The theme for International Democracy Day 2022 is “Protecting Press Freedom for Democracy.”
This year, Democracy Day will focus on how important media freedom is to democracy, peace, and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Media workers are often able to do nothing to stop censorship, detention, physical violence, or even murder. Such dangerous paths always lead to chaos, unfairness, and worse. Democracy can’t last without a free press. Without the right to say what you want, there is no freedom. Let’s work together on Democracy Day and every other day to protect freedom and rights for everyone, everywhere “United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said
UNESCO says that press freedom in the countries of 85% of the world’s people has gotten worse in the last five years.
Media around the world are getting attacked more and more, both online and offline. This includes more arrests, the use of defamation laws and cybersecurity or hate speech laws to limit online speech, and the growing use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation Laws (SLAPPS) and surveillance technologies to target them and make it harder for them to do their jobs.
Every day, people try to shut down journalists in more brazen ways, and they often pay the ultimate price. From 2016 to the end of 2021, UNESCO kept track of the deaths of 455 journalists who died either because of their work or while doing it.