Participants at a stakeholders’ roundtable on safety of journalists in Nigeria have called for the immediate establishment of a National Response Mechanism (NRM).
They said this would go a long way in addressing the issue of Safety of Journalists (SOJ) in Nigeria based on global best practices.
This was contained in a communique on Thursday, made available to LEAKBLAST in Taraba State by the Program Manager of the International Press Centre (IPC), Stella Nwofia.
“That there should be wide engagement and consultations with stakeholders who may have important roles to play in the proposed NRM, including but not limited to the Federal and State governments, media regulatory bodies,” the communique noted.
Other stakeholders suggested are the Directorate of Information of the security and defence agencies, non-state actors, such as civil society groups and relevant professional bodies, the bar and the bench, media professional bodies and associations and the National Human Rights Commission.
The NRM, according to them, should be guided by a comprehensive legislative framework on protecting the right to life, freedom of expression and associated rights.
They added that this “should be regularly reviewed to ensure that the safeguards and enforcement machinery it provides are robust and effective in practice.”
Apart from securing the NRM with the buy-in of the law enforcement agencies and for redress and protection mechanisms for journalists who may be victims of harassment or assault, they also stressed the need for special consultation with the National Council of Women Societies.
They added that the NRM should be given the mandate to investigate killings, attacks, and ill-treatment of journalists, “which must be prompt, effective, impartial, and subjected to public scrutiny.”
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