Safety of journalists essential to human rights

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) speaks with journalists during a visit to the site of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The safety of journalists has been described by the UN Human Rights Commissioner as "essential to the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people”.

The UN says more than 1,000 media professionals have been killed since 1992 as a direct result of their profession.

Among the deadliest years were 2012 and 2013, and at least 15 have been killed since the start of this year.

Speaking at a debate in Geneva on the safety of journalists, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said the media should be able to work freely.

"Sound, bold and independent journalism is vital in any democratic society. It drives the right to hold and express opinions and the right to seek, receive and impart information. It ensures transparency and accountability in the conduct of public affairs and other matters of public interest."  (24″)

According to the UN, many journalists around the world face violence, harassment and intimidation.

Female media workers are particularly susceptible to degrading treatment and sexual violence.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration: 1’12″


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