Training security forces and the judiciary on freedom of expression

Training security forces and the judiciary on freedom of expression

Freedom of expression and safety of journalists as well as ending impunity for crimes and attacks committed against them are of vital importance to ensure the rule of law and human rights more broadly. UNESCO is therefore working with the judiciary and security forces to support their role in protecting and ensuring an environment conducive to freedom of expression, access to information and other fundamental freedoms.

UNESCO’s training programmes tailored for members of the judiciary (including judges, prosecutors, and lawyers) as well as law enforcement and security forces, are being implemented at a global scale. The primary aim is to provide these key actors with practical and theoretical tools to carry out their mission of maintaining public order and upholding the rule of law, while respecting human rights, freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

Upcoming Trainings

  • National training for security forces in Indonesia on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists – 4-7 October 2022, Indonesia
  • Regional high-level training-of-trainers for security forces in Africa on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists – 16-18 November, Kenya

In Numbers

Over 24,000
judicial actors including judges, lawyers

and prosecutors trained on international and regional standards on freedom of expression.

11,500
law enforcement agents and security forces

trained on freedom of expression and safety of journalists related issues.

6
Memorandum of Understanding signed

with regional human rights courts, international judicial and police associations.

How to stop impunity for crimes against journalists

Why impunity of crimes against journalists prevails? - It is not an easy answer. But when a journalist is attacked for his or her work, not only is the journalist's individual right to freedom of expression violated, but also the collective rights of society to access information. Silencing a journalist should not only be a concern for one individual or journalistic union, it is an issue that affects society as a whole, its present and its future.

This video is also available with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

The Legitimate Limits to Freedom of Expression: the Three-Part Test

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, indispensable in democratic societies. However, this right is not an absolute right, and may be lawfully restricted according to certain principles and conditions. Under international human rights law, and specifically, article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the three-part test determines whether a restriction on freedom of expression is legitimate.

Training security forces on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists

“Training Security Forces on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists” aims at building the capacity of security forces to uphold citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and information by improving journalist safety. Its goal is to establish more professional relationships between security forces and journalists conducive to a better environment for freedom of expression for all citizens. It has already been implemented in Tunisia since 2013.

Trainings of Ukrainian law enforcement officers on safety of journalists

In the context of the project “Promoting Human Rights and the Rule of Law through Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists in Ukraine”, a 3-day workshop aimed at fostering dialogue between law enforcement officers and the media follows the experience of the participating law enforcement officers and journalists and documents their reactions during and after the training and their expectations from future collaborative efforts. 

Our Publications

Global toolkit for judicial actors: international legal standards on freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists
UNESCO
2021
UNESCO
0000378755
Legal standards on freedom of expression: toolkit for the judiciary in Africa
UNESCO
2018
UNESCO
0000366340
Guidelines for prosecutors on cases of crimes against journalists
UNESCO
2020
Publication supported by UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, and by the Open Society Foundations
0000375138
Guidelines for judicial actors on privacy and data protection
UNESCO
2022
With the support of the Open Society Foundations and the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists
0000381298
COVID-19: the role of judicial operators in the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of expression: guidelines
UNESCO
2020
Published with the support of the Open Society Foundations
0000374208
Safety of journalists covering protests : preserving freedom of the press during times of turmoil
UNESCO
2020
UNESCO
0000374206
Freedom of expression and public order: training manual
UNESCO
2015
0000231305
Freedom of expression and public order: fostering the relationship between security forces and journalists
[2018]
UNESCO
0000261467