By Kaleb Nghishidivali
WINDHOEK, 04 September- Namibia has taken a significant stride in advancing freedom of expression and ensuring the safety of journalists. The Namibian Police Force (NAMPOL), in collaboration with UNESCO and the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO, has launched a 5-day Training-of-Trainers workshop. This workshop, designed for NAMPOL officers, concentrates on two vital subjects: Freedom of Expression in Relation to the Media and the Safety of Journalists.
During the launch, NAMPOL Inspector General Joseph Shikongo emphasized the critical role journalists play as societal watchdogs. He reaffirmed NAMPOL’s dedication to upholding every citizen’s right to freedom of expression and responsible access to information. Recognizing the significance of journalism, this training workshop builds upon a module tailored to enhance the competencies of law enforcement officers.
The module, crafted to meet NAMPOL’s specific needs, seeks to augment their understanding of Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, and the safety of journalists. By equipping NAMPOL officers with the requisite knowledge and skills, the objective is to fortify good governance, the rule of law, and human rights in Namibia.
UNESCO’s contribution and partnership in this initiative underline the organization’s commitment to promoting global press freedom and journalist safety. Through collaboration with NAMPOL, UNESCO aims to empower law enforcement officers and cultivate an environment where journalists can operate freely and securely, upholding their pivotal role in democratic societies.
The 5-day Training-of-Trainers workshop will furnish NAMPOL officers with comprehensive and practical insights into safeguarding and respecting freedom of expression principles. Participants will delve into international standards concerning freedom of expression, the media’s role in democratic societies, as well as mechanisms for journalist protection.
This endeavor signifies a significant milestone in strengthening Namibia’s dedication to press freedom and journalist safety. It is anticipated that the knowledge and skills acquired by NAMPOL officers through this workshop will positively impact the overall journalistic landscape in Namibia, enabling journalists to work without fear or hindrance.
As the workshop kicks off, stakeholders and participants maintain optimism that this collaboration will pave the way for a safer and more conducive environment for journalism in Namibia. This will, in turn, foster openness, transparency, and a profound respect for human rights.- Namibia Daily News