Freedom of expression is a cornerstone upon which the very existence of a democratic society rests.
Advisory Opinion, OC-5/85, IACtHR
The Office of the Special Rapporteur was created to stimulate awareness of the importance of the full observance of the right to freedom of expression and information in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role that this right plays in the consolidation and advancement of the democratic system.
During the Second Summit of the Americas the Heads of State and Government of the Americas recognized the fundamental role of freedom of thought and expression, and noted their satisfaction regarding the creation of the Special Rapporteurship and expressed their commitment to support the Office. During the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, Canada, the Heads of State and Government ratified the mandate of the Office of the Special Rapporteur. The OAS General Assembly has on various occasions expressed its support for the work of the Office of the Special Rapporteur and entrusted it with follow-up or analysis of issues related to freedom of expression.
In the same way, since its beginnings, the Office of the Special Rapporteur has also had the support of civil society organizations, the media, journalists and, most importantly, individuals who have been victims of violations of the right to freedom of thought and expression. They, in turn, have viewed the Office of the Special Rapporteur as an important source of support to reestablish the safeguards necessary for the exercise of their rights or to ensure just reparations as warranted by their particular situation.
Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F St. NW
Washington D.C. 20006
Telephone: +1 202 370 0816
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Official Photo: Juan Manuel Herrera, OAS