Leading the Global Fightback: IFJ World Congress, Dublin
3 June 2013
IFJ World Congress
Safety of journalists, austerity economics, the media's portrayal of women, defending authors' rights and building the strength of unions are all topics to be addressed this week at the 28th Congress of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The congress, which will take place from 4-6 June, is hosted by the National Union of Journalists (UK and Ireland).
The conference at Dublin Castle will bring together journalists from all corners of the world to debate the global issues facing journalism.
Speakers include: Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland; Frances O'Grady, general secretary TUC; David Begg, general secretary ICTU; Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary; Jim Boumelha, IFJ president; Beth Costa, IFJ general secretary; and Mohamed Gharba, president Federation of African Journalists.
The NUJ will be proposing a motion promoting the safety of journalists. It says it deplores the fact that more than 300 journalists have been killed since the last IFJ World Congress in 2010 and will ask the executive council to maintain its Conflicts in the Media database that monitors violence against journalists and to continue to campaign to combat impunity.
On Wednesday, IFJ delegates will take part in Freedom Walk, with representatives carrying a flower for every media worker killed since the last conference while doing their job.
The Belfast and District branch, in the spirit of the World Congress, will be holding two journalists' safety seminars at the Linenhall library, Belfast, on Tuesday.
A panel of national and international speakers will present practical workshops on safety for journalists working in conflict zones and in public-order situations. Gerry Carson, Belfast and District branch secretary said:
"Since the start of this year journalists, photographers and camera operators have, in the course of their work, been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, threatened, harassed and suffered serious injury. In the light of the flag protest, the forthcoming marching season and G8, the Journalists' Safety seminars will inform journalists and management about self-protection and how best to perform risk assessment."
In Dublin, this evening (3 June), the NUJ will be hosting Sisters in Union to commemorate the the contribution of the women who took part in the 1913 Lockout, a pivotal moment in Irish history. Mary Maher, of the NUJ Irish Executive Council, will introduce an evening of readings, poetry and music.
Leading women trade unionists, including Michelle Stanistreet, will be joined by Patricia King, ICTU Vice President and Sally Anne Kenihan, ICTU Assistant General Secretary.
Decent Jobs, not austerity will be the theme for a pre-Congress conference at Dublin Castle on Tuesday (4 June), chaired by Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. David Begg, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), an outspoken critic of Irish and EU austerity measures, will outline the impact on Irish employment standards of the failed economic policies.
Other speakers include Frances O'Grady, TUC general secretary, and Patrick Itschert, deputy general secretary, European Trade Union Confederation. See our event section for more details on the event.