On average, every five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to the public. Attacks on media professionals are often perpetrated in non-conflict situations by organised crime groups, militia, security personnel, and even local police, making local journalists among the most vulnerable. These attacks include murder, abductions, harassment, intimidation, illegal arrest, and arbitrary detention.
Impunity for crimes against the media fuels and perpetuates the cycle of violence and the resulting self-censorship deprives society of information and further affects press freedom. It directly impacts the United Nations’ human rights based efforts to promote peace, security, and sustainable development.
Under the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, actions are structured around six axes: standard-setting and policy making; awareness-raising; monitoring and reporting; capacity building; academic research; and coalition building. The UN Plan of Action is the first concerted effort within the UN system to address these issues via a multi-stakeholder and holistic approach and brings together UN bodies, national authorities, media, and civil society organizations. It contributes directly to the achievement of the 2030 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 1997, UNESCO’s Director-General has condemned each killing of a journalist, and compiles the biannual Report on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity to the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) since 2008. It consists of updated information voluntarily received from Member States on the judicial status of cases of killed journalists.
For Policy Makers
Media Development and Internet Universality Indicators
Digital Transformation, Crisis and Safety of Journalists
Steering AI and advanced ICTs for knowledge societies: a Rights, Openness, Access, and Multi-stakeholder Perspective
The Universal Periodic Review and its potential to foster freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists
Practical guide for amicus curiae interventions in freedom of expression cases
Protecting Freedom of Expression during the COVID-19 crisis: UNESCO issues Guidelines for Judicial Operators
Safety of journalists covering protests: preserving freedom of the press during times of turmoil
Freedom of expression and public order: fostering the relationship between security forces and journalists
Report on the safety of journalists in Kazakhstan
For State Bodies
Training of Police, Judiciaries, Prosecutors
UNESCO and IPA to train police worldwide
UNESCO and the International Police Association (IPA) unveiled a new partnership to build skills among police and security personnel in upholding freedom of expression and protecting journalist safety. The partners will launch a global Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) open to police all around the world.
UNESCO’s MOOC on AI and the Rule of Law
Judicial systems worldwide are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on an increasing basis: analyzing large amounts of legal data to identify precedents in case law, enabling administrations in streamlining judicial processes and supporting judges with predictions on issues including sentence duration and recidivism scores are just a few examples on how AI can impact the daily work of judicial operators.
To register for the course, please visit: www.judges.org/ai-rol