Every day, journalists and media across the globe face attacks and harassment for bringing information to the public. Impunity for these crimes is considered as one of the major obstacles for freedom of expression and freedom of information. The holistic approach of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity is also applied to the national level, where it encourages the establishment as well as strengthening of nationwide mechanisms for the prevention and punishment of attacks on journalists, and for their protection in the face of threats.
The development and implementation of nationally owned protection mechanisms for preventing attacks against journalists and combating impunity ensures a concrete focus on these issues from local legal actors. Initiatives include special investigative units, independent commissions, special prosecutors as well as mechanisms to gather information and provide rapid response. Implementation is taking place in countries such as Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Serbia and South Sudan.
Nairobi Declaration on National Mechanisms for Safety of Journalists (2017, UNESCO)UNESCO's 39th General Conference Resolution on the Safety of Journalists (2017, UNESCO)Defending journalism: how national mechanisms can protect journalists and address the issue of impunity – a comparative analysis of practices in seven countries (2017, International Media Support)Outcome Document of the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Strengthening the Implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (2017, UNESCO)JPRO Wiki (2017, IMS/FLIP)Supporting Freedom of Expression: A Practical Guide to Developing Specialised Safety Mechanisms (2016, UNESCO and the Centre for Law and Democracy)
12 December 2017 (UNESCO Headquarters, France): National Initiatives on the Safety of Journalists - What Works?16 November 2017 (Tunis, Tunisia): Effective Protection Mechanisms for Journalists and the Role of Professional Organizations13 to 14 November 2017 (Nairobi, Kenya): Eastern Africa International Day to End Impunity Conference: National Mechanisms for Safety of Journalists