The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe held an important Thematic Debate on “Safety of journalists – Further steps for the better implementation of human rights standards,” on Thursday 12 December in Strasbourg.
William Horsley (read his Remarks here) , the AEJ’s Media Freedom Representative, was invited to present the perspective of media and non-state stakeholders. A Discussion Paper by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe included proposals for proactive new measures to improve the safety of journalists across Europe, including an online platform highlighting information from monitoring groups about serious threats to the safety of threatened journalists, and a rapid response mechanism to provide better physical protection.
A formal Decision by the ministers’ deputies is expected at a follow-up CM Thematic Debate scheduled for 22 January 2014 . Participants in the debate included the Ambassadors to the Council of Europe of most of the 47 member countries and other keynote speakers: Nils Muižnieks , Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Gvozden Flego , Rapporteur on Protection of media freedom in Europe of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly and Michael O’Boyle , Deputy Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights.