Stop the killing of journalists! Prevention and justice to end impunity

For more information, please contact: m.benchelah(at)unesco.org
Concept note (PDF - in English)

Venue

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Room, Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, London, United Kingdom

Time/date

2 November 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception (6:30 – 8:00 PM)

Theme

Journalists, international lawyers, human rights figures and policymakers share their understanding of the acute situation regarding the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists, as well as potential responses from each of the actors involved. Responses include: raising awareness about the issue in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity; gathering evidence and pressing for justice in cases of killed, injured and jailed journalists; requesting information on the status of investigations; promoting best practices; strengthening international legal frameworks; and enhancing the effectiveness NGOs’ work.

Partners

Centre for the Freedom of the Media (CFOM) – Sheffield University, PEN International, Article 19 and UNESCO

Participants

Sponsoring Member of Parliament: Mr Paul Farrelly

Opening presentation

Mr Getachew Engida, UNESCO Deputy Director-General, will present the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Special Digital Focus 2015

Panel 1: First-hand accounts of violence and impunity; reflections on the causes and the severe chilling effect of impunity in conflict/non-conflict areas and situations

  • Moderator: Mr Salil Tripathi, Indian writer and journalist
  • Mr Kevin Sutcliffe, Head of News Programming EU, Vice News
  • Mr Peter Greste, Correspondent, Al Jazeera
  • Ms Emma Beals, Freelance Journalist reporting from Syria and other conflict areas
  • Mr Alaa Bayoumi, Senior Producer, Al Jazeera
  • Other speakers to be announced

Panel 2: Focus on representative cases, shortcomings in state responses, justice systems and political accountability; suggested courses of action to combat and end impunity.

  • Moderator: Mr William Horsley, International Director, Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield
  • Ms Joanna Evans, Barrister and Legal Director, European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) UK
  • Mr Thomas Hughes, Executive Director, Article 19
  • Mr Robb FennHead of Human Rights and Democracy Department, Foreign Office United Kingdom

Audience

Politicians, government officials, human rights lawyers, media representatives, journalists and journalism educators, and NGOs concerned with freedom of expression, journalists’ safety and the rule of law.

Summary

UNESCO will convene or co-host events in Paris, London, New York and elsewhere, on Monday, 2 November 2015, to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI). The events will also serve as an occasion to launch, in various locations, the forthcoming UNESCO report, World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development – Special Digital Focus 2015, which contains the Organization’s most recent information on the safety of journalists and impunity. The events can take forward the outcomes of the commemoration conference on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, in partnership with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which will be held in Costa Rica from 9 to 10 October 2015. They can also feed into and inform the UNESCO international conference ‘News organizations standing up for the safety of media professionals’ scheduled for 5 February 2016.

Background

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013, which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. UNESCO is requested in the Resolution to facilitate the implementation of the IDEI.
In 2014, the first year of the IDEI, UNESCO co-organized an inter-regional dialogue at the European Court of Human Rights, in partnership with the Council of Europe; Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield; and the European Lawyers’ Union. In conjunction with several permanent delegations to the United Nations (Argentina, Austria, Costa Rica, France, Greece and Tunisia), UNESCO also organized a high-level panel titled ‘Ending Impunity: Upholding the Rule of Law’. Further events initiated by the Organization took place in Abuja, Accra and Tunis. 

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