Stop the killing of journalists! Prevention and justice to end impunity
In the past decade 700 journalists have been killed for reporting the news: one death every five 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 justice systems. UNESCO warns 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. This End Impunity-Day meeting in London is a chance for journalists, lawyers, policy-makers and others to consider how best to respond to that urgent challenge.
The conference will focus on the realities of impunity in the field and the possible responses and courses of action to tackle this. Journalists, international lawyers, human rights figures and policymakers share their understanding of the acute situation regarding the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists, as well as potential responses from each of the actors involved. Responses include: raising awareness about the issue in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity; gathering evidence and pressing for justice in cases of killed, injured and jailed journalists; requesting information on the status of investigations; promoting best practices; strengthening international legal frameworks; and enhancing the effectiveness of NGOs’ work.
UNESCO will convene or co-host events in Paris, London, New York and elsewhere, on Monday, 2 November 2015, to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI). The events will also serve as an occasion to launch, in various locations, the forthcoming UNESCO report, World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development – Special Digital Focus 2015, which contains the Organization’s most recent information on the safety of journalists and impunity. The events can take forward the outcomes of the commemoration conference on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, in partnership with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which was held in Costa Rica from 9 to 10 October 2015. They can also feed into and prepare the envisaged UNESCO international conference ‘News organizations standing up for the safety of media professionals’ scheduled for 5 February 2016.