On 3 November, Dyvik will participate at the Seminar and Inter-regional Dialogue on the protection of journalists in the European Court of Human Rights. The Seminar is organised by the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the Centre for Freedom of the Media and the European Lawyers Union, and propagates an effective framework of protection for the work of journalists and an end to impunity.
Since 1992, more than 700 journalists have been killed for doing their job. Most of those attacked are local journalists, reporting in their own countries, out of war zones and out of international headlines.
The UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment Number 34 on Article 19, issued in 2011, describes the obligation of States to put in place effective measures protecting those exercising their right to freedom of expression against attacks aimed at silencing them. The Comment gives detailed guidance, and says that all such attacks should be vigorously investigated, and the perpetrators prosecuted.
Despite these detailed guidelines, less than 10% of the cases of killed journalists have ended in conviction since 2006. Through systemic impunity for crimes committed against journalists, most of the killers get away with it. UNESCO notes that this situation is currently worsening.
The seminar of 3 November is followed up by the 3rd UN-Inter-Agency Meeting on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity on 4 November. Dyvik will be present at this working meeting as well, which will review the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity from 2013 to 2014. The UN Plan of Action was adopted by the UN Chief Executives Board on 12 April 2012, and is the first effort to systematically join the UN agencies and other relevant stakeholders together in addressing the culture of impunity and the worsening situation for journalists, media workers and social media producers. The working meeting will look at the successes, challenges, lessons learnt and the way forward. The first UN-Inter-Agency Meeting took place in September 2011 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris where the UN Plan of Action was first drafted.
IFEX, a global network of 95 organizations defending and promoting the right to freedom of expression and information, is campaigning throughout November to end impunity for cromes against journalists. To learn more, visit IFEX’s Day to End Impunity Campaign. The campaign is hashtagged #EndImpunity on Twitter.