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2 November: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

More than a thousand journalists were killed between 2006 and 2017, according to a UNESCO report published ahead of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, 2 November.

Last year, the percentage of journalists murdered in countries free of armed conflict (55%) exceeded that of journalists felled in conflict zones for the first time. Impunity for these crimes remains shockingly high as only one out of ten such killings was brought to trial.

This glaring injustice is highlighted in the latest UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, published ahead of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

The United Nations has been marking this Day since 2013 as a way of taking stock of efforts undertaken to improve the safety of journalists in the exercise of their profession and to end the impunity of crimes against them. Despite increased public awareness of these problems, statistics show that much remains to be done to shed light on the overwhelming majority of crimes against media workers.

“The fight against impunity is central to freedom of expression, press freedom and access to information,” declared Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO when speaking about the Day. “Improving the safety of journalists who face danger to keep us informed is not only an absolute duty but also a challenge that democracies must overcome.”

Another notable fact concerns the increase in the number of women journalists killed in the exercise of their profession over the last decade. In 2017, UNESCO counted 11 female journalists killed, more than in any year since 2006. About this issue, the Director-General insisted that “our commitment to the fight against the specific threats facing women journalists must clearly be reinforced.”

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