The International Secretariat of Reporters Without Borders lends journalists bulletproof jackets and helmets for free. The category IV jackets, donated by the French defence ministry have “Press” marked on the front and back, come in three sizes and weigh about 15 kg. A €2000 deposit is required and the loan is for a maximum one month.
The moulded helmets are khaki and weigh auround 1.5 kg. They are lent on the same conditions as the jackets but only carry a €500 deposit.
Two small and light GPS personal distress beacons can also be borrowed. They are made by the firm Sierra Echo and the carrier can be found at once anywhere in the world. More and more journalists are using them when they go to areas that are dangerous or where sat-phones or GSM work poorly.
A €900 deposit is required and journalists must say where exactly they are going, give their home address and that of someone to contact in an emergency.
To obtain any of this safety equipment, e-mail Reporters Without Borders at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Swedish section of RSF is also lending equipment from Stockholm. They own three EnGarde tactical vests for PRESS in sizes Medium, X-Large and XX-Large. The vests include soft armor panels, neck/shoulder protection, groin protection and two Level IV hard armor panels.