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Annual thematic reports

Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion

Annually, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression is required to submit a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly covering the activities relating to the mandate, containing recommendations to Member States and other stakeholders, and providing suggestions on ways and means to better promote and protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression in all its manifestations.

The table below lists all thematic reports by dates. Thematic issues addressed in these reports can also be viewed by theme on the ‘Issues in Focus’ page.

Special Rapporteur reports to the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the General Assembly (GA)

Year Symbol number Subject
2023 A/HRC/53/25 Sustainable development and freedom of expression
Statement to the Human Rights Council
  A/78/288 Gendered disinformation and its implications for the right to freedom of expression
2022 A/HRC/50/29 Reinforcing media freedom and safety of journalists in the digital age
  A/77/288 Disinformation and freedom of opinion and expression during armed conflicts
2021 A/HRC/47/25 Disinformation and freedom of opinion and expression
Statement delivered to the Human Rights Council
  A/76/258 Gender justice and freedom of opinion and expression
Statement delivered to the Human Rights Council
2020 A/75/261 Academic freedom 
Statement delivered to the General Assembly
  A/HRC/44/49 Disease pandemics and the freedom of opinion and expression
  A/HRC/44/49/Add.2 Artistic Freedom of Expression
2019 A/74/486 Online hate speech
  A/HRC/41/35 Surveillance and human rights
  A/HRC/41/35/Add.3 Overview of submissions received
  A/HRC/41/35/Add.4 Summary of an expert's consultation
2018 A/73/348 Artificial Intelligence technologies and implications for the information environment
  A/HRC/38/35 Online content regulation
  A/HRC/38/35/Add.1 Supplementary annex accompanying the thematic report
2017 A/72/350 Access to information in international organizations
Statement delivered to the General Assembly
  A/HRC/35/22 The role of digital access providers
  A/HRC/35/22/Add.4 Supplementary material accompanying the thematic report
2016 A/71/373 Contemporary challenges to freedom of expression
  A/HRC/32/38 Freedom of expression, states and the private sector in the digital age
States and civil society submissions
2015 A/70/361
View report page
The protection of sources and whistleblowers
States and civil society submissions
  A/HRC/29/32 The use of encryption and anonymity to exercise the rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age
States and civil society submissions
2014 A/69/335 The right of the child to freedom of expression
  A/HRC/26/30 The right to freedom of expression in electoral contexts
2013 A/68/362 The right to access information
  A/HRC/23/40 The implications ofStates’ surveillance of communications on the exercise of the human rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression
  A/HRC/23/40/Corr.1 Corrigendum
2012 A/67/357 Hate speech and incitement to hatred
  A/HRC/20/17 The protection of journalists and media freedom
2011 A/66/290 The right to freedom of opinion and expression exercised through the Internet
  A/HRC/17/27 Key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet
  A/HRC/17/27/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
  A/HRC/17/27/Add.1/Corr.1 Corrigendum
2010 A/HRC/14/23 Groups in need of attention, limitations to the right to freedom of expression, and protection of journalists
  A/HRC/14/23/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
  A/HRC/14/23/Add.2 Tenth anniversary joint declaration: Ten key challenges to freedom of expression in the next decade
2009 A/HRC/11/4 Limitations to the right to freedom of expression, safety and protection of journalists and media professionals in conflict zones, and right of access to information in situations of extreme poverty
  A/HRC/11/4/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2008 A/HRC/7/14 Access to information, safety and protection of journalists and media professionals, legal restrictions on freedom of expression, and freedom of opinion and expression and the realization of other human rights
  A/HRC/7/14/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2007 A/HRC/4/27 Thematic visit to Denmark, Internet governance and digital democracy, decriminalization of defamation offences, and security and protection of media professionals
  A/HRC/4/27/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2006 E/CN.4/2006/55 Internet governance and human rights, freedom of expression and defamation, and security and protection of media professionals
  E/CN.4/2006/55/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2005 E/CN.4/2005/64 implementing the right of access to information and protection and security of media professionals
  E/CN.4/2005/64/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2004 E/CN.4/2004/62 Implementing the right to access to information, access to information for purposes of education on and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and the right to freedom of expression and counter-terrorism measures
  E/CN.4/2004/62/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2003 E/CN.4/2003/67 Access to information for the purposes of education on and prevention of HIV and the right to freedom of expression and counter-terrorism measures
  E/CN.4/2003/67/Add.1 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2002 E/CN.4/2002/75 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, events of 11 September, broadcasting, and the Internet
  E/CN.4/2002/75/Add.2 Summary of cases transmitted to Governments and replies received
2001 E/CN.4/2001/64 Non-State actors, new technologies, and women
2000 E/CN.4/2000/63 Access to information, criminal libel and defamation, the police and the criminal justice system, and new technologies
1999 E/CN.4/1999/64 The right to seek and receive information, national security laws, criminal libel, new information technologies, and women and freedom of expression
1998 E/CN.4/1998/40 The right to seek and receive information, the media in countries of transition and in elections, the impact of new information technologies, national security, and women and freedom of expression
1997 E/CN.4/1997/31 Terms of reference, activities, and country situations
1996 E/CN.4/1996/39 Terms of reference, activities, and country situations
1995 E/CN.4/1995/32 The nature and scope of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and restrictions and limitations to the right to freedom of expression
1994 E/CN.4/1994/33 Terms of reference, methods of work, and resources