(Below is the abstract of my paper published originally by UNESCO at http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/Events/IDEI_2014/Prevent-and-Punish_Bertoni.pdf)
This paper serves as an overview of the global pattern of crimes committed against media workers, the impunity connected with such acts, and the steps both the international community and individual states have taken to confront the situation.
The first chapter introduces the magnitude of the trend of violence journalists face, the impunity for said crimes, and its impact on freedom of expression and democracy. This overview draws on the statistics of non-governmental organizations and other international bodies to demonstrate the global nature of the problem.
The second chapter explains the methods of international organizations— such as the United Nations, the organization of American States, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe— have employed to combat such impunity. Declarations, resolutions, plans of actions and judicial opinions from international courts all inform this capsulation.
The third chapter describes the programs countries have implemented to confront the issue, specifically within Latin America. Such innovations include the creation of special prosecutors, the federalization of crimes against journalists, and protection programs.
The paper includes a discussion of the challenges the justice system faces in investigating and prosecuting these crimes, while acknowledging that impunity in Latin America is a scourge across all types of criminal activity. At the same time, the paper makes the case as to why attacks on journalists merit particular attention from the criminal justice system.
(Complete paper available here)