“The media may play a major role to support defenders by disseminating information relating to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, by publishing articles on violations which the defenders are victims, and by inciting the public to support their action.” The media could react to defamation attempts which the defenders are the subject to, for example by vigorously contesting fallacious accusations which assimilate defenders to terrorists, criminals or subversive agents.”
UNHCHR Factsheet 29



The media can include in their editorial policy:

• Publishing NGO’s urgent-action on defenders in danger

See for example the following web sites:
Amnesty International
Frontline Defenders
Human Rights First
International Federation for Human Rights
World Organisation Against Torture
See also the defenders news section on this site

• Devote on the 9th December every year, articles to recall the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998 (and the UN Member States of their protection obligations)

• Support the defenders work by informing the public about its positive impact. Protectionline suggest individuals and organisation portraits, defenders’ interviews, documentaries on their accomplishments and the obstacles they encounter. Go to the media library

Journalists in danger

According to Reporter Without Borders:

In 2006 – 81 journalists and 32 media assistants were killed – at least 871 were arrested – 1,472 physically attacked or threatened – 56 kidnapped – and 912 media outlets censored

In 2005: – 63 journalists and 5 media assistants were killed – at least 807 were arrested – 1,308 physically attacked or threatened – and 1,006 media outlets censored RWB compiles the number of journalists and collaborators of the media who are killed or detained while doing their job and provide different security tools via the Damocles Network every day. The International Federation of Journalists encourages international actions to defend press freedom and social justice, via strong, free and independent journalist trade unions: The IFJ has supporting funds for threatened journalists. On the Federation’s website there are many links to other sites who defend the freedom of the press. The Press Emblem Campain (PEC) seeks to strengthen the legal protection and safety of journalists around the world. The “International News Safety Institute- INSI ” provides a security guide and specific trainings for journalists. See also the link section on this site.

Protection Intern also proposes a Protection Manual for Defenders. This Guide also includes the information on a possible security workshop organised in the field by Protection International

Useful links

    • International Federation of Journalists

      The International Federation of Journalists is the world’s largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, it was relaunched in 1946 and again, in its present form, in 1952. Today the Federation represents around 500.000 members in more than 100 countries. The IFJ promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists.

    • International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)

      The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) has emerged as a strong and growing force of opposition against violations of the right to free expression. At its core, IFEX is made up of organisations whose members refuse to turn away when those who have the courage to insist upon their fundamental human right to free expression are censored, brutalized or killed. Comprised of 72 organisations – located everywhere from the Pacific Islands to Europe to West Africa – IFEX draws together a tremendously diverse and dedicated global community.

    • Journalists for Human Rights

      Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) is a growing charitable organization that harnesses the power of the media to combat human rights abuses. By building the capacity of the media to report effectively on human rights issues, JHR’s work pressures abusers to stop and empowers victims to fight back.

    • Press Emblem Campaign

      The Press Emblem Campaign, founded in June 2004 by a group of journalists from several countries based in Geneva, is an independant humanitarian association. It seeks to strengthen the legal protection and safety of journalists around the world.

    • Reporters Without Borders

      More than a third of the world’s people live in countries where there is no press freedom. Reporters Without Borders works constantly to restore their right to be informed. Fourty-two media professionals lost their lives in 2003 for doing what they were paid to do — keeping us informed.