Main seminar for the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes against Journalists
The 2017 IDEI main event, entitled "Reinforcing regional cooperation to promote freedom of expression and the rule of law in Asia through ending impunity for crimes against Journalists", will be organized in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by UNESCO and the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, with the participation of various regional stakeholders including ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) and Human Rights Commissions’ representatives. The one-day seminar will seek to advance dialogues and strategies to strengthen the regional cooperation on safety of journalists and ending impunity in Asia. The event will focus on the role of the judiciary, National Human Rights Commissions as well as on the role of civil society and media in the persisting challenge of combatting impunity for crimes against journalists in the region. Through encouraging the exchange of best practices and identifying steps ahead and concrete solutions, the event aims to strengthen the fight of impunity for crimes against journalists in Asia and inscribe this issue in the larger framework to protect fundamental human rights.
The objective of the seminar will be to promote freedom of expression and the rule of law through fostering safety of journalists and ending impunity in Asia. This event falls under the global framework of the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, UN Resolutions and UNESCO Decisions on safety of journalists. By increasing the safety of journalists, reinforcing the fight against impunity and raising awareness for international standards and regional cooperation, the project aims to contribute to fostering peace and security, good governance and the rule of law. This comes also with the proposed actions outlined in the Outcome document of the Geneva Multi-Stakeholder Consultation (29 June 2017).
The event in Colombo will help raising awareness amongst regional bodies, national authorities and institutions, civil society and media on the importance of solving cases of killed journalists in order to strengthen the rule of law and stop the culture of impunity in Asia. The Colombo event will also promote the exchange of knowledge and dialogues between national institutions (e.g. National Human Rights Commissions, judiciary institutions, specialized protection mechanisms), regional organizations (e.g. ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, ASEAN Parliamentarians), civil society (lawyers associations, journalist organizations) and media.
Deepening and sharing experiences, as well as strengthening human rights defenders and civil society, can be an important tool in fighting impunity by raising knowledge about international standards. Civil society, media and other relevant stakeholders will also be invited to discuss their role, focusing on strategies to reinforce their capacities. To summarize, the seminar will seek to increase knowledge and capacities of judicial members and human rights defenders on these issues; reinforce regional cooperation; and to raise awareness on the importance of reinforcing or establishing mechanisms to protect journalists and fight impunity.