By Isabela Fraga
With the aim to broaden the debate on journalists' security, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, and the United Nations Information Center in Rio de Janeiro launched the website Segurança de Jornalistas (Journalists' Security in English) on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.
And for good reason: World Press Freedom Day was observed with the publication of several pessimistic reports on the situation journalists face around the world and especially in Latin America. It was clear that the while freedom of expression waned in 2012, impunity for press crimes during the same year swelled.
The website's first act was to publish a version in Portuguese of the 2012 United Nations Action Plan on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. One of the issues addressed by the plan to improve the protection of press workers was "helping governments to develop laws on safety and freedom of expression, public awareness, safety and online security training, providing medical care, emergency response mechanisms for conflict zones, decriminalization of defamation and compensation for journalists," according to the website.
Journalists' Security also offers a look at violence against the media around the world, be it physical, verbal or virtual. The website also offers a library of UN materials on the subject, from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the UNESCO annual list of killed journalists.
The website considers the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas a reference for these issues, along with the Vladimir Herzog Institute, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism, Article 19, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.