IFJ Joins Call For End to Impunity

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) joined journalists at a regional conference in Jakarta

this week in a strong call to regional governments in South-East

Asia to end impunity for violence targeting media personnel across

the region.

 

The Jakarta Declaration,

adopted by 70 journalists at the first regional news safety conference in Jakarta, Indonesia,

from December 15 to 16, was presented to Indonesia’s Vice President, Jusuf

Kalla. The conference was organised by the International News Safety Institute

(INSI).

 

INSI Director Rodney

Pinder noted that in 60th anniversary year of the Declaration of Human Rights,

the statement recalls that freedom of expression and a free press are critical

to the sustained development of nations, to the end of corruption and to the

alleviation of poverty.

 

The Declaration is

presented in full below.

 

 

Jakarta Declaration on the

Safety of Journalists in Asia-Pacific

Jakarta, Indonesia

16 December 2008  

The first safety conference for the news media in the Asia-Pacific region,

convened by the International News

Safety Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 15-16 December 2008,   

Asserts

    * On this 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights, freedom of expression is a basic right for all

     *

Freedom of expression and a free press are critical to the sustained

development of nations, to the end of corruption and to the alleviation of

poverty

 

Noting

The deaths of more than 1,400 journalists and other news media personnel at

work around the world between 1996 and 2008, at least 125 of them in countries

of the Asia-Pacific region.

Deplores

The casualties and all physical attacks on and unwarranted detentions of

journalists and other news professionals in the region

 

And Declares

 

    *

Governments are primarily responsible for the safety of all of their citizens,

including the news media. They must act to end the culture of impunity where

journalists are murdered and observe in letter and in spirit United Nations

Security Council Resolution 1738 of 2006 on the safety of journalists in

conflict.

    * News

organisations should observe their Duty of Care for all news personnel they

engage and provide appropriate safety and trauma training, equipment and

insurance or other financial provision for death or disability when they cover

dangerous stories such as wars and other conflicts, crime and corruption,

natural and man-made disasters and health emergencies. Such provisions must be

non-discriminatory and cover all staff, freelancers and contract workers, males

and females.

     * News

organisations must not allow the world economic downturn to affect adversely

the standard of safety protection they offer their news personnel. They must

set the cost of safety care against the incalculable costs to their societies

and economies when journalists are forcibly silenced.
    * Safety must be an essential component of all international

media development programmes, as one cannot progress without the other. International aid must be made available to smaller

news organisations that lack the resources to provide adequate protection for

their staff and stringers.
    * Journalists, professional organisations and media owners

should discuss and agree together appropriate operational procedures governing

safety and trauma. They should consider setting aside normal competitive issues

where the lives of news staff are in danger.
    * Journalists and other news media staff and freelancers

must help and assist one another in hostile environments.

     * Journalists

must work to the highest standards of their craft to provide to the best of

their ability ethically balanced and accurate news coverage for the societies

they serve.

Concludes


This conference agrees to monitor the safety situation in Asia-Pacific

throughout 2009 and report back to the International

News Safety Institute in December 2009. INSI will include the information in

its annual world review of the safety of journalists provided to the

Secretary-General of the United Nations who reports back to the Security

Council under terms of Resolution 1738.

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries