PALU and CAJ Set to Unveil African Media Lawyers’ Network

0
47
Mr. Donald DEYA, Chief Executive Officer, Pan African Lawyers Union

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), a continental forum of lawyers and lawyers’ associations that brings together various regional and national lawyers’ associations in Africa, and the Congress of African Journalists (CAJ), a pan-African organization of African journalists, have concluded plans to unveil the first continent-wide African Media Lawyers’ Network (AMLN), covering all the African Union (AU) Member States.

UNESCO Regional Adviser for the Safety of Journalists in the Liaison Office to African Union, Ms Lydia Gachungi, disclosed this in a statement on November 1, 2023, saying the AMLN was established following a recommendation by African media stakeholders, during the 10th Anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists (UNPA).

Ms Gachungi said that African media stakeholders had joined hands in establishing the first continent-wide AMLN, covering all the African Union Member States, adding that the milestones achieved this far are also attributed to the continued technical support by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD).

She said the Lawyers’ Network “was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support, including but not limited to national and sub-regional media lawyers’ networks.

“The African umbrella body of the national media lawyers’ network in Africa, will also provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists and access to information.

“After five continent-wide consultations in AU Member States aimed at identifying the gaps and room for improvement in the implementation of the UNPA in Africa, one of the gaps was on what more can be done to end the prevalent impunity.”

It is for this reason, she disclosed, that UNESCO Liaison Office to AU enlisted the support of PALU, in partnership with CAJ, CLD, and the International Press Institute to take forward the recommendation.

She said the primary target of this network are journalists who often bear the brunt of attacks and intimidation by forces that undermine press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Ms Gachungi also disclosed that leveraging on the capacity of PALU and all the partnering media stakeholders, special focus will be given to the needs and requirements for the protection of female journalists who are mostly affected by online violence against women and in fast-tracking prosecution of the perpetrators.

She stated that PALU’s annual conference in June 2023, further provided an opportunity to engage with the lawyers and civil society on the need for legal expertise and the importance of a broader collaboration with media stakeholders. This, according to her, will empower and create a support base, which will improve the implementation rate of judicial decisions on cases related to journalists in AU Member States.

She said that the AMLN was aware of the need to network and tap into other media stakeholders with related programmes; to this end, she disclosed that AMLN was also enlisting the support of other partners working in AU Member States, including the African Union, the International Press Institute, Media and CSOs networks across the continent.

As the African umbrella body of the National Media Lawyers’ Network in Africa, AMLN was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support to national and subregional media lawyers’ networks as well as provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists, and access to information.

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Congress of African Journalists (CAJ), with the support of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), have concluded plans to unveil the first continent-wide African Media Lawyers’ Network (AMLN), covering all the African Union (AU) Member States.

UNESCO Regional Adviser for the Safety of Journalists in the Liaison Office to African Union, Ms Lydia Gachungi, disclosed this in a statement on November 1, 2023, saying the AMLN was established following a recommendation by African media stakeholders, during the 10th Anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists (UNPA).

Ms Gachungi said that African media stakeholders had joined hands in establishing the first continent-wide AMLN, covering all the African Union Member States, adding that the milestones achieved this far are also attributed to the continued technical support by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD).

She said the Lawyers’ Network “was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support, including but not limited to national and sub-regional media lawyers’ networks.

“The African umbrella body of the national media lawyers’ network in Africa, will also provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists and access to information.

“After five continent-wide consultations in AU Member States aimed at identifying the gaps and room for improvement in the implementation of the UNPA in Africa, one of the gaps was on what more can be done to end the prevalent impunity.”

It is for this reason, she disclosed, that UNESCO Liaison Office to AU enlisted the support of PALU, in partnership with CAJ, CLD, and the International Press Institute to take forward the recommendation.

She said the primary target of this network are journalists who often bear the brunt of attacks and intimidation by forces that undermine press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Ms Gachungi also disclosed that leveraging on the capacity of PALU and all the partnering media stakeholders, special focus will be given to the needs and requirements for the protection of female journalists who are mostly affected by online violence against women and in fast-tracking prosecution of the perpetrators.

She stated that PALU’s annual conference in June 2023, further provided an opportunity to engage with the lawyers and civil society on the need for legal expertise and the importance of a broader collaboration with media stakeholders. This, according to her, will empower and create a support base, which will improve the implementation rate of judicial decisions on cases related to journalists in AU Member States.

She said that the AMLN was aware of the need to network and tap into other media stakeholders with related programmes; to this end, she disclosed that AMLN was also enlisting the support of other partners working in AU Member States, including the African Union, the International Press Institute, Media and CSOs networks across the continent.

As the African umbrella body of the National Media Lawyers’ Network in Africa, AMLN was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support to national and subregional media lawyers’ networks as well as provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists, and access to information.

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and the Congress of African Journalists (CAJ), with the support of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), have concluded plans to unveil the first continent-wide African Media Lawyers’ Network (AMLN), covering all the African Union (AU) Member States.

UNESCO Regional Adviser for the Safety of Journalists in the Liaison Office to African Union, Ms Lydia Gachungi, disclosed this in a statement on November 1, 2023, saying the AMLN was established following a recommendation by African media stakeholders, during the 10th Anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists (UNPA).

Ms Gachungi said that African media stakeholders had joined hands in establishing the first continent-wide AMLN, covering all the African Union Member States, adding that the milestones achieved this far are also attributed to the continued technical support by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD).

She said the Lawyers’ Network “was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support, including but not limited to national and sub-regional media lawyers’ networks.

“The African umbrella body of the national media lawyers’ network in Africa, will also provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists and access to information.

“After five continent-wide consultations in AU Member States aimed at identifying the gaps and room for improvement in the implementation of the UNPA in Africa, one of the gaps was on what more can be done to end the prevalent impunity.”

It is for this reason, she disclosed, that UNESCO Liaison Office to AU enlisted the support of PALU, in partnership with CAJ, CLD, and the International Press Institute to take forward the recommendation.

She said the primary target of this network are journalists who often bear the brunt of attacks and intimidation by forces that undermine press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Ms Gachungi also disclosed that leveraging on the capacity of PALU and all the partnering media stakeholders, special focus will be given to the needs and requirements for the protection of female journalists who are mostly affected by online violence against women and in fast-tracking prosecution of the perpetrators.

She stated that PALU’s annual conference in June 2023, further provided an opportunity to engage with the lawyers and civil society on the need for legal expertise and the importance of a broader collaboration with media stakeholders. This, according to her, will empower and create a support base, which will improve the implementation rate of judicial decisions on cases related to journalists in AU Member States.

She said that the AMLN was aware of the need to network and tap into other media stakeholders with related programmes; to this end, she disclosed that AMLN was also enlisting the support of other partners working in AU Member States, including the African Union, the International Press Institute, Media and CSOs networks across the continent.

As the African umbrella body of the National Media Lawyers’ Network in Africa, AMLN was deemed necessary to provide the much needed professional and legal support to national and subregional media lawyers’ networks as well as provide professional support in reviewing of media laws and policies, and capacity building of lawyers, to understand and defend media freedom, safety of journalists, and access to information.