Journalists, civil societies and government representatives converged in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi for two days to discuss safety and security of journalists in seven countries in the region.
Organized by the Kenya Media Sector Working Group that is co- chaired by the Media Council of Kenya and the Kenya Union of Journalists. This is with financial and technical support from UNESCO’s International Programme for Development of Communication, Government of Sweden, HIVOS, and Committee to Protect Journalists, International Media Support, Free Press Unlimited, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Article 19 Eastern Africa and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders.
Kenya is hosting the1stEastern Africa Conference on National Mechanisms for Safety of Journalists within the framework of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
This conference brings together 120 delegates from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda and other countries. The delegates are drawn from the Ministries of Information, Justice and Security, Associations of Journalists and Media Workers, Civil Society/Human Rights defenders, Journalism training institution, media regulatory bodies and the media development partners.
The aim of this conference is to share good practices on national, regional and international mechanisms for safety of journalists and how to localise such mechanisms in Eastern Africa. It also aims at building the capacity of Safety of Journalist’s focal persons from the relevant Government institutions and Ministries, in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists approved by the UN General Assembly in 2012.
The expected outcome from the proposed Conference is for the Eastern African countries to agree on regional parameters’, in establishing national mechanisms for safety of journalists. The event will also provide an opportunity to engage with regional actors on safety of journalists and mobilise the Eastern Africa media development partners, to provide the necessary support for implementation of recommendations taken in international, regional and national fora.
The opening ceremony was officiated by the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary,Ministry of Information, Communications & Technology.