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What is IFEX doing about the problem of impunity?

IFEX coordinates the No Impunity campaign, a global call for accountability for crimes that silence the voices of activists, journalists, bloggers, artists and others exercising their right to free expression.

What do we want to achieve?

Our current efforts are focused on building political will among States to prosecute crimes against free expression and find justice for those impacted.

What are some of our current campaign activities? 

  • Sustained and strategic advocacy and awareness-raising on emblematic cases of impunity in Colombia, Pakistan, The Gambia, Cambodia and Bahrain in collaboration with local IFEX members;

  • Rallying the IFEX network to demand justice for other ongoing and emerging cases of impunity;

  • Targeted lobbying of UN member states to encourage reporting on cases of impunity for the UNESCO Director General's report (DG Report), The Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, and promoting public awareness and understanding of the DG Report – see our explainer

  • Publishing original analysis and first-hand accounts of impunity.

History of the campaign
IFEX launched the inaugural campaign against impunity in November 2011 after our network identified the issue as one of the single greatest threats to freedom of expression worldwide. 

The campaign drew global attention to unresolved cases of aggression against individuals who were simply exercising their free expression rights and marked the anniversary of the 2009 Ampatuan massacre on 23 November, when 58 people – including 32 journalists and media workers – were murdered in the Philippines. To date, none of the perpetrators of this crime have been brought to justice. 

A notable development in the campaign occurred in December 2013, when substantial lobbying efforts from IFEX members contributed to the United Nations Resolution on the safety of journalists, which declared 2 November the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. 

In 2014, the campaign shifted gears from focusing primarily on awareness-raising through the month of November to being a year-round campaign focused on building political will for securing justice in cases of impunity.

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