The five-day training will take place in the headquarters of the Siracusa Institute, in Siracusa, Italy, from 14 to 18 February 2022.

The training course is being organized to build on the Guidelines for Prosecutors on Cases of Crimes Against Journalists, developed by IAP and UNESCO and now available in 18 languages. With close to 9 out of 10 cases of killings of journalists in the world remaining judicially unresolved according to UNESCO data, these guidelines aim to enhance the knowledge and capacities of prosecutors to investigate and prosecute crimes and attacks against journalists.

The training course will bring together 22 prosecutors and representatives of training academies coming from Africa, Arab region, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The overall purpose of the course is to provide participants with operational tools for investigating and prosecuting crimes against journalists and media workers, and explore mechanisms for the protection of journalists and their sources, victims, and witnesses. Notably, specific threats against women journalists and landmark cases of gender-based crimes will also be addressed during the training. The course will further contribute to enhancing international and regional cooperation by facilitating the establishment of an informal network of prosecutors specialized in the field.

The training course will be delivered in a series of plenary and workshop sessions, each one exploring specific topics related to the overall subject matter. High-level trainers will address the key thematic areas, while invited experts (chosen among prosecutors, investigators, investigative journalists and media experts) will stimulate discussions to foster exchange of best practices between the participants.

This training is part of UNESCO Judges’ Initiative which aims to reinforce the capacities of judicial actors to promote freedom of expression and safety of journalists, by ensuring prosecution and trial of those responsible for attacks against journalists, as well as more broadly prevent indiscriminate actions against free speech. As part of this initiative, since 2013,  UNESCO has raised the capacities of judicial actors on international and regional standards on freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists in over 150 countries around the world. Over 23,000 judicial actors, including judges, prosecutors, and lawyers, have been trained on these issues, notably through a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), on-the-ground training and workshops, and the publications of a number of toolkits and guidelines.

The organization of this training for prosecutors is notably supported by the Multi-Donor Programme on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Open Society Foundations.

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