UN names journalism one of the most dangerous professions in the world

With more than 500 killings during the last 10 years, journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in the world, according to an alert from the United Nations.

"Mapping out a UN plan of action on the safety of journalists and to put an end to impunity for perpetrators of violations against them is essential,” said the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Pillay said journalists "report on human rights violations and bad governance, give voice to the victims and the oppressed, and contribute towards raising awareness of human rights issues,” and that this service deserves better protection.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 44 journalists were killed in 2010 around the world; 73 were killed in 2009. A recent report from the International Press Institute identified Latin America as the most dangerous region in the world to practice journalism in 2011, with Mexico as the most dangerous country.

UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication, launched this September, concluded that the majority of crimes against journalists are committed in their own countries while covering local stories. The Programme plans to release an action plan to combat crimes against journalists in 2012.

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