Every three years the International Federation of Translators (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs – FIT) invites its members and others from the wider community of translators, terminologists and interpreters across the world to the FIT World Congress.
The 2014 Congress, held in Berlin, Germany, brought together 1,600 participants from over 70 countries to discuss relevant topics and the future of the language industry. With great concern the participants at the 2014 FIT Statutory Congress also considered the situation of those colleagues who undertake their work in conflict zones all over the world.
With their dangerous, yet important jobs they guarantee at least a minimum of communication between the otherwise “speechless” parties in the conflict. As linguists committed to impartiality, they build bridges that overcome language and cultural barriers and thus help resolve situations where otherwise only weapons would speak. Yet the services of translators and interpreters lack the recognition they deserve and time and again they are regarded as traitors or collaborators by all the parties involved.
Recognizing the danger and the urgency of their situation, the participants at the 2014 FIT Statutory Congress call upon national governments and the international community to:
- protect the local translators and interpreters in conflict zones
- ensure a life in security during and after their work in the conflict zone
- respect the impartiality of the work of translators and interpreters
- work for a UN Convention and/or an international safety document for the protection of translators and interpreters in conflict zones during and after their service.
Berlin, 6 August 2014
International Federation of Translators