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.
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
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."
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.
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.
for the education of victims' children would enhance the credibility and
humanity of our support," he said.
representatives of journalists' families agreed to take ownership of this
initiative with the IFJ, the Vintu Foundation and other organisations offering
support and assistance.
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