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Call for Input: Report on Journalists in Exile 2024

Status: Closed

Organisation: UN OHCHR (United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner)

Deadline: 15/01/2024

Location: Online

The Special Rapporteur invites Member States, international organisations, national institutions, media organisations, digital technology and social media companies, human rights organisations, civil society, scholars and other interested stakeholders to share their views on the topic of her report.


To inform the Special Rapporteur’s thematic report to be presented to the HRC, 56th session


Building on her previous report on media freedom and journalists (A/HRC/50/29), the Special Rapporteur intends to draw attention to this specific category of journalists and media workers whose plight has remained largely “invisible” despite the serious problems they face and the contribution they seek to make to democracy and human rights.

Increasing numbers of journalists and media workers are forced to flee abroad to escape political persecution and legal and other restrictions in their own country. In exile, they are not always safe or able to exercise their profession freely. Physical and online threats and attacks, surveillance from home or host countries, language barriers, lack of legal status and restrictions on their freedom of movement, and retaliation against family members in their home country are constant concerns.

While the right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, journalists in exile struggle to establish and maintain viable media outlets. Maintaining editorial independence, seeking sustainable funding and ensuring access to information and audiences in the home countries are major challenges.


The report will analyse the threats to media freedom, media viability and the safety of journalists online and offline when they operate from abroad. It will examine laws, policies, regulatory measures and practices of home, host and other States that affect the freedom of expression and other rights of journalists and media workers in exile. It will look at the impact of the policies and practices of digital technology companies that support or obstruct journalism from abroad. It will also assess how civil society and the media sector have responded to the threats, challenges and opportunities.

The report will make recommendations, drawing attention, where relevant, to good practices and innovative approaches as well as to international human rights obligations and standards.

Key questions and types of input/comments sought

In particular, she would welcome contributions in response to one or more of the following questions:

  1. Trends, challenges and problems

    a.) What are the key trends, threats or challenges to freedom, independence, diversity and pluralism of media in exile, and to the freedom of expression and safety of journalists in exile

    b.) To what extent have these trends, threats and challenges emerged, or have been aggravated, because of the policies and practices of digital and social media platforms?

    c.) Please highlight the gender dimensions of the trends and their consequences for the equality and safety of women and gender non-conforming individuals.

    * Please provide concrete examples, including legal or other transnational restrictions by States on journalism and journalists, red-flagging to Interpol, communications blocking, surveillance, funding restrictions, harassment, stigmatisation and vilification, obstacles or restrictions on movement, access to information and reporting. This is not an exhaustive list, and please feel free to provide other examples of challenges and threats to journalism in exile.

  2. Laws, policies and practices of States and companies

    a.) What measures have i) governments; ii) digital or telecom s companies and iii) media companies taken to promote the safety of journalists in exile? What has been the impact of these measures?

    b.) Please highlight the gender dimensions of the measures, where appropriate.

    c.) What measures have governments or other actors taken to address challenges related to media freedom and viability of outlets operating from abroad? How successful have these been?

  3. Recommendations and good practices

    a.) What recommendations do you think the Special Rapporteur should make to governments, companies, the media and civil society to address or mitigate the detrimental impact?

    b.)Please provide welcome examples of good practice by Governments, companies, the media sector, civil society and other stakeholders.

    c.) Please share any relevant documents, reports, news or academic articles that you believe should be considered in the preparation of her report.

Next Steps

  • Email address:
  • Email subject line:
    Input for the report on Journalists in Exile
  • Word/Page limit:
    2000 words
  • Accepted file formats:
    Word, PDF
  • Accepted Languages:
    English, French, Spanish

Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other types of background materials are welcome and may be annexed to the submission. All submissions will be published on the OHCHR website, unless there is a request to keep them confidential.

Learn more here about the call and share your input.

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