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International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists 2017

30 October 2017
Topics: Knowledge Sharing, United Nations, International, Press Freedom, Journalists Safety
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In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 2nd the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI) by adopting Resolution A/RES/68/163 . The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2nd of November that same year.

The resolution condemns all aggression against journalists and media workers worldwide, and urges Member States to ensure accountability for all attacks and help stop the rising culture of impunity. The resolution also urged the States to promote a safer work environment for journalists to function in without having to worry about threats and censorship from anyone.

The 2016 UNESCO Director-General's Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity shows that 930 journalists have been killed in the last eleven years, with only eight percent of the murders being resolved.  There has also been a devastating increase in annual journalist killings, from 2006-2011 when the average rate was 67, to an average of 106 killings per year in 2012-2015. In 51% of the total cases, there was either no information gathered or the killing was acknowledged only as somewhat of a formality.

These kinds of statistics send a very negative message to media workers around the world, causing them to feel unsafe and doubtful about the cost of their work as reporters and news creators. The value of truth is, it seems, being undervalued and investigative journalists and reporters are caught in a constant fear that their stories might cost them their lives. This information and these stories must not be silenced, for they represent the basis of a free and democratic world. Access to information must not be limited to anyone, and independent and free press is today maybe more important than ever. Unfortunately, freedom of the press and the safety of journalists is not possible if the law and the judicial systems of a country are damaged by corruption.

For more information on IDEI, you can read here

Here is a list of events around the world commemorating EDEI:

10-year anniversary of the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland, New Zealand

Panel Discussion on Ending impunity for crimes against journalists: strengthening implementation and the case of women journalists, at UNHQ in New York

International Day to End Impunity in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Presentation of RFI's Bourse Ghislaine Dupont et Claude Verlon in Dakar, Senegal

Conference on Safety of Journalists Covering Conflict and Sensitive Issues in Oslo, Norway

Free Press Live 2017, The Hague, the Netherlands

Seminar on Protecting Journalists, Protecting Freedoms at Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland

International Day to End Impunity conference at the Senate of the Italian Republic, Rome

Conference on Effective protection mechanisms for journalists and the work of professional associations in the field in Tunis, Tunisia

Media Workshop on Safety of Journalists and Ending Impunity in Gaza, Palestine

Regional Symposium on Professional Media: Press Freedom and Safety of Journalists, Doha, Qatar

Media for Peace IDEI commemoration in Mogadishu, Somalia

East African regional conference on National Mechanisms for Safety of Journalists, Nairobi, Kenya

Stop Killing Journalists - Video by Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties and Human Rights (2017)