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 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 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
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,
* 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
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.
The casualties and all physical attacks on and unwarranted detentions of
journalists and other news professionals in the region
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
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
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.
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
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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries