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Marrakesh Principles as basis for new international strategy to protect journalists



The participants of a workshop hosted at the World Human Rights Forum (2014) by the International Federation of Journalists and the Moroccan National Union of Journalists, adopted on the 28th of November, the first draft of the Marrakesh Principles for the Protection of Journalists, that will be the basis of a new international campaign to protect journalists all over the world, against any threats or violations.

Journalists from all over the world examined at the workshop the role of journalism, reaffirming the fact that freedom of speech is a fundamental human right and that the protection of journalists is essential to the promotion of human rights.

The right to freedom of expression confers special responsibility on governments to ensure that journalists are entitled to work without fear, threat or intimidation, the principles read. Journalists should not be subject to the violation of their rights by the State.

The final declaration emphasized that journalism is a public good, that a violation of the right of journalists is an attack on society, and that the protection of journalism requires legislative provisions for the protection of confidential sources of information.

The participants called for adequate measures for the safety and welfare of journalists, regardless of their employment status or gender, ethnic or social status. They also called on journalists themselves to be aware of their responsibilities to uphold ethical standards and honor the trust placed in them.

Of course there are many international conventions and declarations that provides for freedom of speech and the protection of journalists, but these instruments, the Marrakesh Principles say, can only be effective when respected at international, regional and national level.