Safety of Journalists

Safety of Journalists

Promoting the safety of journalists and combatting impunity for those who attack them are central actions within UNESCO's support for press freedom and freedom of expression. We #ProtectJournalists by spearheading the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in line with the relevant international commitments. We monitor and report on the killings, as reflected in the Observatory of Killed Journalists, and by requesting to Member States information on the status of judicial enquiries. We build and develop national and regional capacities to prevent, protect and prosecute attacks against journalists; advocate to take into account the specific risks women journalists face; and support legal protection of journalists worldwide. We lead the commemorations of World Press Freedom Day and the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists; and develop knowledge resources to understand and address the challenges. 


The Chilling recommendations provide solutions on how to tackle gender online violence
10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of journalists
Ukraine: UNESCO working for truth and life-saving information

Our Stories

Interview series: Good legal practices to end impunity for crimes against journalists
Interview series: Stories of media defence put into action

Our Challenges

United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists
Safety of Women Journalists
Bolstering Media Freedom and Journalists' Legal Protection
Journalists' Safety Indicators
Protecting journalists and free, independent media worldwide
Freedom of Expression and the Universal Periodic Review

Monitoring Killings of Journalists

UNESCO Observatory of Killed Journalists
UNESCO Director-General's Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity
Newsletter on United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists

Knowing the Truth is Protecting the Truth

Accountability. Without it, crimes just like this one go unpunished. 9 out of 10 journalist killings remain unsolved. Indifference is the deadliest weapon. Don’t let their deaths be invisible to society, #MakeImpunityVisible.

What would a world without independent media look like?

Without the work of independent journalists providing us with reliable information, who would report on issues of public interest, denounce wrongdoings, social inequalities and unpunished crimes? Protecting journalists and independent journalism is not only a concern for journalists. It’s a concern for all. Journalism makes an impact on people’s lives. It is key in advancing human rights and has a basic function to hold the powerful accountable. The information that journalists provide to us is a public good which needs public support. 

Facts and Figures

journalists killed since 1993
Every 4 days
a journalist is killed.
ongoing or unresolved cases of killed journalists.

Our Publications

The 2021/2022 edition of the World Trends Report- Highlights
With the support of the UNESCO Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists (MDP)
Global toolkit for judicial actors: international legal standards on freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists
The Chilling: global trends in online violence against women journalists; research discussion paper
With financial support from UNESCO’s Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists and the Swedish Postcode Foundation