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Remembering the fallen at work

18 April 2011

The NUJ's Health and Safety Committee is asking all NUJ chapels to call a minute's silence to mark workers' memorial day (Thursday 28 April) to commemorate journalists who have been killed in the course of their work.

The International Federation of Journalists says:

"Over the past 20 years more than 2,000 journalists and media staff have been killed in the line of duty. They died because someone did not like what they wrote or said, because someone did not like journalists or simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Every job has its risks and journalists, whose job is to bring into the open what someone wants hidden, are at greater risk than most. But the risks today are unacceptably high. In some parts of the world harassment, threats and worse have become an unavoidable part of the job. When reporting on war or civil conflict the risks escalate and journalists lose their lives."

Workers' Memorial Day – initiated in Canada more than 25 years ago to commemorate those killed and seriously hurt at work – is now a major international event, with public holidays in many countries. It was officially recognised by the UK government last year and the current government pledged to promote it.

However, government policies now threaten the basis of the UK health and safety system by arguing, wrongly, that modern work does little harm, that safety regulations are a 'burden on business' and 'enemies of enterprise'.

Find out more about workers' memorial day on the TUC website.

IFJ annual reports on journalists and media staff killed are listed on the human rights and safety pages of the IFJ website.

Tags: , journalists killed, workers' memorial day, health and safety