Thursday, October 1, 2015

Understanding the Right to Freedom of Expression: An International Human Rights Law Primer for Journalists (The International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law has launched a new publication, Understanding the Right to Freedom of Expression: An International Human Rights Law Primer for Journalists (PDF).

The primer is the result of a unique partnership between Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and the IHRP.

“We are excited to provide accessible information to journalists about their rights under international law,” said Renu Mandhane, executive director of the International Human Rights Program, now en route to a new role as Ontario’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner. “There is nothing else like this available in the world today.”

The primer was written by Katie Bresner, a law student who was enrolled in the IHRP’s award-winning legal clinic, and edited by Mandhane, Naregh Galoustian, JHR’s senior programs manager, and former JHR trainer and CBC journalist Bonnie Allen.

"Freedom of expression is a fundamental right that many of us are fortunate to never give a second thought. After working on this primer, I appreciate how significant free expression is, how easily it can be taken away, and the devastating impact censorship can have on a nation, communities and individuals," said Bresner.

“The launch of this primer marks the first time such a document has been developed for journalists to better appreciate and understand their right to free expression, and their crucial role in ensuring that right is respected worldwide,” said JHR executive director Rachel Pulfer.

JHR trains journalists, using documents such as this one, to empower reporters to cover human rights stories ethically and objectively.