(Photos: © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX)
UNESCO together with the Group of Friends for the Safety of journalists organised an interactive workshop on the establishment of national mechanisms for the safety of journalists on 12 December 2017. The workshop was opened at UNESCO Headquaters by the Director-General, Ms Audrey Azoulay.
The 31 countries members of the Group of Friends for the Safety of Journalists, includes six African countries namely : Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
« We call on African countries to establish national mechanisms to uphold the safety and protection of journalists in the course of their work » said the Gabriel Baglo, General Secretary of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ).
In the panel session, the FAJ General Secretary presented the prospects for the establishment of national mechanisms for the safety of journalists in African countries, and the engagements for the establishment of an African Union to Working Group on the Safety of Journalists, with the involvement of all media support organisations and stakeholders in the region.
Gabriel Baglo introduced the example from Nigeria where a Committee on the safety of journalists was set in November 2014, and which has been instrumental in reducing attacks on journalists and other media workers in the country. He said that media literacy was key for prevention of attacks on journalists, so that society and government could understand and stand up in favour of the safety of journalists. He urged more African delegations to join the Group of Friends for the Safety of Journalists.