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UNESCO considers protecting journalists from violence a priority

Paris, Apr 25 (Prensa Latina) The person in charge of Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists at UNESCO, Guilherme Canela, addressed the priority that the organization gives to prevent and confront violence against reporters.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, Canela considered the very serious threats and crimes that affect professionals in the sector, a phenomenon that in recent decades has had a notable impact on digital platforms.

“We have the problem of physical violence and murders, the crudest forms of censorship, but also arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and intimidation, and more recently the question of online crimes,” the expert said.

UNESCO data shows that only last year 86 journalists and media workers were killed in the world, one every four days, in a rebound in numbers, after an average of 58 professionals lost their lives per year between 2019 and 2021.

According to Canela, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reflects the challenge of guaranteeing public access to information and protecting fundamental freedoms, specifically objective number 16: “Promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies”.

Regarding UNESCO as a component of the United Nations system, he highlighted the activation a decade ago, of the Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

In the expert’s opinion, fight against the phenomenon of violence, in order to silence reporters depends on various factors, including the political will of the States and the support of society; for example, companies who operate on the Internet, are called to play a key role against harassment and attacks on the web.

Following the publication of data on violence against journalists, the general director of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, urged the authorities at the beginning of the year to redouble their efforts in putting an end to these crimes, and ensure that their perpetrators are punished.


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