Issue 10 | September - October 2014

10th Newsletter on the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity

Greetings Colleagues,

As part of the information sharing mechanism under the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, we are issuing this newsletter once every two months. Through this newsletter, we share with you information on the implementation of the UN Plan of Action. It includes developments from various ongoing and upcoming initiatives that could contribute to achieving the objectives set out in the UN Plan of Action. We invite you to submit relevant information concerning your initiative that would contribute to the UN Plan.

Role of the Media in the post-2015 agenda at the Global Media Forum


In August 2014 the 'Global Media Forum' in Bali, Indonesia gathered multiple stakeholders debating the role of the media in the development agenda. In a concerted effort, it brought forth the Bali Road Map "to realize the potentials of the media to contribute to sustainable development, and to promote the inclusion of a goal acknowledging the importance of freedom of expression and independent media" in the post-2015 SDGs. In order to ensure its realization, it includes actions for governments, media, and the international community. Read more.

Media safety during elections in Nigeria


In Nigeria, UNESCO has secured funding (USD 300,000) to launch a project to monitor the Safety of Journalists issues during the electoral period in cooperation with The Nigeria Union of Journalists. The project will include training workshops at the level of the six geo-political zones and two national workshops on safety issues. A journalist’s safety code for journalists will also be developed and distributed around the country. For more information, please contact Mr Ronald Kayanja.

Press freedom and the judiciary in Brazil: International Debate

© José Cruz/Agência Brasil (CC BY 3.0 BR)

The Brazilian judiciary, UN, UNESCO, and the OAS' Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression set up a partnership for an in-depth international debate on the right to freedom of expression. This high-profile joint effort intends to offer Brazilian judges a concrete space to discuss issues related to the promotion and protection of freedom of expression and gives particular attention to the safety of journalists and the fight against impunity, recognizing the central role of the Judiciary herein. For more information, please contact Mr Guilherme Canela Godoi.

Launch of African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms


At the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul on 4 September 2014 the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms was released. It promotes human rights standards and openness principles in Internet policy formulation and implementation in Africa, including the right to information and online safety. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the necessary principles to uphold human and people’s rights online and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals. Learn more.

Tackling impunity will ensure further development


At a panel discussion organized by NGO Article 19 in Geneva, UNESCO Director for freedom of expression and media development Guy Berger emphasized the link between impunity and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Exploring the challenges of eradicate impunity, the panel discussion acted as a side event of the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council. “By explicitly mainstreaming the protection of journalists into these SDGs, a message will be sent out more widely that violence in other social instances will not be tolerated.” Read more.

Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression urge for stronger protection

©Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

A group of international Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and media called on state and non-state actors to strengthen protections of reporters, especially those who are covering conflict zones and civil unrest. "Attacks deprive all of us of the right to know and to access information about critical situations around the world.” they said, emphasizing the chilling consequences on society of violence against journalists and impunity. Read more.

Coming Soon:

3rd UN Inter-Agency Meeting on the UN Plan of Action


Reviewing the first implementation phase of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity on 4 November 2014 in Strasbourg, the third UN Inter-Agency Meeting will bring together representatives from civil society, academia, the international community, governments, judiciaries, and the media sector and is co-hosted by UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Please refer to its dedicated webpage for more info.

What can judges do to protect journalists?

© CC BY 3.0/Alfredovic

On 3 November 2014 the 'Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue on the Protection of Journalists' will examine the current legal programmes and mechanisms which protect journalists and media staff worldwide. Co-organized by the Council of Europe, UNESCO, Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield, and the European Lawyer's Union, the meeting provides a forum to discuss the protective legal framework for the media and establish concrete steps for its improvement.

COLPIN convenes Latin American Investigative Journalists


From 10 to 13 October 2014, the Latin American Conference on Investigative Journalism (COLPIN) will take place in the capital of Mexico, gathering researchers from 13 countries for a four day meeting. Organized annually by the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS) and Transparancy International (TI), COLPIN awards the best of Latin American investigative journalism and brings together more than 200 journalists for international debates and workshops. Read more.

20th session of the Universal Periodic Review


Under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven institutional assessment of the national situation of human rights in every Member State. It acts as an opportunity for governments to declare their actions and projects regarding the improvement of human rights in their country. The 20th session, held in October 2014, will review Italy, El Salvador, Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Angola, Islamic Republic of Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, and Egypt. Read more.

UN Secretary General to report on Safety of Journalists at UN General Assembly

©UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

On its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity in December 2013. As one of the most important tools to combat impunity, the Resolution urges Member States to promote a safe and enabling media environment, prevent violence against journalists, and ensure accountability for the perpetrators. The report by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of A/RES/68/163 is available online. Read more.

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