International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

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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(link is external) 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.



The main event to celebrate the 2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will be a hybrid format high-level roundtable discussion, organized by Ossigeno per l’informazione and supported by UNESCO, on 3 November 2021 at the Syracuse International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Syracuse, Italy. The event will provide a platform for dialogue among prosecutors and journalists on prevention and protection measures to address the safety of journalists, and it will highlight the instrumental role of prosecutorial services in investigating and prosecuting not only killings, but also threats of violence against journalists. To register for the event, please click here(link is external).  


Concept Note (in PDF format)
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UNESCO's World Trends Report Insights discussion paper “Threats that Silence: Trends in the Safety of Journalists”, published on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, provides the latest statistics on killings of journalists and impunity for crimes against them, as well as an analysis of trends about the safety of journalists during protests and psychological abuse online. New data shows that killings of journalists are declining globally with a diminution of 20% in the last 5 years (2016-2020) compared to the previous 5 years period (2011-2015). Yet, the data also highlights that the level of impunity for crimes against journalists remains extremely high globally, with an impunity rate of 87%, representing a similarly high rate to previous years, and that threats of violence against the media are on the rise.  


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