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Respecting human rights in the security practices of broadcasters for documentary making, news and sports

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In 2021, the Forum commissioned research into human rights risks related to documentary making, news and sports, which led to two reports.


This report recognises that security practices are not simply mitigations for safety and security risks but give rise to risks of their own – to the teams that depend on them, to the individuals providing security, and to those who may come into contact with the team.


The research finds that:

  • Security should be central to preparation and planning for any assignment, not only those in 'high risk' contexts, with journalists and producers working in partnership with security specialists and viewing security practices as a mechanism for capturing the story, rather than a barrier

  • There needs to be better due diligence of security providers, both public and private security, to ensure they do not become perpetrators of human rights abuses

  • Static guards are at particular risk of poor working conditions and mistreatment, especially if they are viewed as little more than a tick in the box for insurance purposes

  • Good security practices often do not apply to third parties supporting broadcast teams, including fixers and drivers, who may find themselves, untrained, uninsured and without adequate safety equipment

  • Security practices and mitigations need to better serve the needs of people with diverse identities who may experience risks and threats differently

The report was developed in parallel with a second report entitled “Respecting human rights in the use of media support workers for documentary making, news and sports”. It draws on the same interviews, deep-dive assessments, and other sources.

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