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If you read through some of our Manual, you might have an idea about how online harassment can be a complex and multi-layered issue requiring a similarly multi-pronged approach. As the world continues to adapt to the ever evolving threat of online abuse, many civil society and human rights organizations have emerged to help journalists and activists protect themselves against this threat and respond safely. These organizations can serve as a lifeline for those facing online harassment, especially when the harassment may impact your physical safety and is perpetrated by stronger forces. 

Below is a list of regional and international organizations that can help journalists and activists facing online harassment. 

Digital Rights and Security


If you’re facing any serious threats to your digital security and are in need of immediate assistance, try using this Digital Safety Helpdesk, run by SMEX. The Helpdesk provides digital safety support to human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers. The Helpdesk operates via Signal, WhatsApp and email between 9 and 12 AM (GMT+2) everyday. SMEX is a nonprofit organization that defends and advances the digital rights of people and communities across the MENA region.



Accessnow also offers a digital security helpline that provides immediate, rapid-response assistance for individuals or organizations facing threats to their digital security. The helpline is 24/7 and will walk users through assessing the risks they face and will help them prioritize their digital security needs by resolving existing problems and providing important best practices for future use. Accessnow is an international nonprofit organization that seeks to defend and extend the digital rights of users at risk around the world. 


Front Line Defenders

If you’re a journalist working in human rights and are facing any risks to your physical or digital safety, consider reaching out to Front Line Defenders. Front Line Defenders has an emergency 24-hour phone line that connects users with a staff member that can help users determine how Front Line Defenders can provide support in the urgent situation. Front Line Defenders is an international nongovernmental organization that seeks to project human rights advocates by providing rapid and practical support to human rights defenders at risk through international advocacy, trainings and resources, networking opportunities, and temporary relocation services for human rights advocates facing immediate threats to their physical safety. 


Masaar Technology & Law Community

If you’re looking for legal advice, you can reach out to Masaar Technology & Law Community. Masaar is a nonprofit organization made up of lawyers and technologists seeking to enhance digital rights and merging the understanding of law, technology and freedom of expression.


For Writers, Journalists and Freedom of Expression Advocates 

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) 

If you’re looking to expand your network with other journalists in the region, check out ARIJ. ARIJ is a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting investigative journalism across the MENA region. ARIJ seeks to empower writers in the MENA region by offering offline and online trainings for journalists and providing network opportunities for journalists to expand their networks and engage in peer-to-peer exchange on lessons learned from the region. 


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) 

If you’re seeking emergency assistance, or want to receive safety advice or report a press freedom violation, you can contact CPJ here. CPJ is an international nonprofit organization that provides support to frontline journalists and work to ensure that all journalists, including freelance and media support workers, are aware of safety and security issues when working in dangerous areas.

CPJ also provides financial support to journalists at risk through its Gene Roberts Emergency Fund, The Gene Roberts fund is administered by the CPJ staff in New York and overseen by a special committee of CPJ’s board of directors, providing modest grants for those needing assistance. To apply for an emergency grant from the Gene Roberts Emergency Fund, journalists must complete and submit a request form, which will be reviewed by CPJ staff. 


The Rory Peck Trust 

If you are a freelance journalist and require financial support for yourself and your family in time of crisis, reach out to the Rory Peck trust. Rory Peck Trust helps freelance journalists be able to to work more safely and professionally by providing assistance funds, training funds , and online resources. It also provides a Helpdesk to freelancers that can assist with digital security, source protection, insurance, and other needs. 


Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ)

If you’re seeking legal advice as a journalist, try reaching out to CDFJ. CDJF is a civil society organization that defends media freedoms and provides protections to journalists by addressing violations to their rights, providing professional development opportunities and ensuring free access to information across the MENA region. 


International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

If you’re seeking legal advice on protections in your workplace as a journalist or want to network with other journalists and writers in the MENA region, try reaching out to IFJ. IFJ is an international nongovernmental organization and constitutes the world’s largest association of journalists. They work to organize collective action to defend press freedoms and journalists’ labor rights around the globe. 


Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma (Dart Center)

If you’re seeking Training Sessions, as a Journalist working with news organizations or for a journalism-related nonprofit, you can reach out to the Dart Center. The Training sessions hosted by the Dart Center, are developed in collaboration with leading trauma experts and news professionals with experience on Trauma-aware reporting on vulnerable individuals and communities. The sessions are offered both on-site as well as remotely, and can help to develop a customized program for your newsroom or team.


International Women’s Media Foundation

If you’re seeking psychological and medical care for incidents directly related to threats and crises caused by one’s work as a journalist, Reach to the IWMF’s Emergency Fund. The IWMF Emergency Fund was established in 2013 to provide women journalists with a lifeline of support in times of crisis. In addition the psychological and medical care, IWMF provides Three months of temporary relocation assistance in the event of crisis or threat as well as Legal aid to counter threats  of imprisonment or censorship. 


Protect defenders 

If you are a human rights defender at risk as a result of your work, you can reach out to the Protect Defenders Hotline, 24/7,  run by Front Line Defenders. Protect Defenders is a consortium of 12 NGOs active in the field of Human Rights across the Globe that aims to operate a permanent and rapid response mechanism to provide urgent assistance and practical support to Human Rights Defenders in danger, their families, and their work.. They enhance shelters for the temporary relocation of defenders and enable temporary relocations away from risk, with the support of host entities from all over the world


Freedom House 

If you are a human rights defender and part of a civil society organization in need of immediate financial assistance, reach out to Freedom House. Freedom House is a non-profit organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.  Through its “Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund” CSOs in need can receive emergency financial assistance.

Here is a list of tools you can use to better protect yourself and navigate online harassment.