Report on the mechanisms concerned with ensuring the safety of journalists


Published:
6 August 2018
Author:
OHCHR
Presented:
To the HRC at its 39th session, September 2018

Summary

The report, prepared in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 33/2, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides an overview of available mechanisms concerned with ensuring the safety of journalists, including existing international and regional prevention, protection, monitoring and complaint mechanisms, and considers their effectiveness.

The report includes recent notable and significant achievements in addressing the issue of the safety of journalists at international, regional and national levels. A wide range of prevention, protection, monitoring and complaint mechanisms have been established, often with multiple functions, and are regularly employed to draw attention to the issue, to educate, prevent and protect, monitor violations and report, and pursue accountability. Through these mechanisms, international and regional actors assist States in fulfilling their own primary obligations under international law to protect the rights of journalists and prevent attacks against them.

It notes that despite the attention given to the safety of journalists at the international and regional levels, attacks on journalists are increasing, raising legitimate questions about the impact of these mechanisms at all levels.

In addition, the report highlights some essential components that are required for an independent and impartial analysis of effectiveness. These include the investment of adequate time and resources, an agreed methodology (taking account of the wide range and multiple roles of the mechanisms and the contexts in which they operate), and the systematic collection, collation and analysis of relevant disaggregated data over time.

Lastly, the report states that mechanisms could themselves usefully carry out analyses of the effectiveness of their work, individually and/or in cooperation with other mechanisms and with the involvement of civil society. The multi-stakeholder consultation is an example of a recent evaluation that aimed to constructively assess the impact of the Plan of Action.