Freedom of opinion and expression
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to freedom of opinion and expression as a human right. This is formulated in Article 19:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
These principles constitute the foundation of the United Nations resolutions, conventions and declarations in this field.
The right to freedom of expression and opinion is guaranteed in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted in 1966 and entered into force in 1976.
Since 1993, there is a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression who examines, monitors and reports to the Human Rights Council.
More on UN and freedom of opinion and expression
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- Human Rights Committee. Background information and full text reports and documents.
- Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Information about the special rapporteur; the mandate and activities, as well as reports and other documentation in fulltext:
Human Rights, conventions and declaration
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Swedish | in English
- Resolution 217 A (III) / (A/RES/217) adopted by the UN General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 during its 183rd plenary meeting.
- The Core International Human Rights Instruments and their monitoring bodies.
- Universal Human Rights Index - UHRI. Human rights recommendations from all parts of the UN system: the UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies, the Human Rights Council mechanisms Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures. Each document links to other related information in the database.
- Charter-based Body Database. Documents and reports of the Human Rights Council, its predecessor and their subsidiaries and parent organs. Maintained by OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights).
- Treaty Body Database. Full text documents from the UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies.
- Yearbook on Human Rights 1946-1988
- OHCHR website for background information, documents and reports.
- Research guides by Dag Hammarskjöld Library:
Key UN documents
UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases
- United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
- UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
- ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
- Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
- UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
- Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
- a list of all documents
- a comprehensive subject index
- an index to speeches
- a voting chart of resolutions
- United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.