UNESCO Pakistan through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) is contributing to the Safety of Journalists in the country. This year Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) is the implementing partner.
The project “Promoting Safety of Journalists through Security Training” is the result of joint efforts between UNESCO and Pakistan Press Foundation. The safety training targets 110 journalists and media professionals working inconflict and post-conflict areas in Pakistan.
The aim of the 3-days training is to improve the knowledge of journalists working in conflict and post-conflict areasregardingtheir personal security (travel security and home to office movement) and dealing with threats and intimidations. The training also includes as well a post-traumatic and stress management courses.
So far 56 journalists took part in this training in Sangha and Shikarpur districts of Sindh province,and in Batkhila and Mingora towns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.“We usually underestimate risks related to our own security and this training gave me important informationto ensure my security during work”, said Mr. RafiullahBathkhela, a journalist at Aaj News.
Journalists were trained on conducting risk assessments before carrying out any news coverage, they were trained as well to determine appropriate safety and security measures. Furthermore, first aid training was facilitated by PPF.
Rahim Bux Jamali, a journalist at Daily Ibratat Shikarpur explained the importance of conducting this type of trainings for journalists“This is the first timethat we have a physical security training in Shikarpur, there is a need to understand the risks that we can avoid taking during our work”.
Pakistan is considered among the most dangerous countries for media professionals in the world. Thus, UNESCO Pakistan supports the journalists’ safety issues by various measures, for example by advocating for protection of journalists and media institutions, by allocating funds to conduct trainings on safety of journalists (IPDC Programme) and by sharing international good practices to encourage national adoption.
The International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which was created in 1980, is the only intergovernmental programme in the United Nations system mandated to mobilize international support in order to contribute to sustainable development, democracy and good governance by strengthening the capacities of developing countries and countries in transition in the field of electronic and print media.