Kenya National Commission for UNESCO - Service to Kenya and UNESCO

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Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

IN Communication and Information, Freedom of Expression and Media Development
Programme Director:
Ms. Christine Maingi
January 3, 2018
About the Programme

Freedom of Information

UNESCO actively promotes the safety of those who produce journalism and believes that they have the right to work free from the threat of violence and to ensure the right to freedom of opinion and expression for all. The killing of journalists and its impunity directly impacts the United Nations’ human rights based efforts to promote peace, security, and sustainable development

UNESCO’s mandate as set out in its 1945 Constitution specifically calls on the Organization to “promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”. Freedom of information is also central in the framework of the World Summit of the Information Society, which has reaffirmed freedom of expression and universal access to information as cornerstones of inclusive knowledge societies.

Freedom of Information (FOI) can be defined as the right to access information held by public bodies. It is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression, as recognized by Resolution 59 of the UN General Assembly adopted in 1946, as well as by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which states that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

FOI has also been enshrined as a corollary of freedom of expression in other major international instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the American Convention on Human Rights (1969).