Kathmandu SAMSN Resolution November 2019

Participants discussing the IFJ-FES Future Organising and Transforming Unions in South Asia Workshop Credit: Agni Niraula

South Asian IFJ affiliates – journalists’ unions and associations – meeting in Kathmandu, 6-8 November 2019 reaffirm their commitment to:

  • Fight for media freedom, labour, professional, human rights and social justice
  • Enhance the safety of journalists, especially for women journalists
  • Build stronger unions and associations
  • Campaign for a just transition for those moving from traditional to digital career paths
  • Stand up for professionalism and ethical journalism

In particular we commit to:

Fight for media freedom

  • Demand the end of internet shutdowns, website closures and actions which undermine the free flow of information
  • Demand governments and employers abide by international labour rights and standards – and where they do not ask the IFJ to support affiliates to publicise and highlights such violations in appropriate national or international fora.
  • Oppose laws which criminalise or undermine online journalism

Enhance the safety of journalists

  • Improve the monitoring of violations of journalists rights
  • Demand action to tackle impunity
  • Campaign for employers to accept their responsibility for training, providing equipment and insurance for journalists, including freelance
  • Highlight and seek to address the sexual harassment, violence and abuse – online and offline – faced by women journalists.

Build stronger unions and associations

  • Prioritise recruitment among potential growth areas. To develop the research and mapping necessary to identify growth areas, particularly in digital media and among younger workers
  • Identify the needs of digital and younger workers
  • Review our internal and external communications to enhance our ability to deliver core strategic union messages
  • To build links with universities and schools of journalism to raise awareness of unions, labour rights and professional ethics among students.
  • To review our rules, structures and representativeness to enable digital, younger and freelance workers to join and play an active role and have a voice in our organisations.
  • Recognising untapped potential and that union density remains too low – at 12% average across the region.
  • Take active steps to enhance national collaboration and solidarity between journalist organisations on core common issues – especially labour issues.
  • Extend and strengthen the digital media working group

Campaign for a just transition from offline to online media

  • Oppose unwarranted job losses
  • Demand fair compensation and full labour rights in the event of redundancies
  • Demand employers/authorities provide funds for reskilling and retraining to enable those who lose their jobs to take up new employment opportunities
  • Call on the IFJ to research and advocate for new sustainable financial/economic models for media

Protecting professionalism and ethical journalism

  • Promote the IFJ’s global charter of ethics
  • Develop a digital charter for media and social media
  • Promote awareness of digital workers’ rights and responsibilities
  • Develop strategies to counter mis/disinformation
  • Promote broader media literacy programs and civil engagement
  • Undertake awareness raising and training on ethical/professional issues
  • To promote a journalism based on quality not clicks