Journalists often reveals human rights violations that would otherwise remain undiscovered. This exposure makes them more vulnerable to end up in the firing line of perpetrators of those violations. Media also tends to be subject of regulation by the state. More often than not, this dependency turns the law into a source of risk rather than a source of protection. Protection International gives them the capacity to develop a security and protection plan tailored to their needs.

In a healthy democracy, journalists play a central role in the balance of powers when they denounce human rights violations and abuses.  However, in many countries, doing so entails that they expose facts that the perpetrators would prefer to remain unknown. Their publications often affect powerful interests and this makes their work extremely dangerous when those responsible for human rights violations are ready to use any means to silence them.

Journalists are highly important witnesses as, in some cases, they are the first to alert about human right violations and hence to draw the attention of key protection actors. Journalists are also important actors in the struggle against impunity by pointing to the perpetrators of human rights violations. Their investigations often reveal violations that would otherwise remain undiscovered.

Therefore, they pay a high price to continue reporting about human rights violations as many of them are victims of intimidation, attacks and extrajudicial executions. Moreover, journalists are victims of criminalisation when laws limiting the freedom of expression are used to prevent them from continuing their work.
As journalists possess very sensitive information, this puts them at high risk. Free-lance journalists are especially in danger as they operate on their own and do not benefit from the support of a media house. Here some examples of our collaboration with them.

  • In Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo and Indonesia we build capacities of journalists to develop a security and protection plan tailored to their needs.
  • We provide advice and counselling to media houses to support them in implementing security management.
  • We systematize experiences of defenders working on their own to develop innovative protection tools and tactics.