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World Trends in Freedom of Expression report launched to mark International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

News - Tue, 27/10/2015 - 13:55

The report* takes stock of the voluntary response rate of Member States to the request by the Director-General of UNESCO for information about actions taken to prevent the impunity of those responsible for the killing of journalists and media workers.

In 2014, 13 out of 59 countries in which journalists had been killed responded to the formal request for information on action taken. That number rose to 24 out of 57 countries as of August 2015, demonstrating the possible start of an upward trend.

At the same time, the responses received indicated the continuation of very high impunity rates. Analysis of the responses from States where journalists have been killed, shows that fewer than one in ten cases since 2006 had led to a conviction by the end of 2014.

The World Trends report also focuses on the safety of journalists, protecting journalists’ sources in the digital age, the role of internet intermediaries in fostering freedom online, and countering hate speech.

It brings together contributions from a large number of leading researchers in different parts of the worlds and is “a reference for governments, civil society, the private sector, academics as well as students, at a time when freedom of expression is more important than ever,” in the words of UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.

Ms Bokova has issued a message for International Day to End Impunity. She has, moreover, described the problem saying that: “Impunity is poisonous—it leads to self-censorship for fear of reprisal, depriving society of ever more sources of significant information.”

Ms Bokova will launch the report at the Organization Headquarters (2 November, 3 p.m.) in the presence of Sweden’s Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, and Bathsheba N. Crocker, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, United States of America.

As part of the Paris event, CNN journalist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety, Christiane Amanpour will moderate a panel discussion on impunity. It will bring together Janine Di Giovanni, Newsweek’s Middle East Editor; Chelsia Chan of the Working group on Law and Regulation at the Press Council of Indonesia; Frank La Rue, Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Centre, Europe; and Marie-Solange Poinsot, mother of Ghislaine Dupont, the French journalist who was killed in Mali on 2 November 2013.

Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, will present the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Special Digital Focus 2015 report in Westminster, London. The event is sponsored by UK Member of Parliament Paul Farrelly and co-organized with the University of Sheffield’s Centre for the Freedom of the Media (CFOM), PEN International, and Article 19 (see www.unesco.org/new/index.php.

The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will also be celebrated at the UN in New York, with a panel discussion co-organized with Greece and Lithuania (see www.unesco.org/new/index.php.

UNESCO is also organizing other events to mark 2 November in Amsterdam, Tunis, Dar Es Salam, Abuja, Accra, Monrovia, Juba, Islamabad, and Katmandu amongst other cities (see UNESCO’s webpage on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, where editors and journalists will also find a press kit).


Media accreditation for the Paris event: Djibril Kebe, d.kebe(at)unesco.org

Media accreditation for the London event: Mehdi Benchelah: m.benchelah(at)unesco.org

Media accreditation for the New York event: Ricardo de Guimaraes Pinto: r.de-guimaraes(at)unesco.org

*The report will be available online on 30 OctoberNovember at:
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/world-media-trends-2015 (English)

Rwanda community radio stations supported by SIDA/UNESCO project

News - Tue, 27/10/2015 - 11:55

The workshop attracted 25 participants comprising of 18 men and 7 women drawn from local stakeholders in Rwanda and representatives from the four benefitting radio stations, namely Radio Izuba FM, Radio Huguka FM, Radio Isangano FM, and Radio Ishingiro FM.

During the opening of the workshop, Mr Clement Kirenga Programme Manager for Democracy and Human Rights at the Embassy of Sweden in Kigali stated that "UNESCOs project on empowering local radios with ICTs neatly aligns with Sweden’s ongoing strategy in the region of strengthening democracy and human rights and is also congruent with the ongoing media reforms by the Government of Rwanda. Community radios have long been neglected in the media sector reforms yet they play a critical role in the development of our society. I therefore encourage each invited community radio to take advantage of this project and help contribute to the transformation of our local communities in Rwanda.”

Mr Emmanuel Dusenge a Senior Advisor in charge of ICT infrastructure Development at the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) noted thatthis project is a great initiative by UNESCO to support the media sector in Rwanda and is in line with our Vision 2020 strategy. The ministry fully supports this initiative as it will not only help strengthen capacities of local community radios in Rwanda but also expose them to vast opportunities that ICTs provide to improve their programming and programmes.

During the workshop, participants were taken through presentation on UNESCOs administrative procedures that will guide implementation of the project activities; the process of self-monitoring for Community Radios and how to write an activity. As Ms Brigitte Uwamariya from Radio Huguka FM pointed out, "this workshop has enabled me to learn more about the project, how I need to participate in it and how it’s going to be implemented…. Previously I and my team were worried about how our radio station was going to participate in the project. I can now say confidently that we are ready to take part in the project.”

Apart from the training modalities community radio practitioners participated in three round table discussions which permitted them to interact with various stakeholders working in the media sector and that are relevant to the project. The following topics were discussed during the panel discussions: how to leverage the potential of ICTs to empower community radios; community radio and infrastructure and how to strengthen networking among community radio stations with the relevant stakeholders.  The discussions also highlighted the policy, legal and regulatory mechanism for community radio stations in Rwanda and how special provisions need to be made for them to form part of a pluralistic media environment in Rwanda. 

Mr Ildephonse Sinabubariraga, Managing Director of Radio Ishingiro FM, said, “I am pleased that UNESCO finally extended this project from Kenya to Rwanda. I believe that the project will bring a great change to community radios in terms of not only enhancing skills and capacity of community radio practitioners but also improving the quality of programmes produced at the radio stations. I really look forward to our participation in this project.”

The inception workshop was organised as part of UNESCOs continuing media development initiatives in the region under its ongoing SIDA funded project themed: “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs” in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

New UNESCO YouthMobile “Searching for Martha” Project launched in Kigali to empower young, African, women mobile apps entrepreneurs

News - Tue, 27/10/2015 - 11:05

The “Searching for Martha” Project aims to empower young African women entrepreneurs to successfully offer high-quality training to young African girl to confidently develop, sell and widely promote mobile apps especially targeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and to create employment opportunities.

Specifically, the project aims to: 

  1. Identify 1,000 accomplished, young African women entrepreneurs in mobile apps training for young people
  2. Provide them with high-level entrepreneurial training and access to capital
  3. Charge them to train at least 1,000 young women on advanced mobile apps development

The slogan is: 1 million m-powered young African women by 2017.

Working with the Her2Voice NGO (Rwanda), Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda ICT Chamber, Africa Development Bank (ADB), and ITU, UNESCO brought a group of 20 accomplished, young African women entrepreneurs and partners to share ideas and brainstorm the design for a pan-Africa project to be implemented in 2016-2017. 

“UNESCO strongly believes that the Searching for Martha Project can contribute to solving the significant gender imbalance in ICT which is why the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative pays particular attention to women” said Ms. Lydia Gachungi, Communication and information specialist in UNESCO Juba office and co-facilitator of the 2 day workshop.

The idea for the Searching for Martha Project was mooted during informal discussions between UNESCO and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “Searching For Martha is an idea born on a piece of paper in Barcelona and will change the face of Africa” said Dr. Shikoh Gitau, Head of ICT, African Development Bank  and the creator of Ummeli – a Mobile Phone Application that helps people match their skills with available opportunities.

She challenged the participants to empower women with technology that gives them a sense of purpose.

The Rwanda ICT Chamber hosted the Exploratory Workshop within the framework of the 2015 Transform Africa Summit. Opening the Workshop, Mr. Alex Ntale, Executive Director of the Rwanda ICT Chamber said “The ICT Chamber believes that the Searching for Martha initiative in an opportunity to contribute to Rwanda Private Sector Development Policy that aims at creating 100 ICT companies in Rwanda”.

The Workshop was co-facilitated by the Her2Voice NGO (Rwanda) and attended by 20 experienced women mobile entrepreneurs and programming experts from: Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

Several of the expert women delegates were Ambassadors for the Technovation Challenge, a global initiative for training young girls in mobile apps development in partnership with UNESCO.

The intensive two day workshop which included a live video from ‘Martha’ culminated with a well laid out roadmap.

Participants agreed on having two layers of project management with a Project Steering Committee coordinated by UNESCO and AfDB in close partnership with the ITU and other interested development partners, and National Steering Committees bringing together all stakeholders at national levels.

It was also unanimously agreed that all 54 African countries should be on board and expected to identify at least 20 Marthas each in a pilot phase which will launch by early 2016.

Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General of UNESCO complimented the energy and Next Steps Plan “The UNESCO Communication and Information Sector is working to empower girls to become equal and productive citizens. This initiative is one amongst many that shows the real impact of our work to daily lives of young girls and women.”

In fact, the workshop is a result of a large collaborative effort between the UNESCO’s Field Offices in South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and the Kigali Antenna Office.

“It was refreshing to see capable African women in ICT who were so eager to help others and make a difference on the Continent”, said Ms Ida Jallows, ITU Programme Officer. “This UNESCO Initiative Searching for Martha will not only go a long way to impact lives but will also contribute to bridging the gender digital divide we were informed about in Africa during the Digital Inclusion and Women Empowerment session of the Transform Africa Summit: a session ably led by the First lady of  Rwanda.  As ITU we are proud to be partners of this laudable venture”.

About UNESCO YouthMobile

The YouthMobile Initiative aims to directly engage young people, with particular attention to young women, to acquire the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell locally relevant mobile apps that solve local issues of sustainable development and open viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.

About Martha

Ms Martha Chumo is a very gifted, young woman self-taught programmer from Kenya. She founded the first Kenyan hacker school at 19 years old which has now trained over a thousand young people in programming particularly mobile apps development, organized tech meet ups in Nairobi, a gamification hackathon in Addis Ababa, and workshops in Juba, South Sudan. Currently 21 years old, Martha has been a speaker at several global conferences and is passionate about the role of technology in creating opportunities for young Africans.

About Transform Africa Summit

Transform Africa Summit (TAS) is a platform that brings the continent’s top political and business leaders together to shape Africa’s digital transformation agenda. The summit fosters dialogue on critical issues affecting growth of the industry and catalyze business to government networking and deal making.


La UNESCO lanza un concurso de diseño global para el Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016

Noticias - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 15:16

La libertad de información es un derecho humano. También es parte fundamental del derecho humano a la libertad de expresión que da la posibilidad "de buscar, recibir y difundir informaciones e ideas a través de cualquier medio y sin fronteras". La libertad de información es también una condición necesaria para la participación de un público informado en el gobierno y en el proceso democrático.

En los últimos años, la restricción de la circulación de información ha generado muchas inquietudes. Cuestiones como la extralimitación de la vigilancia, la seguridad de los datos privados, y la protección de las fuentes periodísticas han planteado un gran debate.

El próximo 3 de mayo de 2016, Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa,  queremos destacar  la importancia de la libertad de información y la necesidad de crear una cultura de apertura y transparencia mediante el lanzamiento de un concurso para crear la "imagen global" de la identidad visual del WPFD 2016. La temática global del WPFD 2016 es la siguiente: “¡Es vuestro derecho! Acceso a la información y a las libertades fundamentales”

Estamos en busca de diseños que incorporen la idea de cultura de apertura y transparencia. Se debe tener en cuenta que todo el mundo debería tener acceso a la propiedad pública de la información (excepto en casos muy concretos) y que el acceso a la información de calidad permitiría una mejorar calidad de vida.

El diseño ganador tiene que poder adaptarse a diferentes formatos para que sea compatible con el uso del banner de la web de la UNESCO, las redes sociales, los standing banner (roll-up banner),  los posters impresos en tamaño A3,  los folletos en tamaño A4, los pases para los participantes de la conferencia y el telón de fondo para las entrevistas. También se debe tener en cuenta que el diseño final se presentará en los seis idiomas oficiales de la UNESCO (Inglés, francés, español, árabe, chino y ruso).

La UNESCO es el organismo especializado de las Naciones Unidas con el mandato de proteger la libertad de expresión: una condición esencial para la democracia, el desarrollo y la dignidad humana. En su preámbulo, la constitución de la UNESCO proclama: ‘puesto que las guerras nacen en la mente de los hombres y las mujeres, es en la mente de los hombres y las mujeres donde deben erigirse los baluartes de la paz’.

Para más información visite: www.unesco.org/new/en/WPFD


  • El ganador del concurso será compensado por la creación de la "imagen global" para el Día Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016 con el propósito de difundirla mediante impresión y uso en línea.
  • Habrá una mención de honor para las 19 mejores propuestas. Los diseños seleccionados se presentarán en el apartado web de la UNESCO correspondiente al evento.

Nota técnica:

Todo el diseño debe estar en formato vectorial y se presentará a la UNESCO en tamaño A4 (retrato)

Una vez seleccionado, el diseñador ganador debe ser capaz de trabajar con la UNESCO para adaptar su diseño a varios formatos, incluyendo el banner del sitio web de la UNESCO, las redes sociales, los standing banner (roll-up banner), los posters impresos en tamaño A3,  los folletos en tamaño A4, los pases para los participantes de la conferencia y el telón de fondo para las entrevistas.

Fecha límite de presentación: 20 de noviembre de 2015. Pueden enviar sus diseños a la siguiente dirección: wpfd2016(at)unesco.org


El concurso está abierto a todos los diseñadores interesados.

Persona de contacto:

  • Sra. Tarja Turtia (t.turtia@unesco.org)
  • Sr. Gerwin De Roy (g.de-roy@unesco.org)

Aviso legal:

Al participar en el concurso, el diseñador concede a la UNESCO el derecho a publicar, reproducir, difundir y comunicar al público, bajo cualquier tipo de formato y plataforma, incluyendo el digital, parte del diseño o su totalidad.

L’UNESCO lance un concours mondial de graphisme pour la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2016

Actualités - Wed, 21/10/2015 - 15:12

La liberté de l’information est un droit de l’homme. Celle-ci fait également partie intégrante du droit humain fondamental qu’est la liberté d’expression qui donne la possibilité « de chercher, de recevoir et de répandre, sans considérations de frontières, les informations et les idées par quelque moyen d’expression que ce soit ». La liberté de l’information est par ailleurs une condition préalable à une participation éclairée du public à la gouvernance et au processus démocratique.

Au cours des dernières années, la restriction de la circulation de l’information a suscité de nombreuses inquiétudes. Des questions telles que la surveillance accrue, la sécurité des données privées et la protection des sources des journalistes, ont dernièrement suscité de nombreux débats.

Le 3 mai 2016, à l’occasion de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse, nous souhaitons mettre en avant l’importance de la liberté de l’information et le besoin de créer une culture d’ouverture et de transparence en lançant un concours dans le but de créer un thème graphique global pour l’identité visuelle de la WPFD 2016. La thématique globale de la WPFD 2016 est « C’est votre droit ! L’accès à l’information et aux libertés fondamentales ».

Nous recherchons des projets incarnant l’idée de culture d’ouverture et de transparence. Ces projets doivent également prendre en considération le droit de chacun à accéder aux informations publiques (sauf cas très particuliers), et l’affirmation selon laquelle la qualité de l’information permettrait d’améliorer la qualité de vie.

Le thème gagnant doit pouvoir s’adapter à divers formats qui seront utilisés notamment pour la bannière du site internet de l’UNESCO, les réseaux sociaux, les affiches de présentations (bannières déroulantes), posters imprimés au format A3, brochures au format A4, badges pour les participants de la conférence et arrière-plans pour les interviews. Le projet doit également prendre en compte le fait que le concept final devra pouvoir être adapté aux six langues officielles de l’UNESCO (anglais, français, espagnol, arabe, chinois et russe).

L’UNESCO est une agence spécialisée des Nations Unies dont l’un des mandats est de protéger la liberté d’expression : une condition essentielle à la démocratie, au développement et à la dignité humaine.

Le préambule de l’UNESCO maintes fois cité déclare que les guerres prenant naissance dans les esprits des hommes et des femmes, c’est dans l’esprit des hommes et des femmes que doivent être élevées les défenses de la paix.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez consulter la page : www.unesco.org/new/fr/WPFD

Prix :

  • Le gagnant du concours sera indemnisé pour la création de l’identité visuelle de la Journée mondiale de la liberté de la presse 2016 à des fins d’impression et d’utilisation en ligne
  • Une mention honorable pour les 19 premières propositions. Les projets sélectionnés seront présentés sur le site internet de l’UNESCO dédié à la Journée.

Note technique:

Tous les projets doivent être au format vectoriel et doivent être remis à l’UNESCO au format A4 (portrait)

Une fois sélectionné, le designer gagnant doit pouvoir travailler avec l’UNESCO afin d’adapter son concept à plusieurs formats, notamment la bannière du site internet de l’UNESCO, les réseaux sociaux, les affiches de présentations (bannières déroulantes), les posters imprimés au format A3, les brochures au format A4, les badges pour les participants de la conférence et arrière-plans pour les interviews.

Date limite de soumission : 20 Novembre 2015. Veuillez soumettre vos projets à l’adresse email suivante : wpfd2016(at)unesco.org

Admissibilité :

Le concours est ouvert à tous les graphistes intéressés.

Contact :

Mention légale :

En participant au concours, le graphiste accepte d’accorder à l’UNESCO le droit de publier, reproduire, diffuser et communiquer au public, sous toute forme et sur tout support, notamment numérique, l’intégralité ou une partie de sa création.

UNESCO releases Arabic version of Guidelines for Open Educational Resources in Higher Education

News - Tue, 20/10/2015 - 15:50

The Guidelines were developed in 2011 by UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) after broad consultations with stakeholders in all regions of the world, to support governments, higher education institutions/providers, academic staff, student bodies and quality assurance/accreditation and recognition bodies and to foster the potential of OER to improve higher education systems.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified, and shared. These Guidelines outline key issues and make suggestions for integrating OER into higher education.

Their purpose is to encourage decision makers in governments and institutions to invest in the development of policies for the systematic production, adaptation and use of OER in the mainstream higher education in order to improve access to high quality of curricula and teaching and to reduce costs.

The Guidelines are also Available in the following languages:

Download the Arabic version of the “Guidelines for Open Educational Resources in Higher Education” on this link.

Call for papers: UNESCO Research Conference on Safety of Journalists

News - Mon, 19/10/2015 - 12:02

In order to more effectively prevent such threats, there is a need for a proper understanding – knowledge is the key.

UNESCO and the UNESCO Chair at University of Gothenburg are organising in collaboration with University of Sheffield, University of Helsinki and University of Tampere a two-day research conference on Safety of Journalists during the celebrations of World Press Freedom Day in Helsinki Finland, on 3 and 4 May 2016.

The conference organizers are now calling for papers and posters from various research fields, covering the topic of Safety of Journalists. Abstracts of maximum 300 words for paper and poster presentations should be sent to Reeta Pöyhtäri (r.poyhtari(at)unesco.org) and Ulla Carlsson (ulla.carlsson(at)gu.se) by 11 December 2015 at the latest. Please consult the full call for papers here.

For more details on the initiative, please see UNESCO’s website.

UNESCO launches global design contest for World Press Freedom Day 2016

News - Fri, 16/10/2015 - 16:21

Freedom of information is a human right. It is also an integral part of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of information is also a precondition for informed public participation in governance and in the democratic process.

In recent years, there have been many concerns with the restriction on the flow of information. Issues such as surveillance overreach, the security of private data, and protection of journalists’ sources have all come to center stage in the last few years.

On World Press Freedom Day on the 3 May 2016, we want to put a spot light on the importance of freedom of information and the need to create a culture of openness and transparency by running a contest to create the “global look” for the visual identity of WPFD2016. The global thematic of the WPFD 2016 is “This Is Your Right! Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms”

We are looking for designs that encapsulate the idea of culture of openness and transparency. It should consider that everyone should have the rights to publicly held information (except in very specific cases) and that access to quality information has the potential to improve quality of life.

The winning design must be adaptable to different formats including for usage on UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop. It should also factor in that the final design will be made in the six official languages of UNESCO (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian)

UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with the mandate to protect freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity. UNESCO oft quoted famous founding words states that since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.

For more information, please visit www.unesco.org/new/en/WPFD


  • Winner of the competition will be compensated to create the “global look” for World Press Freedom Day 2016 for print and online uses.
  • Honourable mention for the top 19 submissions. Selected submissions will be featured on UNESCO’s dedicated website for the Day.

Technical note:

All design must be in vector format and be submitted to UNESCO in A4-size (portrait)

Once selected, the winning designer must be able to work with UNESCO to adapt the winning design into various formats including UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop.

Deadline for submission: 20 November 2015. Please submit your design to wpfd2016(at)unesco.org


The contest is open to all interested designers.


Legal note:

By submitting to the contest, the designer agrees to grant UNESCO the right to publish, reproduce, diffuse, and communicate to the public in any form and platform, including digital, all or in part of the design.

Young journalists and activists engage in media monitoring in Palestine

News - Thu, 15/10/2015 - 15:06

For Nadeen and the rest of the participants, the opportunity to implement a professional and comprehensive methodology was unique. The young journalists and activists from different organizations working on youth and media followed a series of training modules and practical exercises aimed at equipping them with the appropriate tools to monitor the representation of young women and men in national media in Palestine.

“The training aims at reinforcing the capacities of youth organizations in the theoretical understanding and practical application of a methodology for media monitoring,” explained Amirouche Nedjaa, Trainer and Executive Director of MENA Media Monitoring. “This will allow youth to effectively examine how media treat information about young people, their rights, their achievements and their views.”

One of the key objectives of the NET-MED Youth project is the promotion of youth participation in fair and inclusive youth-oriented media content production, and the enhancement of media representation and coverage of youth and their issues.

Media monitoring efforts, like this training and the ensuing activities, are among the first steps in that direction. Besides gaining knowledge of the media scene, youth become actively involved in shaping specific outreach actions connecting them to the media and facilitating a positive dialogue between them.

The 10 trainees’ task this week has been challenging, yet rewarding. Not only did this three-day training focus on the methodology to follow for an effective monitoring of media coverage, but it also provided hands-on experience to the young participants.

MENA Media Monitoring had recorded 30 days of broadcasting by three Palestinian national TV channels. Youth are now actively involved as monitors in a pilot assessment of the way and the extent to which media channels cover youth topics, news and priority issues. They will also actively contribute to the analysis of data resulting from the monitoring exercise they have now embarked on.

The findings of this pilot media monitoring effort will feed into a report that aims at generating constructive discussions towards an enhanced representation of youth and a strengthened collaboration between youth and media outlets in Palestine.

The NET-MED Youth methodology for media monitoring focused on youth has now built itself a fairly successful and participatory history. It had been discussed – and collaboratively adopted last March 2015 during a sub-regional workshop held in Beirut – with youth CSOs, media-oriented organizations, young journalists and youth advocates from Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, as well as Syrians living in Lebanon. A similar meeting had taken place in Tunisia in December 2014, where youth from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia participated in the development and validation of the methodology.

NET-MED Youth has benefited many young people like Nadeen at the level of its media component. The youth are as full of hope as they are of willingness to affect positive transformations in their communities and in the way their needs and aspirations are portrayed across media channels.

“Our media need to include new young faces, and move in the direction of more youth-friendly mechanisms and coverage,” concludes Nadeen.

The Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED Youth) project is implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union. It aims at mainstreaming youth issues and priorities across national decision-making and policy implementation in eastern and western Mediterranean countries by building the capacities of youth and youth organizations and promoting their active engagement in the development and implementation of national policies and strategies on youth, ensuring that youth issues are adequately covered by national and regional media and by identifying workable models for improving youth access to employment and youth inclusion in different sectors.

The WSIS+10 Review Zero Draft Paper published ahead of the WSIS+10 Review consultations in New York

News - Wed, 14/10/2015 - 18:07

UNESCO has played an important role in the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and has substantially contributed to the ongoing WSIS+10 Review Process. By the deadline for comments on the working document (the 18th of September), over 50 responses had been received from UN Member States, the private sector, the technical community, civil society and intergovernmental organizations.

Based on all stakeholder feedback, the co-facilitators of the WSIS+10 Review process, Latvia and United Arab Emirates, just published the Zero-Draft Paper. All relevant WSIS stakeholders will be given the opportunity to offer feedback on the Zero Draft Paper at the upcoming Informal Interactive WSIS Stakeholder Consultation, which is being held at UN Headquarters in New York on the 19th of October 2015.

The first informal stakeholder consultation took place on 2 July 2015. This second consultation is significant as it is currently the last scheduled opportunity for contributions to be made to the WSIS+10 Review Process in a multi-stakeholder setting in the UN General Assembly Review process. It will take place just before the Second Preparatory Meeting by Member States in NY on 20-22 October 2015. For stakeholders who are unable to attend the Stakeholder Consultation yet wish to contribute, there is the opportunity to participate remotely through tweeting. Stakeholders can also submit comments on the zero draft to UNDESA here.

The WSIS+10 Review Process will conclude with a 2-day high-level meeting of the General Assembly in New York on the 15-16 December 2015. This meeting will finalise the WSIS+10 Review Outcome Document.


Amidst launch of publications, UNESCO, Communication University of China celebrate 10th anniversary of UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender

News - Tue, 13/10/2015 - 14:49

More than 100 experts and scholars in gender and media studies as well as journalism education, along with media practitioners, attended the gathering held at CUC’s International Convention Centre.

Opening the meeting, Kwame Boafo, International Communication and Information Consultant at UNESCO Beijing Office, congratulated the Chair and its Holder Prof. Liu Liqun for their work in the past decade in promoting gender equality in and through the media in China.

He recalled some positive developments in media and gender in the past 20 years, since the 4th World Conference on Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The Chinese edition of the Model Curriculum for Journalism Education: A Compendium of New Syllabi was launched by Fackson Banda, UNESCO’s programme specialist in the Secretariat of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) and editor of the book.

In introducing the publication to the Chinese audience, Banda noted that it built on the original UNESCO Model Curricula published in 2007.

He informed his audience that the original publication had since been translated into nine languages and adapted for use in over 60 countries worldwide. He explained that the new specialized syllabi were aimed at filling the gap for specialized literacies required by journalism educators as they responded to new challenges, including those relating to media sustainability, data mining, intercultural dialogue, global communication, humanitarian crisis, human trafficking, community participation, science and bioethics, as well as gender inequality. He encouraged the Chinese institutions present to make use of the Model Curriculum.

Experts from the China Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Communication University of China, China Women's University, All China Women’s Federation, China Women's News, Tianjin Women's Federation, among others, presented papers on three major themes: journalism education and globalization; research and practice in gender communication as well as gender discourse in the era of new media.

In her closing remarks, Professor Liu Liqun, current holder of the UNESCO Chair on Media and Gender and President of the China Women’s University, noted that the Chair has been fully implementing its role as a think tank and as a “bridge builder” between the academic world, civil society, research and policy-making in the past 10 years.

Established in September 2005, the Chair became the 18th UNESCO Chair and the first in the field of communication and information set up in China. In recent years, the Chair has transformed a number of UNESCO’s global initiatives on gender and media into actions, such as the annual celebration of Women Make the News. It has carried out a media monitoring initiative on gender awareness and sensitivity which uses UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.

Furthermore, the Chair has been instrumental in translating into Chinese a number of publications, including Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media, Getting the Balance Right: Gender Equality in Journalism and Violence and Harassment Against Women in the News Media: A Global Picture.

The Chair also launched China's Media and Gender Development Report (2013-2014) at the forum.

Press councils from South East Europe gather in Vienna to discuss media ethics with European peers

News - Mon, 12/10/2015 - 17:00

The conference was organized this year in Vienna where the Austrian Press Council, the Presserat, is celebrating its 5th anniversary. One of the main objectives of this year’s event was to discuss the membership criteria for belonging to this Alliance.

The press councils in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244) are all members of the Alliance. Their annual participation to this event has proven to be an essential opportunity for them to enhance cooperation and exchange information with European peers on ethical dilemmas they face in their daily work adjudicating complaints on potential breaches of their codes of ethics. A number of working groups were organized to discuss ethical issues such as native advertising and commercial collaboration or the way that the refugee crisis is handled in the media.

During the conference, Catherine Speller, author of the recent UNESCO needs-assessment report about media councils in South East Europe presented the idea of extending the summary tables about the operations of the councils (included in the report to introduce each council) to all members of the Alliance, as an information-sharing resource.

The sponsoring of South East Europe representatives to Vienna was arranged as one of the final activities taking place in the framework of the EU-UNESCO project: “Media Accountability in South East Europe”, which started in January 2013. This project aims to strengthen press councils in the region as they have proven to be essential safeguards of media freedom. By ensuring respect for codes of ethics and by dealing with readers and viewers’ complaints, press councils demonstrated that they help media professionals to better protect themselves from informal economic and political pressures while winning the confidence of media consumers. 

Africa Forum: Building capacities of visually impaired African students

News - Mon, 12/10/2015 - 11:32

During the panel discussion on Education and Technology, UNESCO reiterated the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to make significant improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities, allowing them to enhance their social and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them. 

UNESCO also presented examples of its engagement in furthering ICT for the use of people living with disabilities, with specific reference to the project “Promoting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Uganda”, funded by the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and jointly implemented by UNESCO and UNICEF. The project works towards ensuring that the policy environment in Uganda becomes more conducive for the use of inclusive education and access to information, and foresees also the development of educational material in accessible formats.

Within the framework of UNESCO’s support to digital inclusion in Africa, a series of trainings on accessible publishing and digital inclusion was organized in cooperation with DAISY Consortium. The trainings on web accessibility and inclusive publishing brought together 51 participants from Burkina Faso, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. “I am working for a national regulator, and this training helped me to formulate policies and procedures to improve accessibility of government websites,” said one of the participants. Another one stated that the training has helped him to identify more solutions for the visually impaired in web design.  Curriculum developers also highlighted the pertinence of the training saying that the knowledge gained will help them develop reading materials that accessible for the visually impaired.

Two awareness seminars on assistive technology and inclusive publishing were also organized in the framework of the Forum. While the seminar on inclusive publishing provided background information on digital document formats and guidelines for the preparation of inclusive content, the one on assistive technology focused on reading options for the print impaired. This second seminar offered holistic solutions for production, delivery and reading of accessible formats and strategies to make reading devices available at affordable cost.

The innovative use of ICTs for persons with disabilities is part of UNESCO’s actions to enhance the full participation of citizens in the knowledge societies and is funded in Uganda through the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

UNESCO Bangkok launches a regional dialogue on freedom of information in the Mekong countries

News - Thu, 08/10/2015 - 12:02

Bringing together local civil society organizations, international NGOs and FOI experts, the event will emphasize on the role of the civil society and on regional and international cooperation to improve access to public information in the Mekong region.

The current international and regional contexts offer an important window of opportunity to step up efforts in this field. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has just been adopted. And the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 will deepen the regional integration. In this context, the Mekong countries will be facing new opportunities and challenges for which more transparency and equal access to information can be a strong asset.

The interest for FOI as a development tool however is unequally shared and relatively new in the region. The situation also vary significantly when it comes to legal protection or actual practice of the right to public information. In this context, this meeting aims at assessing the current state of FOI in the Mekong countries, sharing good practices in advocating or exercising right to information and identifying ways forward to promote regional cooperation in this field.

Around 40 participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam will be attending the meeting: media organizations, FOI advocates, Human Rights defenders, as well as organizations dedicated to development issues such as environmental protection or gender equality.

Stating that all people should be able to access information held by public bodies, FOI is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression. It plays a key role in promoting good governance and is closely linked to sustainable development goals such as the need to eradicate poverty, to ensure inclusive societies or to protect environments.

This regional dialogue on FOI is part of the project on “Promoting democracy and freedom of expression” funded by the Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (SIDA) for 2014-2017 and implemented by UNESCO.

Strengthening Uzbek libraries through media and information literacy

News - Wed, 07/10/2015 - 15:57
From 6 to 15 October 2015, the UNESCO Tashkent Office and the National Library of Uzbekistan are organizing a training of trainers for the specialists of libraries and information centres on media and information literacy with a view to strengthening the information and library sphere in Uzbekistan.

UNESCO discusses with stakeholders how Internet Universality principles are relevant to East Africa

News - Wed, 07/10/2015 - 12:42

The forum that brought together over 150 stakeholders from 37 countries from the ICT sector, academia, human rights entities, the media, the arts community, law enforcement agencies and communication regulators. It was organised by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) to debate on issues influencing internet freedoms and cyber security in East Africa.

CIPESA used the forum to launch its State of Internet Freedoms in East Africa 2015 Report, which explores citizens’ knowledge and perceptions of internet freedom and the effect of information controls on the online behaviours and freedom of expression for citizens, journalists and human rights defenders.

During the keynote address, UNESCO’s regional advisor for Communication and Information, Jaco du Toit also drew from the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development to highlight some of the trends in media freedom, media pluralism and safety of journalists.

Internet Universality principles of human-rights, openness, accessibility and multi-stakeholder participation were introduced, and linked to African development.

He highlighted the relevance of all these to the growing digital landscape, especially in view of the quadrupled internet penetration rate in Africa between 2007 and 2012 and the tripled mobile-cellular subscriptions during the same period. 

Participating in a panel discussion that focused on how Africa can embrace Internet freedom, Ms Lydia Gachungi, Communication and Information Specialist in the UNESCO Juba Office, outlined the most common guiding principles for internet governance, as identified from 52 Internet-specific declarations and frameworks analysed by UNESCO.

Ms Gachungi noted that aspects such as ethics and gender were key principles for internet governance but were contained in very few Internet related declarations and frameworks. “It is important that stakeholders identify these gaps and start addressing them through a multistakeholder process, as they search for answers to the question of which way for Internet freedoms,” she stated.

Some of the other issues raised by UNESCO during the two day deliberations include the importance of sensitization campaigns on what constitutes online freedoms and the important need to further media and information literacy for online users.

Also underlined was the importance of inclusive national regulatory frameworks that adhere to human-rights, openness, and accessibility, elaborated through multistakeholder consultative processes.

UNESCO facilitated the participation of participants from South Sudan, Rwanda and Somalia.  During a side discussion held with the forum organisers, a roadmap to the establishment of the Internet Society (ISOC) chapter in South Sudan was agreed on.

UNESCO Juba office and CIPESA pledged their support in working with the national partners and the Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services, in ensuring the necessary structures for the ISOC chapter.  

Participants from Rwanda and Somalia were supported within the framework of the project, entitled “Promoting an Enabling Environment for Freedom of Expression”. This project is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and aims at fostering the development of free, independent and pluralistic media. It also promotes institutional capacity-building, the empowerment of women through widened access to information and the role of young people in dialogue, reconciliation and sustained peace.

Conférence internationale sur l’impunité des crimes contre les journalistes au Costa Rica (9-10 octobre)

Actualités - Tue, 06/10/2015 - 17:31

La Conférence de San José (Costa Rica), qui se tient les 9 et 10 octobre, est l’un des événements clé organisé en amont de la célébration, le 2 novembre, de la Journée internationale de la fin de l’impunité pour les crimes commis contre des journalistes.

Cet événement réunira des juristes et des membres du corps judiciaire ainsi que des représentants des médias et des organisations de la liberté de la presse. Ils s’intéresseront aux questions liées à l’impunité et à la manière dont les crimes contre les journalistes sont traités dans les différentes régions du monde.

Parmi les intervenants figurent notamment Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine, Présidente de la Commission interaméricaine des droits de l’homme ; Alejandro Solano Ortiz, vice-ministre des Affaires étrangères du Costa Rica ; Humberto Sierra Porto, Président de la Cour interaméricaine des droits de l’homme (Costa Rica) ; Edison Lanza, Rapporteur spécial sur la liberté d’expression de l’Organisation des Etats américains et Baltasar Garzón, Président du Centre international pour la promotion des droits de l’homme (Buenos Aires, Argentine).

La conférence, tout comme la décision de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies de proclamer une Journée internationale de la fin de l’impunité pour les crimes commis contre des journalistes, témoignent de la prise de conscience croissante que l’impunité alimente le cycle des crimes violents  contre la liberté de parole et qu’elle fait obstacle à la capacité des populations et des sociétés à bénéficier d’un Etat de droit et d’une bonne gouvernance.

Dans le message qu’elle a délivré à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la fin de l’impunité pour les crimes commis contre des journalistes, la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, a déclaré que « l’impunité est toxique –elle conduit à l’autocensure par peur des représailles et prive la société de sources d’information pertinentes ».

On recense sept cents journalistes tués dans le monde au cours de la décennie passée dans l’exercice de leur métier, ce qui représente plus d’un décès chaque semaine. Or, moins d’un responsable sur dix a été jugé pour ses crimes, ce qui renforce les criminels dans l’idée qu’ils peuvent continuer à tuer les messagers porteurs de nouvelles qu’ils ne souhaitent pas voir propager.

C’est la raison pour laquelle la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO a exhorté les Etats à « prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires –que ce soit en termes de législation, de mécanismes de protection ou des nouvelles ressources– pour faire en sorte que les enquêtes et les procès sur les crimes contre les journalistes soient menés à bien ».

La conférence de San José marque le coup d’envoi d’une série d’événements qui auront lieu dans le monde pour marquer la Journée internationale de la fin de l’impunité pour les crimes commis contre les journalistes (la liste des événements est disponible en ligne.



Les médias souhaitant couvrir cet événement sont priés de s’accréditer auprès de Karen Llach, k.llach(at)unesco.org, +506 20 10 38 28.





International Conference on Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Costa Rica (9-10 October)

News - Tue, 06/10/2015 - 12:54

The San José conference, 9 and 10 October, is one of the key events that will pave the way for the celebration of 2 November, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

The event, will bring together members of the judicial and legal communities, as well as representatives of media and press freedom organizations. Together, they will examine issues relating to impunity and how crimes against journalists are handled in different parts of the world.

Notable participants will include Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine, President of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, Alejandro Solano Ortiz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, Humberto Sierra Porto, President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Costa Rica), Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States, and Baltasar Garzón, President of the International Centre for Human Rights Promotion (Buenos Aires).

Both the conference and the UN General Assembly Decision to proclaim an International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, reflect the increased awareness of the fact that impunity fuels the cycle of violent crimes against the exercise of free speech and adversely affects the ability of people and societies to enjoy rule of law and good governance.

As the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, says in the message she issued for the International Day to End Impunity, “Impunity is poisonous – it leads to self-censorship for fear of reprisal, depriving society of even more sources of significant information.”

Seven-hundred journalists are known to have been killed around the world over the past decade for carrying out their professional duties: more than one death every week. Yet, the culprits of fewer than one in ten cases have been sentenced for their crime, emboldening criminals to continue shooting the messengers of news they do not wish the public to hear.

For this reason, the Director-General of UNESCO urges States “to take all the necessary measures – through legislation, protection mechanisms, and new adequate resources – to ensure that investigations and trials relating to crimes against journalists are undertaken.”

The conference in San José, Costa Rica, is the first of a series of events that will take place around the world to mark this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (see list of events on the page dedicated to the Day).


Media wishing to cover the conference should request accreditation from: Karen Llach, k.llach@unesco.org +506 20103828

Una Conferencia Internacional en Costa Rica debatirá sobre la impunidad de los crímenes contra los periodistas (9-10 de octubre)

Noticias - Tue, 06/10/2015 - 01:05

La conferencia de San José, del 9 al 10 de octubre, es uno de los eventos principales previos a la celebración del Día Internacional para poner fin a la impunidad de los crímenes contra periodistas.

Este evento reunirá a juristas y miembros del cuerpo judicial así como a representantes de los medios de comunicación y organizaciones que que trabajan por la libertad de prensa. Juntos examinarán las cuestiones ligadas a la impunidad y a la manera en que se tratan los crímenes contra los periodistas en el mundo.

Entre los participantes destaca Rose-Marie Belle-Antoine, presidenta de la Comisión Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos. Alejandro Solano Ortiz, viceministro de asuntos exteriores de Costa Rica, Humberto Sierra Porto, presidente de la Corte interamericana de Derechos Humanos (Costa Rica), Edison Lanza, Relator Especial para la Libertad de Expresión de la Organización de Estados Americanos, y Baltasar Garzón, presidente del Centro Interanacional para la Promoción de los Derechos Humanos,

Tanto esta conferencia como la decisión de la Asamblea General de la ONU de proclamar el Día Internacional para poner fin a la impunidad de los crímenes contra periodistas, refleja la toma de conciencia de que la impunidad alimenta el cíclo de crímenes violentos contra el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión y que es un obstáculo que impide a la gente y la sociedad disfrutar de un Estado de Derecho y un buen gobierno.

La Directora General de la UNESCO, Irina Bokova, afirma en el mensaje preparado para el Día para poner fin a la impunidad. “La impunidad es venenosa, lleva a la autocensura por miedo a las represalias, priva a la sociedad de fuentes de información significativas.

A lo largo de la última década, cerca de 700 periodistas han sido asesinados mientras ejercían su oficio, es decir, más de una muerte por semana. Aún así, menos de un responsable por cada diez crímenes ha sido juzgado por sus actos, lo que refuerza la convicción de los criminales de que pueden seguir asesinando a los mensajeros de noticias que no quieren sean conocidas públicamente.

Por este motivo, la Directora General de la UNESCO insta a los Estados a “tomar todas las medidas necesarias, legalmente, mediante mecanismos de protección o nuevos recursos más adecuados, para asegurarse de que se lleven a cabo efectivamente las investigaciones y procesos sobre crímenes contra periodistas”.

La conferencia de San José, Costa Rica, es el primero de una serie de eventos que tendrá lugar en el mundo con motivo de la celebración de este año del Día Internacional para poner fin a la impunidad de los crímenes contra periodistas (vea la lista de eventos en la página dedicada a esta jornada).


Los medios que deseen cubrir la conferencia deben solicitar la acreditación a: Karen Llach, k.llach(at)unesco.org Tel: +506 20103828

Russian journalists hold “Dialogue for Trust” in Dagomys, Sochi

News - Mon, 05/10/2015 - 12:29

The discussion was part of the five-day annual Festival of Journalists in Dagomys, Sochi, which brought over 700 journalists to the city between 2 and 6 October.

Speakers stressed the importance of public trust levels in the media, the quality of journalism, the need for access to countries by foreign correspondents, and the value of media for immigrants.

The panel also highlighted the importance of journalism to society, and the imperative to build trust and shared expectations through dialogue. Safety of journalists, and the need to provide comprehensive safety training, was also highlighted.

Nikolay Khaustov, a first secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, read a message of support from Grigory Ordzhonikidze, secretary general of the National Commission.

Chairing the session was Nadezda Azhgikhina, Executive Secretary of the RUJ, and also vice president of the European Federation of Journalists.

Also on the panel were Henrikas Iouchkiavitchious, former Assistant Director General for Communication, Information and Informatics, and Jim Boumelha, president of the International Federation of Journalists.

Guy Berger, UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, also spoke. His remarks are here.


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