At UNESCO-organized meeting, media professionals adopt declaration on security

At UNESCO-organized meeting, media professionals adopt declaration on security

Some 200 media professionals from around the world have adopted a declaration laying the ground for a wide range of measures to improve the safety of journalists and punish crimes against them at a meeting convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Some 200 media professionals from around the world have adopted a declaration laying the ground for a wide range of measures to improve the safety of journalists and punish crimes against them at a meeting convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The “Medellin Declaration Securing the Safety of Journalists and Combating Impunity” was endorsed on 5 May at the close of a two-day international conference on Press Freedom organized by UNESCO in the Colombian city on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2007.

The Declaration voices concern over attacks on freedom of the press including murder, abductions, hostage-taking, intimidation, illegal arrests and detention against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel because of their professional activities. It points out that most attacks on media professionals occur outside situations of armed conflict.

The link between freedom of expression and development is recognized by the Medellin Declaration, which asks UNESCO Member States to make respect for freedom of expression and fighting impunity a condition for granting of financial assistance and calls for an end to statute of limitations for crimes committed to prevent the exercise of freedom of information and expression.

The Declaration calls on news associations to promote actions that secure the safety of journalists, including safety training, health care, life insurance, and equal access to social protection for freelance employees and full-time staff.