The day draws attention to the level of impunity for crimes against journalists, which remains extremely high globally. Between 2006 and 2020, over 1,200 journalists have been killed around the world, with close to 9 out of 10 cases of these killings remaining judicially unresolved, according to the UNESCO observatory of killed journalists. As journalists play a critical role in reporting facts to all citizens, impunity for attacks against them has a particularly damaging impact, limiting public awareness and constructive debate.
On 2 November, organizations and individuals worldwide are encouraged to talk about the unresolved cases in their countries, and write to government and intra-governmental officials to demand action and justice. UNESCO organizes an awareness-raising campaign on the findings of the UNESCO Director-General’s biennial Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, which catalogues the responses of states to UNESCO’s formal request for updates on progress in cases of killings of journalists and media workers. UNESCO and civil society groups throughout the world also use 2 November as a launch date for other reports, events and other advocacy initiatives relating to the problem of impunity for crimes against freedom of expression.