Representatives of Media Victims of Violence Agree on Support Mechanism

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) last week hosted a meeting of

representatives of families of journalists who lost their lives during the

course of their work to discuss the establishment of a support network which

would provide assistance to families of media victims of violence.

The

meeting, organised jointly with the Vintu Foundation and attended by the Rory

Peck Trust, brought together relatives of journalists from Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. It was a follow up

of previous meetings held in London in January

2009 and in Spain

in 2008.

"These

meetings showed that families of journalists have different needs," said IFJ

President, Jim Boumelha, in his opening remarks. "The challenge before us now

is to come up with a structure that can address all these needs."

Participants

shared information about on-going campaigns to secure justice for individual

journalists and media workers and agreed that a support network was needed to

help families cope with the loss of a relative killed often in a foreign land.

The meeting identified a wide range of needs for assistance, from practical information

to help dealing with bureaucracies and the authorities in other countries.

The

representative of the Vintu Foundation to the meeting, Christian Unteanu, told

the meeting that his organisation supports for this initiative and called for

other humanitarian organisations to play their role so that families can

receive long term assistance.

"Providing

for the education of victims' children would enhance the credibility and

humanity of our support," he said.

The

representatives of journalists' families agreed to take ownership of this

initiative with the IFJ, the Vintu Foundation and other organisations offering

support and assistance.

The

meeting also agreed the next steps towards setting up an international victims

support committee, including drafting its structure and mandate and securing

support of senior European politicians and high profile human rights

campaigners. The launch of the committee is scheduled for early next year.

For more information,

contact + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists

in 123 countries worldwide