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Freedom of expression

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.

Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Free expression

CI seeks ways and means to promote this basic human right to free expression.  It is undeniable that libraries as repositiories of books and other forms of documents are key to increasing and spreading knowledge.  Translation and publication of library manifestos in national languages supported by CI helped librarians and information professionals in Lao PDR and Thailand to better understand their role as well as how they can contribute to further development of libraries and lifelong learning of the public.


Librarians and anyone interested in the role of libraries should read UNESCO Public Library Manisfesto (.pdf; Thai), IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manisfesto (.pdf; Thai), IFLA School Library Guideline (.pdf; Thai). Lao version of the publications is also available (.pdf; Lao).

Press Freedom

In 1993, UNESCO was instrumental in the proclamation by the UN General Assembly of 3 May as the World Press Freedom Day.  Since then, the World Press Freedom Day has been celebrated around the world.  Four years later UNESCO created in 1997 the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to honour the work of journalists or organizations defending or promoting freedom of expression. 


Opening ceremony for UQ Centre for WPFD 2010, © Lyle Radford

While the focus is on freedom of the press in general, each year’s celebration deals with only one chosen theme. CI celebrates the WPFD with collaborating journalists associations both at regional and national levels.
For general information on the World Press Freedom Day, please visit UNESCO CI web site. Each year the Director General of UNESCO issues a statement focusing on the year’s chosen theme (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004). For information on the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, click here.

Participants of the conference from around the world adopted a declaration laying the ground for fostering freedom of expression, access to information and empowerment of people. The "Brisbane Declaration"came on Press Freedom organized by UNESCO in Brisbane, Australia on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2010.       

For the declarations adopted on World Press Freedom Day, please click the following links:


BrisbaneDeclaration, 3 May 2010

Doha Declaration, 3 May 2009 

Maputo Declaration, 3 May 2008

Medellin Declaration, 3 May 2007

Colombo Declaration, 3 May 2006

Dakar Declaration, 3 May 2005

Belgrade Declaration, 3 May 2004