TIME TO END IMPUNITY FOR CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS

In the past twelve years (2006-2017) close to 1010 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. On average, this constitutes one death every four days. In nine out of ten cases the killers go unpunished. Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems. UNESCO is concerned that impunity damages whole societies by covering up serious human rights abuses, corruption, and crime. Governments, civil society, the media, and everyone concerned to uphold the rule of law are being asked to join in the global efforts to end impunity.

It is in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of impunity, especially of crimes against journalists, that the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

UNESCO and various GFMD members have commemorated International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

ARTICLE 19 called for governments to act on crimes against journalists. You can read the Article 19 briefing on impunity for crimes against journalists here. 

WAN-IFRA has supported UNESCO’s #TruthNeverDies campaign, which is launched on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2, urging news publishers around the globe to raise awareness of journalist killings, and the many cases where those responsible went unpunished.