International Workers’ Memorial Day – 28 April

  • 28 Apr 2023

The NUJ’s Health and Safety committee marks #IWMD23 and reflects on action needed to ensure journalists’ safety at work.

The National Union of Journalists has paid tribute to all media workers around the world who have died at work during the last year, in commemorations marking International Workers’ Memorial Day. 

On the eve of International Workers' Memorial Day, the NUJ hosted an interview with Alison Millar, director of a new documentary about journalist Lyra McKee killed in Northern Ireland in 2019. Hosted by Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, Alison shared insight into the creation of the film, featuring recordings made by McKee herself. Watch the film. 

In its annual report, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) recorded 68 killings of media professionals, including targeted bomb attacks and crossfire deadly incidents. The death toll in Ukraine predominates, where 12 journalists and other media workers were killed. On 26 April 2023, Bohdan Bitik's death increased the death toll further.

A lack of action and political will to tackle impunity for crimes committed against journalists contributes to this safety crisis and the IFJ is calling for an International Convention at the United Nations dedicated to the protection of journalists.

The NUJ has called for governments worldwide to prioritise the safety and protection of journalists including in Afghanistan where several journalists remain in hiding in fear of persecution by Taliban militants. Last year, the union launched a Journalists’ Safety Toolkit  with guidance on digital and physical safety, including risk assessments for safety reps.

Journalists have also faced the same danger as other frontline workers during the covid-19 pandemic. The NUJ supports calls for classifying covid-19 as an occupational disease.

The health and safety committee said:

“Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. They die because employers do not regard their safety as a priority. On this day we commemorate all those workers.

“The NUJ regards safety at work as a priority, and many workplaces are safer thanks to the efforts of safety reps. But we always need more, and the NUJ provides training for those members who wish to take on this vital role in their workplace.”

Find out about International Workers' Memorial Day events near you: event calendar

TUC Workers Memorial Day timeline

Access the IFJ 2022 killed list report

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