Building peace in the minds of men and women

Internet Governance Glossary


4.8 Freedom of expression / Freedom of opinion and expression

Fundamental human right recognized under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN/UDHR, Article 19) stating.

"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."


The protection of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression. However, the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary, such as

  • "For respect of the rights or reputation of others"
  • "For the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".