Freedom of Opinion and Expression - Issues in focus

Below is a sample of the various issues covered by the mandate of the Special Rapporteur since its creation.

All thematic reports published by the Special Rapporteur are available online.

Issues

Reports 

Academic freedom and public demonstrations

E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.37 – 38)

Access to information

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.30 – 39)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.21 – 31)
E/CN.4/2005/64 (paras.36 – 44)
E/CN.4/2004/62 (paras.34 – 64)
E/CN.4/2000/63 (paras.42 – 44; Annex II: The Public’s Right to Know: Principles on Freedom of Information Legislation)

Access to information in situations of extreme poverty

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.54 – 58)
A/HRC/11/4 (paras.51 – 55; 64 – 67)

Access to internet and the right to education

A/66/290 (paras.70-74)

Administrative and legal measures and repressive measures in connection with the media

E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.55 – 58)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.37 – 42)

Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights

A/73/348 (paras.22-60)

Broadcasting

A/HRC/7/14 (Annex, Joint declaration on promoting diversity in the broadcast media)
E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.80 – 87)

Censorship, suspension, closing or banning of media outlets and internet access

A/HRC/23/40 (paras.44-46)
A/HRC/17/27 (paras.29-32 & 49-50)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.21 – 24)

Children and the right to freedom of opinion and expression

A/69/335 (paras.9-63)
A/HRC/14/23 (paras.50 – 53)

Children and the access to the Internet

A/69/335 (paras.65-78)

Community-based media 

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.66 – 71)
A/HRC/14/23/Add.2
A/HRC/11/4 (para.63)

Counter-terrorism measures and freedom of expression

A/HRC/7/14 (paras.47 – 53)
E/CN.4/2004/62 (paras.69 – 78)
E/CN.4/2003/67 (paras.54 – 68)

Criminal libel and defamation

A/HRC/14/23 (para.82 – 83)
A/HRC/14/23/Add.2
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.39 – 43)
A/HRC/4/27 (paras.44 – 57)
E/CN.4/2006/55 (paras.44 – 55)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.43 – 48)
E/CN.4/2000/63 (paras.45 – 52)
E/CN.4/1999/64 (paras.24 – 28)

Cyber-attacks

A/HRC/17/27 (paras.51-52)

Defamation of religion

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.84 – 87)

Detention or arrest, bringing of charges, trial and sentencing

E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.52 – 54)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (27 – 29) 

Diversity of media

A/HRC/7/14 (paras.25 – 28)

Digital divide

A/HRC/35/22 (paras.47-50)
A/66/290 (paras.61-77)
A/HRC/17/27 (paras. 60-66)
A/HRC/17/27
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.61 – 62)
E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.89 – 92)  

Digital literacy

A/66/290 (paras.45-60)

Duties and responsibilities

E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.36 – 37)

Encryption, anonymity and the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and privacy

A/HRC/29/32 (paras.14-55)

Events of 11 September 2001

E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.71 – 79)

Exceptional prohibitions to the freedom of expression

A/66/290 (paras.20-36)

Freedom of expression and the realization of other human rights

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.26 – 29)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.54 – 66)

Freedom of expression to combat discrimination

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.40 – 71; 86 – 87)
A/HRC/7/14 (para.64)  

Freedom of expression and freedom of religion

A/HRC/7/14 (paras.63 – 66)

Freedom of opinion

E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.24 – 27)

Harm to media personnel and others: killings, attacks, threats, harassment

E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.47 – 51)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.28 – 36)

Hate speech

A/74/486 (paras.4-28)
A/74/486 (paras.29-39)
A/74/486 (paras.40-55)
A/67/357 (paras.24-74)
E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.62 – 66)

HIV/AIDS and freedom of expression and access to information

A/HRC/7/14 (paras.54 – 60)
E/CN.4/2004/62 (paras.65 – 68)
E/CN.4/2003/67 (paras.37 – 53)

Internet and freedom of expression

A/HRC/17/27
A/HRC/14/23/Add.2 (paras.9 – 10)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.29- 31, Internet governance)
A/HRC/4/27 (paras.38 – 43, Internet governance and digital democracy)
E/CN.4/2006/55 (paras.29 – 43, Internet governance and human rights)
E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.88 - 95)

Internet and the impact of private enterprises on freedom of expression

A/HRC/35/22 (paras.29-63)
A/HRC/32/38 (paras.15-25)

Internet content regulation

A/HRC/38/35 (paras. 13-63)
A/HRC/35/22 (paras.64-75)
A/HRC/32/38 (paras.25-55 & 63-71)

Indigenous people and the right to freedom of opinion and expression

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.41, 59 – 65)
A/HRC/11/4 (para.55)

Media in countries of transition and in elections

A/HRC/26/30 (paras. 10-74)
E/CN.4/1998/40 (paras.20 – 29)

Minorities and the right to freedom of opinion and expression

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.59 – 65)
A/HRC/11/4 (para.55)

National security

A/HRC/14/23/Add.2
E/CN.4/1999/64E/CN.4/1998/40 (paras.46 – 48)
E/CN.4/1996/39 (Annex, Johannesburg Principles on National security, freedom of expression and access to information)
E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.48 – 51)

Nature and the scope of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

A/71/373 (paras.50-54)
E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.14 – 37)

Net neutrality

A/HRC/35/22 (paras.23-28)

New information technologies

A/HRC/32/38 (paras.5-14)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.57 – 69)
E/CN.4/2000/63 (paras.54 – 58)
E/CN.4/1999/64 (paras.29 – 36)
E/CN.4/1998/40 (paras.30 – 45)

Non-state actors

E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.49 – 56)

Notion of freedom

E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.19 – 23)

Police and criminal justice system

E/CN.4/2000/63 (para.53)

Protection of sources of information and whistle-blowers

A/70/361 (paras.14-57)

Public order and limitations to freedom of expression

E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.52 – 53)

Public health and limitations to freedom of expression

E/CN.4/1995/32 (para.54)

Public morals and limitations to freedom of expression

E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.55)

Safety and protection of journalists and media professionals, including in conflict zones 

A/HRC/20/17 (paras.48-91)
A/HRC/14/23 (paras.88 – 103), A/HRC/14/23/Add.2
A/HRC/11/4 (paras.43 – 50; 64 – 67)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.32 – 38)
A/HRC/4/27 (paras.58 – 86)
E/CN.4/2006/55 (paras.56 – 61)
E/CN.4/2005/64 (paras.45 – 48)

States of emergency

A/HRC/14/23 (para.79(j))
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.44 – 46)

Restrictions and limitations to the right to freedom of expression

A/71/373 (paras. 9-49)
A/66/290 (paras.37-44)
A/HRC/14/23 (paras.72 – 87)
A/HRC/11/4 (paras.38 – 42)
A/HRC/7/14 (paras.39 – 53)
E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.38 – 55)

Right to seek and receive information

A/72/350 (paras.23-54)
A/HRC/35/22 (paras.8-16)
A/70/361 (paras.5-13)
A/68/362 (paras.70-86)
A/HRC/14/23/Add.2
E/CN.4/1999/64 (paras.12 – 17)
E/CN.4/1998/40 (paras.11 – 19)
E/CN.4/1995/32 (paras.34 – 35)

Right to truth and the right to access information

A/68/362 (paras. 12-69)

Right to privacy and freedom of expression

A/HRC/35/22 (paras.17-22 & 64-69)
A/HRC/23/40 (paras.19-32)
A/HRC/17/27 (paras.53-59)

Communications surveillance and digital security

A/HRC/41/35
A/HRC/32/38 (paras.56-62)
A/HRC/23/40 (paras.33-77)

World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

E/CN.4/2002/75 (paras.59 – 70)

Women and freedom of expression

A/HRC/14/23 (paras.42 – 49)
E/CN.4/2001/64 (paras.70 – 76)
E/CN.4/1999/64 (paras.37 – 44)
E/CN.4/1998/40 (paras.49 – 58)


Special Procedures
​Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and opinion
​Recent thematic reports
​Contact information

Ms. Irene Khan
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland

Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: freedex@ohchr.org

External links