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National Network: 
United Kingdom
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2073242500
Organisation Type: 
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment: 
Fields of Activity: 
General Information: 

ARTICLE 19 (A19) was established as a freedom of expression campaigning organisation over 25 years ago. Since then, A19 has developed a distinctive expertise in using international human rights standards and policies on freedom of expression and access to information to achieve individual freedoms, empower civil society and tackle underlying causes of poverty. Building on the past years, the current Executive Director, Thomas Hughes has enabled A19 to consolidate its position as global standard setting and advocacy INGO who pursues an expansive definition of FoE/ RTI as an enabling right promoting and underpinning other rights. As such, ARTICLE 19 is actively involved in the defence and promotion of other civil and political rights, such as public participation, association and assembly, freedom of belief, and peaceful protest.

ARTICLE 19 now has 90+ staff spread across its regional and international offices, headquartered in London with eight locally-based offices (in Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, Myanmar, Tunisia and the United States).  International support programmes (Law and Policy; Communications; Projects; Finance and Operations) as well as regional programmes (Europe and Central Asia, Asia-Pacific, Iran and Middle East North Africa) operates out of London, while locally-based offices have their own directors, reporting to the Executive Director.

Mission and Objectives: 

Founded in 1987, ARTICLE 19 seeks to promote, protect, develop and fulfil freedom of expression and the free flow of information in order to strengthen global social justice and empower people to make autonomous choices. ARTICLE 19 seeks to improve people’s ability to express themselves and be heard by influencing law, policy and practice at the international, regional and national levels. ARTICLE 19 works to challenge current and new threats to freedom of expression, operating under the overall vision and mission as defined by Article 19 of the UDHR and international law and standards:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right include freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Main Projects / Activities: 

ARTICLE 19 is focused on delivering holistic outcomes that will set precedents, establishing best practices and lesson sharing at local, national, regional and international levels. Through the creation and promotion of policies and positions at international and regional bodies and courts, ARTICLE 19 aims to create progressive soft laws and positively influence jurisprudence. Such standards are key to influencing and securing progressive standards and policies at the national level, which in turn creates legally enabled processes for advocacy to achieve human rights and sustainable development at local levels. In doing this, ARTICLE 19 takes these local level engagements and experience and drives this knowledge back into the international, regional and national projects, thus creating circular dynamics for positive change.

ARTICLE 19’s work focuses on empowering individuals and communities to demand their rights and participate in decision making processes prompting accountability, challenging corruption and human rights abuses. It also works closely with governments, parliaments and information commissioners, through targeted training, expert advice, legislative drafting and advocacy, and international and regional institutions (UNHCHR, OAS, African Union, etc.) to promote open disclosure policies and practices.

Our new strategy, the Expression Agenda (2015-2020), places us at the forefront of key freedom of expression battles.  It seeks to promote, protect, develop and fulfil freedom of expression and the free flow of information in order to advance the defence of civic space through five strategic themes, where we have witnessed a weakening and erosion of minimal standards protecting freedom of expression and information and believes will make a strong contribution to strengthening participation and democracy, fighting corruption and impunity: 1) Protection and promotion of civic space; 2) Fight Against impunity and Protection of those defending human rights ; 3) FoE and information on the internet; 4) Media freedom, pluralism and public interest; 5) Development and transparency.