Reinforcing capacities of duty bearers

Duty-bearers are entities or individuals having a particular obligation or responsibility to respect, promote and realize human rights and to abstain from human rights violations. It is commonly used to refer to State actors, but non-State actors can also be considered duty-bearers. Depending on the context, individuals, local organizations, private companies, aid donors, and international institutions can also be duty-bearers.
Last update: 22 September 2022
Allegory of Justice on blue background

Monitoring and reporting on Safety of Journalists


UNESCO is a ‘contributing’ UN agency for reporting on Safety of Journalists -  Sustainable Development Goal Indicator (SDG) 16.10.1 - with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) taking the lead.

Information on killing of journalists is collected under mandate of the IPDC’s mechanism on monitoring and reporting on the safety of journalists. This is used to prepare the Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which is presented to the IPDC Council every two years.

This mechanism also concerns other dimensions of SDG 16, such as the rule of law. Evidence-based progress in combatting impunity is a significant indicator of legal accountability for violations of human rights. UNESCO monitors and reports on the killings, as reflected in the Observatory of Killed Journalists, and requests to Member States information on the status of judicial enquiries. It assesses the specific risks that women journalists face.

The information collected also feeds into the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, and the UNESCO World Trends Report on Freedom of Expression and Media Development

Monitoring and reporting on Access to Information


Ensuring access to information (ATI) is critical for the achievement of SDGs. It is key to promote and protect human rights. It empowers the public to make informed choices and effectively monitor and hold duty-bearers to account.

Within the United Nations, UNESCO is the custodian agency for reporting on global progress by means of SDG Indicator 16.10.2 concerning “Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information.”

Under this mandate, UNESCO, via the IPDC, has developed a methodology to measure and report on the adoption and implementation of ATI guarantees. We used a survey developed with the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) and experts, which yielded valuable data through a pilot exercise in 43 states in 2019. The survey, comprising a National Questionnaire (targeted at ATI oversight bodies) and an Institutional Questionnaire (targeted at public authorities), was further refined for submission to all Member States in 2020 and in 2021

The Global Report on the implementation of Access to Information Laws is presented to the IPDC Council.

The data is also included in other important reporting exercises at the international level, such as the annual UN Secretary-General report on overall SDG progress.

Governments can also make good use of the collected data at the national level to keep track of their country’s progress towards SDG 16, and to prepare their Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Universal Periodic Review (UPR) exercises.