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International media freedom organisations appeal for actions to end the high death toll among journalists

In Geneva today major international media and press freedom organisations jointly published an International Declaration on the Protection of Journalists. It calls on the governments of the world to take decisive actions to put an end to murders and other violent attacks directed at journalists worldwide, and to end the long-standing pattern of impunity which means that those responsible for killing journalists commonly escape justice. IPI says at least 73 journalists have been killed so far in 2015 alone. The document highlights the numerous resolutions, statements and mechanisms on the safety of journalists adopted by UN and regional bodies in recent years. But it says ‘States’ failure to implement those mechanisms and fulfil their international obligations has turned journalism into an increasingly dangerousprofession.’

The Declaration is the result of intensive discussions organised by the International Press Institute, http://www.freemedia.at/ , the Al Jazeera Media Network and other international partners -- including the Association of European Journalists, which is one of the founding signatories of the document. The International Declaration, issued on the eve of international Human Rights Day, seeks to revive the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was unanimously approved at the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 as a global expression of rights in the aftermath of the second world war

In addition to reminding states of their responsibilities, the International Declaration also presents a set of best practices that media organisations should adopt and implement voluntarily in order to limit the dangers of the profession. And it calls for more solidarity among journalists and media cooperation in exposing crimes against journalists and other serious human rights violations.