10 partner organisations

One way we create a strong media legal defence around the world is by funding and supporting partner organisations who provide direct legal support for journalists in their countries. These national Media Defence Centres are able to support journalists efficiently and with the insight of local knowledge. Our role in each partnership varies, but by building and strengthening these NGOs’ legal capacities, we help to grow a sustainable infrastructure for quality media defence in a number of countries, so that reporters can carry on reporting.

Last year we supported 14 Media Defence Centres in 12 countries. For our 10 year anniversary we asked 10 of our partner organisations to talk about press freedom in their countries.

C-Libre – Honduras

C- Libre is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation originally called the ‘Committee for Free Expression’. It was founded in 2001 and legally recognized in 2005. The organisation is located in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. C-Libre advocates for the defence and promotion of the right to freedom of expression and access to information in Honduras as fundamental rights for the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law. Visit C-Libre’s website.

Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) – Colombia

FLIP (Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa) was founded in 1996 by Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a group of regional journalists. FLIP defends freedom of expression in Colombia, and the public’s right to be informed, by promoting a favourable environment for journalists. For 23 years FLIP has advocated for better legal and safety conditions for journalists. Their work led to the creation of a governmental mechanism for the protection of journalists in 2000. Since then, FLIP has acted as a watchdog of that mechanism and contributed to international discussions on the safety of journalists. FLIP has also litigated at national and international courts in order to promote stronger standards for freedom of expression. They have taken cases on the application of defamation law, impunity and freedom of expression in the digital context. Visit FLIP’s website.

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) – Hungary

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is a major human rights NGO in Hungary. Since its foundation in 1994, HCLU has been working to ensure that everybody in Hungary is informed about their fundamental human rights and empowered to enforce them against the undue interferences. The HCLU monitors legislation, pursues strategic litigation, provides free legal aid assistance in more than 2500 cases per year, provides training and launches awareness raising media campaigns in order to mobilise the public. It stands by citizens unable to defend themselves, assisting them in protecting their basic rights. The HCLU has a presence at courts, national and international conferences, universities, in the Hungarian capital and in the countryside. Visit HCLU’s website.

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) – Poland

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) was founded in 1989 by the members of the Helsinki Committee in Poland. Their mission is to promote the development of a culture based on the respect of freedom and human rights in Poland and abroad. HFHR’s main areas of activity are international and national education, strategic litigation, and providing legal assistance to Polish citizens, refugees, and members of national minorities. HFHR also carries out research and monitoring projects related to human rights protection. Since 2007 HRHR have had a consultative status within the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Visit HFHR’s website.

HRNJ-Uganda – Uganda

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) was established in 2005 by a group of journalists who had developed a sense of activism. In 2006 it was formally registered as an independent media group, non-profit and non-partisan organization. HRNJ-Uganda has a diverse membership of over 700 journalists from both print and electronic media as well as freelance investigative journalists and students. The Network’s mission is to effectively represent journalists whose freedoms are curtailed – both in courts of law and by advocating for creation of protective laws for journalists. Visit HRNJ-Uganda’s website.

Human Rights Platform (HRP) – Ukraine

Human Rights Platform (HRP, PPL in Ukrainian) was founded by like-minded professionals in Ukraine’s non-profit sector, with a mission to develop and establish civil society through supporting human rights standards. HRP places great emphasis on protecting freedom of speech as a fundamental human right, and works at all levels: in drafting bills, in law enforcement practice, and at the European Court of Human Rights. The organisation has a strong network of lawyers, covering all regions of Ukraine, helping to provide prompt, efficient legal assistance to journalists and media promptly. HRP also works on innovative human rights projects – particularly at the intersection between information technology and human rights theory and practice. Visit HRP’s website.

Media Development Centre (MDC) – Macedonia

The Media Development Center (MDC) is an association of citizens dedicated to the creation of a sustainable and democratic environment, for further development of the media and the civil society in general, in Macedonia. MDC is one of a number of successor organisations from the Macedonian Press Center, and took over its legal programme and issues in the media policy area. MDC works on analysis of media legislation in the Republic of Macedonia and provides legal assistance for journalists and media, with its own team of lawyers. Visit MDC’s website.

Ossigeno per l’Informazione – Italy

Ossigeno per l’informazione (oxygen for information) is a non-profit association supporting press freedom and journalist safety in Italy. It was founded in 2007, following death threats against three journalists. Ossigeno’s membership is mostly comprised of journalists and the organisation manages the Observatory on journalists threatened and news obscured with violence. Since 2014 the Observatory has been a consultant to the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission and the OSCE. With other partners, Ossigeno has implemented the Safety Net for European Journalists project, supported by the European Union, which aims to create a transnational network of support for journalists hit by censorship, threats, violence and abuse. Visit Ossigeno’s website.

MPI – Kyrgyzstan

The Media Policy Institute (MPI) is a public foundation, established in 2005 to develop reforms in the field of media legislation and protection of journalists’ rights in Kyrgyzstan. MPI works by providing legal assistance to resolve conflicts arising in the field of the media and self-regulatory mechanisms. In recent years, MPI has been successfully working to counteract legislative initiatives that restricted freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan.  Visit MPI’s website.

TOHAV – Turkey

The Foundation for Society and Legal Studies (in Turkish: Toplum ve Hukuk Araştırmaları Vakfı – TOHAV) was established in İstanbul in October 1994 by 46 lawyers. Members of this civil society NGO come from bar associations in İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır, Batman, Van and Malatya. Since its inception TOHAV’s activities have focused on the investigation, follow-up, and documentation of human rights violations across Turkey – with a special focus on torture. Through its members, as well as voluntary legal experts and medical doctors specialising in torture diagnosis and rehabilitation, TOHAV provides direct legal and medical aid to survivors of torture and ill treatment, as well as supporting the rights of refugees and immigrants, as well as on minority rights and women’s representation. Visit TOHAV’s website