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New regulations ensure working journalists’ rights

KABUL: The Justice Ministry has published in its official gazette new regulations enabling journalists and media workers to be granted the right to life insurance and retirement allowances from owners.

The matter was discussed at a joint press conference by officials from the Ministry of Information and Culture and members of media advocacy groups in Kabul.

Afghanistan National Union of Journalists chief Fahim Dashti said the regulations had been published in official gazette of the Ministry of Justice in four chapters and 41 articles.

He said the regulations had been approved by a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Ashraf Ghani, but since their publication, no media outlet owner had so far followed the rules.

He said the regulations clearly explained management of contracts with employees, their insurance right and packages in case killed or wounded in line of duty or lost limbs, worked extra hours or delayed payment of salaries.

“Previously in the absence of such regulations, owners had deprived workers of many rights. Workers were forced into accepting unfair contracts and when media workers got injured or killed, owners would feel no responsibility.”

NAI group head Sadiqullah Tawhidi told the press conference that journalists were not machines or similar things to be removed whenever their bosses desired. He said the new regulations obliged owners to consider privileges and facilities for workers and prevented them from illegal actions.

Journalists Safety Committee head Najib Sharifi said the regulations bound media organizations to increase salaries of workers after annual performance review, keeping in mind experience and abilities of workers.

The speakers said journalists could approach media advocacy groups in case their rights were violated by owners.

Deputy Information and Culture Minister Syedi Muzhgan Mustafawi said the regulations were a vital document that ensured rights of journalists and their security. (PAN)

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