarding the contents and the actions belong to the authors only and should not be considered as reflecting the views of the European Union.

Building Strong Journalists Unions in Eastern Europe

Location: SEE/CEE

Dates: 2014 - 2016


To build stronger, more effective journalists’ trade unions in the target countries of Eastern Europe


Each year the project conducts the following national and regional programmes: National programmes: each national union will have an in-country programme focused on TU development, recruitment and representation.

These programmes will include 

  • One TU leadership workshop
  • A programme of union recruitment / rights awareness seminars
  • Recruitment / rights awareness materials
  • Legal advice
  • Database on membership / rights / safety of journalists

Regional Programme: one regional meeting a year to review project progress and campaigns. Includes production of a gender tool-kit for Eastern Europe unions.


Journalists Unions in Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

Expected Results

In each of the nine target countries the following results will be expected 

  • Increased membership by 10 to 30%
  • Establishment of in house membership databases - legal cases on breaches of employment laws won strengthening respect for labour rights
  • Strengthened network of journalists unions across the East European region leading to exchange of best practice between unions organising in similar conditions
  • Production of a gender took-kit for unions on increased women participation, leadership, bullying and harassment
  • Enhanced leadership skills of union including knowledge of key labour rights issues including
    • Labour rights and Freelance
    • Author’s rights
    • New media and Broadcasting

The programme is supported by Union To Union.

Protecting union members in the work place and demanding respect for organising rights

Location: South East Europe and Central Eastern Europe

Dates: 2015 - 2017


To improve respect for the right to association that enables journalist union leaders and their members to operate free from threat of harassment or dismissal


  • 2015: survey and report conducted on the extent of the problem - Regional meeting to include ILO speaker to train on advocating labour rights and involving ILO appeals process, and from European Commission. 
  • 2016: conduct national workshops, first three countries, on report results and demands to Government, results reported to regional meeting
  • 2017: continue programme of national workshops in next three countries,


Journalists Unions in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosova, Turkey, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

Expected Results 

  • Production of a report on the organising challenges facing journalists unions and the extent of employer hostility and government apathy towards the problem. It will examine the role of the different key actors
    • The judiciary and legislation
    • The government institutions, labour inspectorates, to back up workers’ rights
    • The employers highlighting different practices in different media
    • The union
  • Promotion of a debate at the level of the EU, ILO and Council of Europe on the extent of the problem and secure their commitments to take necessary action
  • To organise a regional campaign on right to association involving government officials, media employers and the unions and to win their support to take action against employers who fail to respect minimum labour rights
  • To strengthen national and regional strategies for union building

The programme is supported by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Safety of Journalists in Eastern Europe

Location: Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus

Dates: 2014 - 2016

Objectives: to increase levels of safety of journalists through training on maximising risk awareness for journalists reporting conflicts or serious crime.


  • Training of 6 safety trainers for journalists in Ukraine in 2014
  • 10 safety workshops for Ukraine journalists in 2014
  • Six safety workshops in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia (two per year)
  • Ongoing support for safety advice and missions to Ukraine
  • Production of joint journalism safety handbook on Ukraine in co-operation with IMTUU, NUJU and RUJ


Journalists Unions in Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia Expected


  • 135 journalists from Southern Caucasus trained on safety, digital security and investigative journalism threats
  • 6 Ukraine safety trainers to deliver safety trainings
  • Training of 280 Ukraine journalists on safety reporting
  • Improved safety conditions for journalists in Ukraine
  • Production of a safety handbook on Ukraine conflict
  • Develop a culture of safety for journalists, journalists unions and employers in the region

The programme is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Union of Journalists.

Improving the Capacity of Journalists Trade Unions in South Caucasus

Location: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

Dates: April 2014 – March 2017


The overall objective is to reinforce the capacity of journalists unions to campaign for freedom of association, assembly and freedom of expression and enhance the role of journalists in promoting democracy, good governance and stability. The specific objective is to strengthen national journalists’ unions in reform, recruitment, TU training, enhancing skills of leaders and activists to improve working conditions and defend their journalists’ rights


  • Trade union audits on the structural and institutional capacity
  • 3 virtual offices with IT upgrades/ websites /databases
  • Staff training on administration, IT, project management
  • TU leadership training on governance, campaigning, organising
  • Regional Training of Trainers TU leadership for trade union Reps
  • Institutional dialogue between unions, government and employers
  • Legal assistance to take up key labour cases
  • 2 regional reports on working conditions, safety and press freedom
  • 3 campaigns on working conditions, salaries, Press Freedom and Safety
  • One regional conference on labour rights for journalists
  • 6 Secure Investigative Reporting workshops


• Azerbaijan Journalists’ Trade Union

• Union of Armenian Journalists

• Independent Association of Georgian Journalists

Expected Results

• Increased institutional capacity

• Improved capacity of media to report on violations of journalists’ rights

• Improved working conditions of media workers

• Improved safety of journalists

• Increased professionalism and accountability among media professionals

• Strengthened institutional dialogue between authorities, employers and trade unions for legalisation of salaries

• Increased participation of young journalists in trade union work

The programme is supported by the European Commission.

Campaign to Decriminalise Turkish Journalism, to promote free speech and protect work place rights

Location: Turkey

Dates: April 2014 – March 2016


Overall objective: to promote press freedom and defend the professional and labour rights of journalists.

Specific objectives include: Release of all jailed Turkish journalists, end their prosecutions and reform of laws governing journalists

Support a strong Turkish journalists’ union movement able to protect the professional and labour rights of its members


Journalists’ union capacity building, strategy development and recruitment campaign

Press freedom campaign including: monitoring, reporting and communicating developments, planned advocacy events, court/prison visits, production of arrested journalists gazette, one international conference, EU missions, imprisoned journalists adoption, and legal assistance


Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, TGS

Expected Results

• 200 new union members, stronger union to protect journalists rights, union development strategy and improved working and professional rights of journalists

• Raised campaign profile in Turkey and abroad on plight of prosecuted journalists

• Stronger legal defence and support to journalists and families through court visits

• pressure to reform laws and decriminalise journalists work

The project is supported by the European Commission.