IFJ Safety Trainings for Journalists in the Middle East and Arab World

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), together with its affiliates in the Arab world and the Middle East region, organized a series of safety trainings for journalists in Baghdad (Iraq) on 22 and 23 January, in Irbid (Jordan) on February 21 and 22, in Damascus (Syria) on February 20 and 21, in Khartoum (Sudan on February 23 and 24 and in Amman (Jordan) from February 16 to 19.

These IFJ trainings, led by the IFJ and the Arab and Middle East Safety Trainers Network, addressed the risks journalists face in their daily work, including the safety of female journalists, the safety investigative journalists and ballistic threats, digital data protection and piracy prevention.

The IFJ continues to support journalists in the Arab world and the Middle East region to develop a culture of journalist safety in the workplace.

Forty journalists were trained in Iraq, while 32 journalists participated in two training programs organized in Irbid and Ammann in collaboration with the Jordanian Press Association. The Union of Syrian Journalists brought together 19 journalists who participated in the training program organized in Damascus.

In Iraq, the Iraqi Syndicate of Journalists said many training activities and safety courses have been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis over the past two years. The Union added that this training is the first activity in a series of workshops for Iraqi journalists that will be organized in the coming weeks.

On the other hand, the Jordanian Press Association has expressed its willingness to collaborate with the IFJ to launch an intensive training program in which Jordanian women journalists will have a large participation.

The Union of Syrian Journalists said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for participants to improve their skills to protect themselves from different threats (digital or physical) and to see the need to develop a prior assessment of the risks they may face in the field while carrying out their profession.

Separately, the IFJ, in collaboration with the Syndicate of Palestinian Journalists, organized a training workshop titled Media Responsibilities in the Professional Safety of Journalists in Gaza on 21 February 2022. Participants discussed safety procedures when reporting on the terrain, especially in times of war, conflict, and epidemics. The course also addressed the role of media institutions in protecting journalists and the need to ensure social coverage during their missions.

From February 23 to February 25, 2022, the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate organized a training for trainers on security issues, including risk analysis, such as riots and demonstrations, travel safety for women journalists, personal safety and car accidents.

This training is part of the IFJ safety program for journalists and helps address the challenges journalists face in the field.