Freelances are the most vulnerable workers in the media sector. This Charter is a vital tool in the EFJ campaign for improved legal protection for freelance journalists.

1. Every freelance has the right to organise in a union and by collective work seek to improve the situation for freelances and other journalists.

Freelances and their unions should have the right to offer services to foster the solidarity among freelances and between freelances and staff, such as recommendations of fees and collective bargaining.

2. Every freelance should have the same professional rights as an employee, the same right to seek information, to protect sources, to uphold ethical standards.

3. Every freelance has a right to a written contract.

Every freelance has the right to be treated as a fair partner when negotiating.

4. Every freelance has the right to hers/his authors’ rights.

All freelances must have unwaivable moral rights.

Freelances must have the right of collective bargaining regarding their authors’ rights.

5. Every freelance has a right to choose the best suitable form for hers/his way of freelancing. A fake or forced freelance who is economically dependent should be treated as an employee and will receive all statutory rights and benefits.

6. Every freelance should have the right to equal protection by social security institutions on equal terms with employees’ such as:

a) sick pay;

b) retirement pension;

c) unemployment allowance;

d) maternity/paternity allowance equivalent to a comparable employee.

This can be organised differently according to national circumstances.

7. Every freelance has the right to equal treatment and to receive decent fees and thus not undermine the positions of staff through providing cheap work. This includes the right – when sent on dangerous assignments – to have the same training, insurances and security system as employees in the same situation.

This Charter has been adopted by the EFJ Annual Meeting in Bled, 6-9 April 2006