International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

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2023 Date2 November 2023
2024 Date2 November 2024

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is an essential global observance dedicated to ensuring the safety and protection of journalists and media workers. The main objective of the day is to raise awareness against the persisting culture of impunity, where journalists face severe threats, violence, and even murder without any accountability, thereby hindering the fundamental right to freedom of expression. The day serves as an important reminder to uphold the rule of law and punish those who commit these heinous crimes, ultimately contributing to an environment in which media personnel can work without fear.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in November 2013, recognizing the increasing violence and harassment faced by media workers worldwide. Even though Australia has a stable and well-functioning democracy, upholding the significance of this day is still essential as the country is no stranger to instances of journalists being subjected to defamation lawsuits, political pressure, or workplace bullying. This day serves as an opportunity for Australians to reiterate their commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive environment for journalists and promoting freedom of expression across the globe.

In Australia, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is observed through various activities that emphasize and endorse the importance of press freedom and safety for journalists. Media organizations, government institutions, civil society organizations, and individuals join together to raise awareness and engage in discussions to tackle the issues. Activities typically include conferences, workshops, social media campaigns, and other events that amplify the significance of combating impunity and promoting accountability for crimes against journalists. The day is marked annually on November 2nd in Australia and around the world.

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Facts about this UN Observance

  • More than 1000 journalists around the world have been killed in the last decade according to the U.N.
  • According to UNESCO data, eighty-six journalists and media workers were killed around the world in 2022 – one every four days.
  • According to the U.N, in the last decade, only 1 out of 10 cases committed against journalists have lead to a conviction.
  • In the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, Australia was ranked 25th out of 180 countries, highlighting the need to address issues related to impunity for crimes against journalists.
  • Australia's national security laws have been criticized for undermining press freedom and potentially stifling investigative journalism. The lack of a public interest defense within these laws leaves journalists more vulnerable to prosecution and could limit their willingness to report on sensitive issues.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Pay attention to your local and national news agencies. Journalists work hard to keep the public and their communities informed.
  • Contact your local politicians, members of parliament, or government officials to express your concern about crimes against journalists, the importance of press freedom, and the need for proper investigation and prosecution of such crimes. Ask for their commitment to ensuring the safety of journalists.
  • Check out the work of local journalists and writers. Read their articles, subscribe to their newsletters, or purchase their books to show your support for their vital contributions to society.

References and related sites

UN: End Crimes Against Journalists

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