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International Day to End Impunity is focus for global efforts to end impunity for crimes against journalists

Two years ago the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution which proclaimed November 2 as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. It urged member states to bring to justice the perpetrators of these attacks and to do their utmost to ensure that journalists can do their work safely. In the past decade 700 journalists have been killed in the course of their work. In nine out of ten cases — from Syria to Serbia and from Mexico to Moscow — the killers habitually go unpunished. Governments, civil society, the media and all concerned to uphold the rule of law are called on to join in the global efforts to end impunity.

Main Event: Commemoration conference: at a two-day conference at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in San Jose Costa Rica on 9-10 October 2015 representatives of judicial systems around the world shared the experience derived from international courts to raise knowledge of international legal standards in the fight against impunity for crimes against journalists. Jointly organised by UNESCO and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. CFOM is a partner of this event.

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

On 2 November 2015 the first major event to be held the UK to mark International day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists took place in the Houses of Parliament. Prominent journalists, international lawyers, NGOs and policy-makers focused on the realities of impunity in the field and on the necessary responses to eradicate impunity. Jointly organised by UNESCO, the Centre for Freedom of the Media, PEN International and Article 19.

2 November 2015 –  Statements by EU High Representative, UN Secretary-General and UK Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay marking International day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalist and call for prevention of violence and prosecution of perpetrators

Media coverage of End Impunity event in UK parliament:

UNESCO website: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists celebrated in London

BBC journalism website:  Journalists in danger

The Hoot (Indian media watch): Stop killing us

The Parliament magazine, Brussels: EU leaders must act to protect journalists threatened with violence

Enforcing and Upgrading Legal Protections for Journalists

3 November 2014, Monday: European Court of Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, organised by the Council of Europe, CFOMUNESCO and the European Lawyers Union.

Marking the 2 November UN ‘International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, this Seminar and Inter-Regional Dialogue addresses the urgent need to enforce and upgrade legal protections for journalists whose safety and security are threatened because of their work. Current frameworks of legal protection for journalists vary greatly between regions and the rate of conviction for crimes against journalists remains extremely low. The seminar provides a forum for an enhanced dialogue among representatives of inter-governmental organisations and regional human rights courts in Europe, the Americas and Africa, with leading  lawyers and non-govermental organisations, to advance efforts to develop a consistent framework of protection globally and eradicate impunity. Read more about the event, including the Conclusions of the Rapporteur Tarlach McGonagle, speakers’ presentations and a full transcript of the Event, on the Seminar website

Charlie Hebdo murders mean journalism just got more dangerous. CFOM’s International Director writes on the BBC College of journalism blog.

Seminar media coverage

International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

Perceptions of Anti-media Violence

CFOM has completed 3 pilot research studies analysing media reporting on targeted violence against journalists, and perceptions about the public interest importance of such reporting, among media decision-makers, journalism educators, journalism students, and the public. Preliminary findings point to a widespread lack of awareness and understanding of the growing scale and the negative societal effects of targeted violence against journalists and entrenched patterns of impunity. Click here to read the summary document and full report.

Making the Protection of Journalists a Reality: Time to End Impunity

Journalism in danger: London Symposium on Journalists’ Safety probes the causes of anti-media violence and repression

On 7 April the BBC and CFOM hosted a conference at the BBC’s Broadcasting House. In “Making the Protection of Journalists a Reality: Time to end Impunity” 60 international media editors, jurists and other experts showcased media investigations and reports into anti-media violence and impunity, considered ways to improve safety practices and sought urgent action by governments and UN bodies to strengthen protections. The meeting examined serious restraints on press freedom in  Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine and elsewhere. UN General Assembly Resolution on the Safety of Journalists condemns impunity for violent crimes against journalists Read on »

Safety of Journalists: Media Responses to Matters of Life and Death

IFJ/EFJ Condemn Crimean Government’s Attempts to Restrict Media Access. Press release warns restrictions will put journalists’ safety at risk following earlier cases of targeted attacks and abuse

CFOM and the BBC co-host “unique” meeting of global news media to tackle rise in violence against journalists. More than forty media organisations sign “London Statement” demanding strong UN action to stop the killings of journalists. Event summary, London statement, analysis, commentary, stories from the frontline.

Read on »


The Centre for Freedom of the Media researchs about issues related to media freedom through its MFP (Media Freedom Papers), a series of reports on the state of media liberty worldwide, violations against media freedom, legal impunity.

The protection of media freedom in Europe: new William Horsley report highlights states’ responsibility for safety threats to journalists

CFOM International Director writes for the Council of Europe : Mapping Report on efforts for journalists’ safety in Europe and gaps in implementation

Censorship by bullet: William Horsley and Professor Jackie Harrison on confronting a global tide of violence against journalists

Read CFOM’s latest Media Freedom Papers

Other Publications

2010-2011 Project: Impunity and the Rule of Law

The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law was a joint project of the Centre for Freedom of the Media, University of Sheffield and the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, City University, London. The Initiative hosted a London conference in June 2011 to help prepare for a UN Inter-agency meeting. On 23 November UNESCO finalised the United Nations’ Action Plan to combat violence against journalists and impunity for those crimes.