Ukraine statement

Journalists must not be targets 

In line with international obligations to guarantee the safety of reporters in the field, military forces in Ukraine should take care to not target journalists. This includes both Ukraine and foreign journalists working in the country - all of which should be afforded the same protections.

Visual journalists are often at particular risk when their work takes them to dangerous areas to physically document what is happening on the ground. We all benefit from the greater understanding their work brings of what otherwise can feel abstract, distant, and almost unimaginable.

We believe people should have access to the widest range of high-quality and diverse photojournalism and documentary photography - so they can better understand themselves, better understand the world, and better act in the world. Now more than ever, supporting the conditions for freedom of expression, freedom of inquiry, and freedom of the press is important - in Ukraine and around the world.

We have the utmost respect for the courage, skill, and dedication of these independent journalists, including over a dozen former World Press Photo Contest winners we know of. Their work helps connect us to the reality of the war in Ukraine. A war that increasingly creates suffering and risks for civilians as well.
We also join the call for embassies of governments present in Ukraine to grant journalists asylum whenever necessary.

Both Resolution 2222, adopted in 2015 by the UN Security Council (of which Russia is a permanent member), and international humanitarian law require that journalists are protected during armed conflicts in the same as any civilian, even when accompanying military forces for the purposes of their reporting. (source: Reporters Without Borders)

Finally, we are thankful for the organizations and institutions working to protect journalists, including photojournalists, in Ukraine and other unsafe situations.

Further reading:

Photo: Oksana Gonishuk and her children Any (9) and Illa (13) say farewell to their husband and father Yevgeni Gonishuk in the train station in Lviv, Ukraine, on 6 March 2022. Under martial law, men aged 18 to 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine. They're expected to fight. The family fled their home in Kharkiv, where the fighting was worsening everyday and is now heading for safety in Poland. By Mads Nissen, Politiken, World Press Photo of the Year winner in 2021.