The UNESCO project “Training Security Forces on Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists” aims at building the capacity of security forces to uphold citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and information by improving journalist safety. Its goal is to establish more professional relationships between security forces and journalists conducive to a better environment for freedom of expression for all citizens. It has been already implemented in Tunisia since 2013.

The project comprises the training of security forces to better understand the role and function of journalists in democratic societies and to ensure the safety of journalists, including media workers and social media producers. The project enables security forces to be more cognizant of their legal obligations to protect media professionals from violent actions by any group and to allow the free exercise of their profession, and will be more engaged in reducing impunity for attacks against journalists. A training manual “Freedom of Expression and Public Order” has been developed to provide security forces with both practical and theoretical tools. Read the manual:

International legal framework

The project serves as a component of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, approved by the UN Chief Executives Board in 2012. The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. UNESCO is requested in the Resolution to facilitate the implementation of the IDEI and the coordination of the UN Plan of Action.