International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists 2024
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is celebrated on November 2nd each year to raise awareness of the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists and to advocate for the safety of journalists and the protection of their right to freedom of expression.
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists Theme 2024
As of today, the theme for the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists 2024 has not been announced yet.
The theme in 2023 was “Justice for Journalists: A Foundation for Freedom of Expression.”
History of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, in response to the assassination of two French journalists in Mali in 2012. The UNGA declared that “impunity for crimes against journalists constitutes a grave violation of human rights and undermines the rule of law.”
The day was first celebrated on November 2, 2013, and has been celebrated annually ever since. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists and to advocate for the safety of journalists and the protection of their right to freedom of expression.
The day was also inspired by the work of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a non-profit organization that promotes press freedom and protects the rights of journalists worldwide. The CPJ has been documenting the killings of journalists since 1992, and its annual report on the safety of journalists is a valuable resource for understanding the scope of the problem.
Crimes Against Journalists in Recent Years
In recent years, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists has become increasingly important. The number of journalists killed in reprisal for their work has been declining in recent years, but the number of journalists imprisoned worldwide has been increasing. In 2022, the CPJ documented the imprisonment of 293 journalists worldwide, the highest number since the CPJ began tracking imprisonments in 1992.
Impunity for crimes against journalists has several negative consequences. It can lead to self-censorship by journalists, which can stifle the flow of information and freedom of expression. It also creates a climate of fear and intimidation for journalists, making it difficult for them to do their jobs.
The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is an opportunity to call for action to end impunity for crimes against journalists and to protect the safety and rights of journalists. It is a day to remember the journalists who have been killed, imprisoned, or harassed for their work, and to recommit ourselves to defending press freedom.
Significance of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is significant for several reasons. It is a day to:
- Raise awareness of the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists. Impunity is the lack of legal accountability for crimes committed. When crimes against journalists are committed with impunity, it creates a climate of fear and intimidation, and it sends the message that journalists can be attacked with no consequences. This can lead to self-censorship and a chilling effect on freedom of expression.
- Advocate for the safety and protection of journalists. Journalists play a vital role in society by holding the powerful to account and informing the public. However, they often face significant risks in their work, including violence, harassment, and imprisonment. International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists is a day to call on governments and other stakeholders to do more to protect journalists and create an environment in which they can work safely and freely.
- Show solidarity with journalists around the world. Journalists in many countries face significant challenges, including violence, censorship, and imprisonment. It is a day to show solidarity with journalists who are working in difficult conditions. Also, to celebrate their courage and resilience.
Journalism – an essential but dangerous profession
Journalism plays a crucial role in supporting sustainable development, safeguarding human rights, and strengthening democracy. Unfortunately, it is a perilous profession, with journalist murders going unresolved in most cases, occurring nine times out of ten.
- According to UNESCO’s Observatory of Killed Journalists, over 1,600 journalists have lost their lives since 1993.
- Various threats against journalists, both online and offline, are on the rise, especially in areas without conflicts.
- The number of imprisoned journalists has reached a record high. Online violence, particularly directed at women journalists, and harassment lead to self-censorship and, in some instances, physical attacks.
- Journalists increasingly face attacks while covering protests, from a range of actors, including security forces and protest participants.
- Multiple reports and studies reveal that these threats disproportionately affect women journalists and those representing minority groups.
UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists
The UN Plan of Action on Journalists’ Safety and Ending Impunity is the UN’s first serious attempt to tackle attacks on journalists and the lack of accountability. It involves various stakeholders, including UN bodies, national authorities, media, and civil society groups.
Since its adoption, the safety of journalists has gained more attention within the UN. This is evident in the growing number of declarations, resolutions, and other official documents. The UN Secretary-General has also called for action on human rights. Protecting journalists is now a part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Additionally, the Plan has led to the formation of international coalitions involving governments and civil society. It has also prompted changes on the ground, such as the establishment of national safety mechanisms in at least 50 countries.
However, challenges remain. Impunity for crimes against journalists is still a significant issue, and new threats are emerging in novel ways. The 10th anniversary marked a crucial point to reaffirm, recommit, and reposition efforts to advance the UN Plan.
2nd November 2024 Special Day
On November 2, 2024, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists takes center stage, highlighting the pressing concern of impunity for crimes targeting journalists. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the need to advocate for the safety of journalists and safeguard their fundamental right to freedom of expression. By raising awareness, it strives to create an environment where journalists can carry out their vital work without fear of reprisals or threats to their safety.
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