Protection of Journalists
The role of journalism in politics has never been as important as it is now. As governments seek to limit the influence of free journalism, how can the institution and the individuals be protected?
With the rise of authoritarianism around the world comes with a rise of violence and threats against journalists. Journalists play a vital role not only in keeping civilians informed, but also holding governments accountable. Despite their importance in the local, national, and world stage, there is no universally accepted law on the rights of journalists. Instead, journalism is loosely governed by a series of laws protecting the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, journalists around the world have been put in increased danger. In the war zones of Syria, journalists are disappearing, being taken hostage, and some even executed. In the Philippines, those reporting on President Duterte’s war on drugs are facing government suppression, arrest, and death. In the United States, journalists reporting on the border are being monitored by the government and subsequently being called into questioning and denied entry into Mexico.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the UN body that deals with, among other things, protecting the rights of journalists. Be it by working with agencies to protect and empower journalists or recommending a declaration on the rights of journalists, this committee will require delegates to create innovative solutions to this complicated problem.
UNESCO will be run as a novice committee, meaning this committee will consist exclusively of delegates who have never gone to a Model UN conference before.