Against the culture of impunity
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that proclaimed 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. 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, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, in Mali on 2 November 2013.
The statistics are staggering: 90 percent of cases concerning the killing of journalists remain unpunished, according to information Member States provided to UNESCO in 2017. This is a slight improvement compared to last year, when countries' answers to UNESCO's written enquires indicated that only 8 percent of such cases led to a conviction. The majority of journalists killed in 2016 (94 percent) were local journalists, reporting local stories. Half of the killings (50 percent) occurred in countries where there was no armed conflict, compared to 47 percent in 2015.
"The news is filled with reports of our colleagues, journalists getting killed, wounded, imprisoned all over the world," said UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety, Christiane Amanpour. "We, the press, must continue to fight for an end to impunity."
On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, on 2 November UNESCO and its partners will launch a global campaign in association with media from all over the world and a social media campaign #MyFightAgainstImpunity. Regional and local events have been organized worldwide, including in Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, Senegal, Tunisia, the United States of America and many other countries. On 4 December, UNESCO will hold a one-day seminar to commemorate the Day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, entitled "Reinforcing regional cooperation to promote freedom of expression and the rule of law in Asia through ending impunity for crimes against journalists".