Countdown to Human Rights Day
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was truly global in its writing.
Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion
Since 1999, the UN Special Rapporteur, together with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, has issued annually a Joint Declaration on freedom of expression, reaffirming its central role for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The following factsheets are part of a project that aims to summarize the Special Rapporteur’ on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression’s reports and key points in international law in a concise and easy-to-use format. Each factsheet covers a particular area of international law, from an enabling environment for freedom of expression to aspects related to freedom of expression and new technologies.
The following research papers were independently published by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in order to elaborate on certain themes related to the mandate.
Freedom of Expression and Oversight of Online Content Moderation
This research paper, published in July 2020, aims to update the Special Rapporteur’s 2018 report on the State regulation and company moderation of online content (A/HRC/38/35).
Building on the 2018 Report, this report evaluates recent developments in content moderation oversight, with a particular focus on company initiatives and the emerging Oversight Board.
Freedom of Expression and Elections in the Digital Age
This research paper, published in June 2019, examines the international standards and principles applicable to the protection of freedom of opinion and expression during elections in the digital age.
In a 2014 report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/26/30), the Special Rapporteur examined the State’s obligations to respect and ensure freedom of expression in electoral contexts. This paper reviews the nature and scope of these obligations in light of advances in technology and their impact on elections.
Encryption and Anonymity
This research paper, published in June 2018, aims to update the Special Rapporteur’s 2015 report on the use of encryption and anonymity to exercise the rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age (A/HRC/29/32).
The paper reveals that three year after the publication of the Special Rapporteur’s report, the challenges users face have increased substantially, while States often see personal, digital security as antithetical to law enforcement, intelligence, and even goals of social or political control.