UNESCO launches Observatory of Killed Journalists, tracking actions taken to punish crimes against media practitioners

On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, 2 November, UNESCO launched the Observatory of Killed Journalists. The Observatory is an online database providing information on the status of judicial enquiries into each killing of a journalist or media worker recorded by UNESCO since 1993, based on information provided by the country in which the killing took place.

According to the 2018 UNESCO Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, one journalist or media personnel is killed every four days. These deaths provide a tragic demonstration of the risks many journalists face in the line of duty and the latest UNESCO statistics show that in 89% of cases, the perpetrators go unpunished.

The newly launched Observatory counts 1,293 killings since 1993, including more than 80 recorded so far this year. The online database allows journalists, researchers and members of the public to obtain information on killed journalists, with search options based on nationality, country of killing, name, sex, media type, and employment status.

The database also provides information about the status of judicial enquiries and, in many cases, makes available documents from national authorities on judicial proceedings. Country profiles allow insights into levels of impunity per country.

UNESCO, as the UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and the safety of journalists, monitors killings and supports Member States in addressing the prevailing climate of impunity for such attacks.

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