Ensuring Security for Human Rights Defenders, Protecting the Freedom of Expression
Originally from Pakistan, Javeria Ayaz Malik is a human rights activist, and a communications and security expert who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa as the International Security Advisor and head of the Staff Security Department at ActionAid International. In this role she coordinates the organisation’s safety and security policy and establishes external relationships with global security networks.
Javeria also advises ActionAid’s leadership on appropriate security management strategies aimed at reducing safety and security risks that staff may face in the course of their duties.
Javeria has a professional background in journalism and mass communications and previously worked for Pakistan’s national television where she researched and wrote scripts for broadcasting, in addition to working as a television host and radio presenter. As an ardent believer in human rights, freedom of expression, and equality, Javeria considers journalism and communication “to be her first love”. She shares with us her thoughts on the connection between journalism and security :
Ethical and objective journalism can shape a society, empower people living in poverty, and hold the duty bearers to account. No wonder journalists continue to be under threat at the hands of repressive regimes and corporate interests around the world. That’s where my security skills become relevant.
As a certified and experienced security trainer, Javeria’s training curriculums and methodologies include specific modules particularly aimed at enhancing protection strategies for human rights defenders, and especially for women human rights defenders. As one of the very few women security experts from the Global South, Javeria says:
Women in this age and time are in a constant combat! We face and fight stereotypes and mobbing on a daily basis, but this has only made us stronger and more determined.
Javeria has been an AWID members since March 2015. She joined AWID to “connect with like-minded people and to be more involved in women’s rights initiatives globally.”