The Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law was a global project of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) and the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism (CLJJ) at City University, London. The aims of the project were to provide an independent platform to assess the effectiveness of existing legal, political and institutional safeguards against violence directed at journalists because of their professional work. The project also presented the case for more effective international mechanisms to counter impunity. The project was made up of two phases and more can be read about these two phases here.
The first phase of the project involved three following things that were considered at a gathering of experts and policy-makers at the Working Conference on 1 June 2011:
As part of phase one, a working conference was organised to discuss three particular things that had been prepared in advance of the conference:
The Working Conference was organised by the directors of the Initiative on Impunity and the Rule of Law and sponsored by the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO, Norwegian Pen and the Open Society Foundation. It took place on 2 June 2011 at City University. Entitled Safety and Protection for Journalists: A Responsibility for the World, the conference was opened by Janis Karklins, then UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication. Among those leading discussions were Roland Bless, Director of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Gavin Simpson, then the Office of the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, and Susan Hyland, then Director of Human Rights at the UK Foreign Office. Archbishop Desmond Tutu also sent a special message to the conference, supporting the work of the initiative and calling on governments to ensure that journalists are protected and impunity tackled. The conference ended with a session dedicated to establishing effective measures to improve the protection for journalists and improve compliance around the world in advance of UN inter-agency talks that took place in September 2011. Six recommendations were made as to action that should be taken to tackle impunity and protect journalists.
The right of journalists to report freely is of vital importance to people in all parts of the world and those who use violence, assassination or detention to try and intimidate journalists must be held accountable for their actions