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Strengthening Media Law and Policy in Support of Freedom of Expression in Zambia

20/06/2018
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Zambia, June 2018 – Media4Democracy and Consortium Partner ARTICLE 19 have completed support to the EU Delegation to Zambia to identify strategic and feasible priorities and efforts for strengthening freedom of expression and media pluralism.

This technical assistance focused on the EU Delegation work to reform media laws and policy in Zambia, a country where freedom of expression remains under pressure from authorities.

During the 20-day field deployment in June, Media4Democracy and the ARTICLE 19 Expert completed an in-depth assessment focused on understanding the current issues and identifying means to shape Delegation future strategic advocacy and other actions that will engage the government, civil society, media actors and Member States.  During this mission, an in-house Delegation training to build knowledge of law and policy that best underpin media pluralism was attended by EU Delegation staff, representatives of EU Member States, UNDP and a representative of the EU Delegation in Botswana. A parallel training was completed for civil society and media actors in Lusaka.

During the mission — in broad contacts with media, lawmakers, regulators, bloggers, and civil society — the ARTICLE 19 Expert was able to identify priority issues including those in the online space.  For example, while social media have offered a wider degree of freedom to critical voices, the government has announced the forthcoming adoption of laws on various aspects of cyber security, which are likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression online.

At the close of this deployment, Media4Democracy/ARTICLE 19 supported discussions on Delegation priority actions in the near- mid- and long-term to address this and a range of other challenges.  On an ongoing basis, ARTICLE 19 will complete legal analyses of relevant bills or policies, providing documentation to facilitate EU Delegation efforts and support civil society advocacy.