November 2nd was the third International Day To End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. Established by the United Nations General Assembly, it was passed due to more the deaths of more than 800 journalists around the world who have been killed over the past decade.
The origin of this issue began in 2013, around the commemoration of the murders of two French journalists who were abducted and killed in Mali after an interview with a political local leader.
Journalism can be a life-threatening occupation. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that impunity leads to killings and damages societies as it covers up human rights abuses, corruption and crime. In 2014, UNESCO Director-General condemned the killings of 87 journalists, media workers and social journalists.
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day to End Impunity in order to condemn all attacks and violence against media workers and journalists. It also urges member states to prevent any type of harm or violence to journalists and will ensure accountability on bringing justice to perpetrators.
Those member states involve more than 90 states. Austria, Brazil, France, Greece, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia were the architects of the resolutions.
On October 27th, the UN held a panel of discussions including experts and journalists who seek to end the killings.The event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN along with UNESCO.
“Let’s not forget that every case of a journalist or media worker harassed, injured, arbitrarily detained or killed is an assault to freedom of expression and a threat to the foundations of open and democratic society,” Ambassador Catherine Boura of Greece said. “It is our priority to secure a safe environment which will guarantee freedom of speech and expression as well as access to information for all.”
Several participants were there are from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Syrian Center for Media and the Freedom of Expression Representatives from France and Lithuania.
In 2015, 115 journalists were killed and murdered, like Kenji Goto, a 47-year old reporter who was killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Prior to his death, there was an online petition demanding the Japanese government to do more to save Goto.
Another headline incident was the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris that targeted and killed 10 media workers and injured 11 others.The attack occurred at the beginning of 2015; two Islamic brothers claiming to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS forced their way into the offices of a French satirical weekly newspaper.This led to the "Je Suis Charlie" assemblage, where countless people marched through France and many others gathered globally, supporting the Charlie Hebdo news group and unifying self-expression.
Professional journalists have a code of ethics; to strive and ensure the free exchange of information is accurate and current. Over the past decade internationally, journalists are kidnapped, tortured, intimidated, and harassed. Women face sexual harassment and gender-bias violence. This violates human rights, rights for access to public information and freedom of press.
Having this summit and establishing an official day to reorganize and make strides to remove impunity is a big deal. Many deaths are unsolved murders or killings from crossfire or combat.
The UN conducted collaborate elucidation, evaluating to find adequate maneuvering and monitoring as it is critical to protect journalists all over. The necessities are hotlines, budget planning and plans for emergency situations if journalists need to be evacuated. Each year there is another collective data report on impunity, and it will be discussed next year November 2nd, urging leaders and governments to prevent violence against journalists and news workers.