Somalia: Federation of Somali Journalists (Fesoj) and Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (Vikes) Trains Journalists On Labour Rights Advocacy Campaigns

The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) and Finnish Foundation for media and development (VIKES) have jointly concluded labour rights advocacy campaigns for ten radio stations in Mogadishu .

The training was made possible with the support of EU mission to Somalia.

The two bodies also conducted one-day training on trade union rights with trusted persons from ten media houses operating in Mogadishu from September 2019 to December 14,2019 with the aim to improve the internal governance of media organizations and strengthen the commitment of media owners and editors in ensuring respect for clearly defined professional labor standards.

The main objective of the advocacy campaign for Somali journalists' labor rights was discuss challenges journalists face and sensitize them on better ways to push better working conditions.

"As part of the project launch, FESOJ team concluded meetings with local media administrators and fellow journalists based in Mogadishu. 'Next phase of the project, we are planning to take the message to other media houses in other cities across the country" Farah Omar Nur Secretary of Training and Development of FESOJ said.

In general, the advocacy campaign will target journalists working for 25 selected media outlets in all parts of Somalia. This initiative is part of the second implementation phase of a joint VIKES and FESOJ project, launched last year and funded by the EU in which were trained around 200 journalists and media administrators.

"Our priority is to provide a platform for stronger advocacy and solidarity on

measures for the improvement of the working and welfare conditions of journalists in the private media and collaborate on all legitimate measures that would lead to the emergence of Collective Bargaining and the enthronement of a minimum Condition of Service with country-wide applicability "Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu Secretary General of Federation of Somali Journalist (FESOJ) said.

In the other hand, improving working conditions for journalists in Somalia, collective bargaining agreements, negotiation skills, equal payment, segregation and discrimination in the workplace were among topics discussed in the one-day training Jointly organized FESOJ and VIKES supported by the European Union in Mogadishu on December 5,2019.

More than 20 Somali journalists representing 10 media outlets in Mogadishu attended in the training engaged in lively discussion about the difficult circumstances in which journalists work at the moment, challenges for decent salaries and how journalists among themselves can organize and advocate positive changes.

Peik Johansson from The Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (VIKES) detailed the challenges faced by workers when they are alone, but pointed out that they have great power and influence when they are engaged collective bargaining agreements at the workplaces.

The twenty trusted persons were selected from ten media houses media stations in Mogadishu including Radio Star FM, Radio Himilo, Radio Hiigsi, Radio Banadir, Radio Risaala, Radio Mustaqbal , Radio Bandhigga, Radio Goobjoog, Radio Dalsan and Radio Kulmiye .

The training workshop was the first of its type for capacity building on labour rights for trusted person from the media houses in Somalia, especially in Mogadishu city

The training workshop was needed to promote the awareness of the journalists to comprehend their employment rights and the importance of trade union to protect their work rights.

The Somali journalists were experiencing lack of awareness and understanding of their labour rights and the significance of being member in trade union to protect their work rights. From

"FESOJ brings together more than 1000 journalists across Somalia to promote media freedom and ethical standards, therefore FESOJ and VIKES are now seeking to advocate for better working conditions of journalists and media workers in Somalia to support quality journalism and build trust in media "Abadir Abdulkadir Elmi FESOJ President said during the launch of labor rights advocacy campaign

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