On 3 May 2016, World Press Freedom Day was celebrated in Palestine. The event was co-organised by NET-MED Youth and the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and brought together NET-MED Youth working groups, university students, young journalists and media activists both in Gaza and Ramallah.

 

"The right to freedom of opinion and expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information. It is a key component of democratic governance and development. People need to be fully informed in order to participate in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. Freedom of information also contributes to better governance as it enhances transparency in public affairs," said Deputy EU Representative, David Geer.

 

WPFD Palestine

 

“The theme of this year’s celebration– Access to Information and Fundamental Freedom! This is your right! – is particularly relevant for the Palestinian press as a draft law is currently being discussed by the national authorities to frame and ensure right of access to information,” said Dr Lodovico Folin Calabi, UNESCO Representative in Palestine. Such a law in Palestine represents a first concrete step towards freedom of press and democratic participation. This is also aligned with UNESCO’s continuing support for media development and the full achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal on ensuring public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.

 

Media campaigning, Gaza

The WPFD2016 celebration in Gaza was held in cooperation with the Palestinian Institute for Communications and Development (PICD), the Social Media Club and the Social Development Forum (SDF). The event enabled young NET-MED Youth members to start a 3-day social media communication campaign (1-3 May 2016). This campaign advocated for journalists’ right to access information, and included short interviews and a twitter contest.

 

WPFD Palestine
Copyrights Gaza Online Network 

 

A radio show on freedom of information for journalists also took place featuring short interviews with various media actors. As well as this, a short video on the experience and challenges of journalists with disabilities was produced and presented during the final reception ceremony.

 

WPFD Palestine

 

“Without easy access to timely, accurate and unbiased information, it is almost impossible for us to make informed choices and fully pursue our interests, at home, at work and in the political sphere.Access to information is a key component of the right to freedom of expression, which Palestine recognized when it acceded the ICCPR in 2014,” said James Heenan, head of OHCHR. “This right is a foundation for our enjoyment of many other rights and, conversely without access to information, most other human rights are compromised”.

 

Theatre performance, Ramallah

For WPFD2016 Ashtar Theatre opened its doors for a play performed by young actors on access to information in Palestine entitled “Welcome to a cup of coffee”. The play was followed by an interactive debate with the NET-MED Youth Working Group, university students and representatives of partner institutions. The audience discussed freedom of press, access to information and the importance of ethical, neutral and professional journalism in the Palestinian context.

 

WPFD Palestine

 

"NET-MED Youth Project aims to support youth in advocating for their rights, including freedom of expression. In Palestine, children and youth account for almost two thirds of the entire population. This project offers them huge opportunities as they engage in building a democratic society that values innovation, creativity, and fundamental freedoms,” said Deputy EU Representative, David Geer.

 

You want to learn more? Check out the picturesa video produced by Gaza Online Network and a video produced by Wattan News Agency.

For more information on World Press Freedom Day, visit http://en.unesco.org/world-Press-Freedom-Day-2016

For more information on OHCHR-oPt, visit http://ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/OPT.aspx.

In the field

Youth and Media

#YOUTHMEDIA

Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.

Youth and Employment

#YOUTHEMPLOYMENT

Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs. 

Youth Policies

#YOUTHPOLICIES

Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.