The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) announced that the global project Supporting Safe Spaces for Journalists in Conflict Situations will reach Latin America, starting in Costa Rica in the second half of 2023, it was reported Thursday.
The measure will benefit displaced, exiled, or at-risk journalists in Latin America. From Costa Rica communication professionals from different countries will be offered legal and psychological support in addition to safe spaces such as newsrooms in San José.
According to a Unesco statement, the initiative seeks to provide protection to journalism in one of the riskiest regions in the world for its practice.
The aim is to create a safe space for journalists who are forced to move from their places of origin due to a climate of violence and intimidation, said Mauricio Weibel, president of the Latin American Society of Correspondents in Latin America and the Caribbean (Socolac).
The measure comes as a response to the more than 200 journalists murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last decade. In addition, Unesco stressed that communicators suffer constant threats, aggressions, and other types of attacks against freedom of expression that often lead to censorship or exile.
A 2022 report by Reuters together with Oxford University denounced that Latin America is the most lethal region for journalists worldwide. This is the reason why Unesco seeks to generate this meeting and help point.
Unesco hopes to replicate and promote the program in other South American and Caribbean countries in order to consolidate a safe support network for journalists at risk, as per their statement. The global agency expects to work together with other organizations from civil society, such as academia and other groups favoring the welfare of journalists.
We seek to generate a pilot instance to be able to replicate this model in other places where it is needed. And also to facilitate the networking of these organizations, said Weibel.
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