SAFE - Securing Access to Free Expression

SAFE - Securing Access to Free Expression

SAFE is IREX’s flagship program to enable media practitioners and social communicators to work as safely as possible in closed and closing spaces. SAFE equips these individuals with the means to resiliently continue their important work, and manage—as well as mitigate—the risks and threats they face in their day-to-day work. SAFE addresses safety through the unique lens of digital identity, physical awareness, and psychosocial care by delivering trainings in five regions spanning the globe.

SAFE - Securing Access to Free Expression

SAFE is IREX’s flagship program to enable media practitioners and social communicators to work as safely as possible in closed and closing spaces. SAFE equips these individuals with the means to resiliently continue their important work, and manage—as well as mitigate—the risks and threats they face in their day-to-day work. SAFE addresses safety through the unique lens of digital identity, physical awareness, and psychosocial care by delivering trainings in five regions spanning the globe.

Quick Facts

  • More than 2,800 journalists have been trained since April 2013.
  • Training participants represent more than 15 countries; 43% identify as female, 57% as male.
  • Following training, 96% of participants reported that they were better able to plan around and mitigate risks.
  • 83% of participants are now more likely to think carefully about using secure communication channels when planning to transmit sensitive information.
  • 82% of participants are also now more likely to pay attention to how their work affects their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
The project trained more than 2,800 journalists from 15 countries. The gender balance was 42.8% women, 56.9% men, and 0.2% additional/other.

Goals

  • Improve physical awareness, psychosocial care, and digital identity for media practitioners who are at risk globally.
  • Promote solidarity among journalists and media workers, both nationally and regionally, to build an enabling environment for the development of fortified groups, associations, and unions.
  • Connect media freedom groups, human rights defenders, and multilateral organizations.
  • Provide equitable access to all activities and to advance the rights of all, including those facing marginalization and discrimination. SAFE works to specifically include members of marginalized communities in program activities and to address their safety needs.
The training showed me how vulnerable journalists often are when neglecting their physical and digital security. For that reason, looking after ourselves is a necessary step. SAFE Trainee

Project Activities

  • Safety trainings: SAFE’s integrated safety trainings help journalists better navigate turbulent situations in order to provide alternative, independent media to their communities and the world.
  • Individual risk management plans: Program staff create individual risk management plans for journalists and media professionals who may become vulnerable to threats due to investigative or other high-risk reporting activities.
  • Advisory network: The program connects with media freedom groups, human rights defenders, and multilateral organizations through an advisory network. This network provides strategic guidance and participant vetting and referrals, and promotes SAFE’s integrated safety approach within the media community.
  • Solidarity events: SAFE uses solidarity events to bring together journalists and media workers, both nationally and regionally, to build a supportive and enabling environment for the development of fortified groups, associations, unions, and other platforms.

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