2019 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists


Sometimes the most dangerous conflict zone for a journalist is home.

1109 journalists have been killed in the last 12 years. Most of them were silenced for reporting on uncomfortable truths. For covering stories about corruption, crime and politics in their own country. In their own city. Many of these killings happened closer to us than what we imagine.

Learn more about each of these deaths and demand justice:

90 %

of crimes against journalists are not solved.

55 %

of journalists' deaths happened outside of conflict zones.


journalists have been killed worldwide since the last European Parliament Elections.

Between 2007 and 2019, 1109 journalists were killed around the world.

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. Impunity is considered a key obstacle to ensuring journalists’ safety, while producing a strong chilling effect on the exercise of freedom of expression. A culture of impunity works to embolden would-be perpetrators of violence against journalists given the knowledge that their crimes will go unpunished, while also working to silence journalists by encouraging self-censorship within the media itself and deterring the investigation of sensitive topics, ultimately perpetuating more violence in what becomes a ‘vicious cycle’.

UNESCO Observatory of Killed Journalists


UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity


The UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity aims to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, both in conflict and non-conflict situations, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development worldwide. Its measures include, among other undertakings, the establishment of a coordinated inter-agency mechanism to handle issues related to the safety of journalists as well as assisting countries to develop legislation and mechanisms favourable to freedom of expression and information, and supporting their efforts to implement existing international rules and principles.

To further reinforce prevention, the UN Plan of Action recommends working in cooperation with governments, media houses, professional associations and NGOs to conduct awareness raising campaigns on a wide range of issues such as existing international instruments and conventions, the growing dangers posed by emerging threats to media professionals, including non-state actors, as well as various existing practical guides on the safety of journalists.

UNESCO’s coordinating role of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, was endorsed by the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/68/163 adopted at its 68th Session on 18 December 2013.

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Adeline Hulin
Program officer