IMS joins new initiative to support human rights and free media in the Middle East and North Africa

IMS will work to improve conditions for independent media and ensure the safety of journalists and young media activists under the new phase of the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme running from 2022-2027.

While all eyes are on Ukraine, journalists in the Middle East and North Africa continue to work in the most hostile media environment in the world, according to the 2022 World Press Freedom Index.

IMS has joined a new consortium of Danish and Arab human rights organisations under the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) and the role of IMS will be to strengthen independent media in the Middle East region.

Especially, IMS will focus on supporting new digital media outlets that have the potential to reach a young audience and engage civil society. IMS is also working intensely with promoting female journalists and combating gender stereotypes in media.

“The talent in the region is amazing and we are looking forward to continuing our work in the Middle East and North Africa where supporting a free and independent press and ensuring safety for journalists – especially female journalists and young media activists – is more important as ever.” says Michael Irving Jensen, head of the IMS’ Middle East and North Africa department.

“Working with freedom of expression in this region poses both challenges and opportunities and we will build on the experience, networks and deep knowledge that we’ve build in the DAPP focus countries during the past 15-18 years,” says Michael Irving Jensen.

IMS has been part Danish-Arab Partnership Programme ever since its inception during the early 2000s. Throughout the years, IMS has supported investigative journalism, numerous new and independent media, gender equality in media and documentary films from the region.

The new consortium under DAPP is led by DIGNITY and includes IMS, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and KVINFO. The consortium is supported by subcontractors, including the Tunisian organisation Munathara, The Jordanian al-Ahl, the international organisations EuroMed Rights and the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders, as well as the Danish organisations Danner, LGBT+ Denmark and Sex & Samfund.

Together, the organisations will support and collaborate with a large number of civil society partners and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa.