Representatives of media victims of violence agree on support mechanism
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|Written by the International Federation of Journalists|
|Monday, 22 June 2009 17:11|
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) last week hosted a meeting of representatives of families of journalists who lost their lives during the course of their work to discuss the establishment of a support network which would provide assistance to families of media victims of violence.
The meeting, organised jointly with the Vintu Foundation and attended by the Rory Peck Trust, brought together relatives of journalists from Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. It was a follow up of previous meetings held in London in January 2009 and in Spain in 2008.
"These meetings showed that families of journalists have different needs," said IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, in his opening remarks. "The challenge before us now is to come up with a structure that can address all these needs."
Participants shared information about on-going campaigns to secure justice for individual journalists and media workers and agreed that a support network was needed to help families cope with the loss of a relative killed often in a foreign land. The meeting identified a wide range of needs for assistance, from practical information to help dealing with bureaucracies and the authorities in other countries.
The representative of the Vintu Foundation to the meeting, Christian Unteanu, told the meeting that his organisation supports for this initiative and called for other humanitarian organisations to play their role so that families can receive long term assistance.
"Providing for the education of victims' children would enhance the credibility and humanity of our support," he said.
The representatives of journalists' families agreed to take ownership of this initiative with the IFJ, the Vintu Foundation and other organisations offering support and assistance.
The meeting also agreed the next steps towards setting up an international victims support committee, including drafting its structure and mandate and securing support of senior European politicians and high profile human rights campaigners. The launch of the committee is scheduled for early next year.