Inter-American Human Rights System
Article 13: Freedom of Thought and Expression
- Paragraph 1: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression. This right includes freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one’s choice.
- Paragraph 2: The exercise of the right provided for in the foregoing paragraph shall not be subject to prior censorship but shall be subject to subsequent imposition of liability, which shall be expressly established by law to the extent necessary to ensure:
a. respect for the rights or reputations of others; or
b. the protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals.
- Paragraph 3: The right of expression may not be restricted by indirect methods or means, such as the abuse of government or private controls over newsprint, radio broadcasting frequencies, or equipment used in the dissemination of information, or by any other means tending to impede the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions.
- Paragraph 4: Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 above, public entertainments may be subject by law to prior censorship for the sole purpose of regulating access to them for the moral protection of childhood and adolescence.
- Paragraph 5: Any propaganda for war and any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitute incitements to lawless violence or to any other similar action against any person or group of persons on any grounds including those of race, color, religion, language, or national origin shall be considered as offenses punishable by law.
Article 14: Right of Reply
- Paragraph 1: Anyone injured by inaccurate or offensive statements or ideas disseminated to the public in general by a legally regulated medium of communication has the right to reply or to make a correction using the same communications outlet, under such conditions as the law may establish.
- Paragraph 2: The correction or reply shall not in any case remit other legal liabilities that may have been incurred.
- Paragraph 3: For the effective protection of honor and reputation, every publisher, and every newspaper, motion picture, radio, and television company, shall have a person responsible who is not protected by immunities or special privileges.
Article 15: Right of Assembly
- The right of peaceful assembly, without arms, is recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security, public safety or public order, or to protect public health or morals or the rights or freedom of others.
Article 16: Freedom of Association
- Paragraph 1: Everyone has the right to associate freely for ideological, religious, political, economic, labor, social, cultural, sports, or other purposes.
- Paragraph 2: The exercise of this right shall be subject only to such restrictions established by law as may be necessary in a democratic society, in the interest of national security, public safety or public order, or to protect public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others.
- Paragraph 3: The provisions of this article do not bar the imposition of legal restrictions, including even deprivation of the exercise of the right of association, on members of the armed forces and the police.
Place/Date of Conclusion: San Jose, Costa Rica, 22 November 1969
Entry into Force: 18 July 1978
Status: Signatories: (44) Parties: (25)
Legal Citation: American Convention on Human Rights (San Jose, Costa Rica, 22 Nov. 1969), 9 I.L.M. 673 (1970), entered into force 18 Jul. 1978.
- Transparency in government activities, probity, responsible public administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, and freedom of expression and of the press are essential components of the exercise of democracy.
Place/Date of Conclusion: Bogotá, Colombia, 2 May 1948
Entry into Force: 19, July 1978
Legal Citation: Inter-American Democratic Charter (Bogotá, Colombia, 2 May 1948) entered into force on 19, July 1978.
Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Article 3: Obligation of nondiscrimination
- The State Parties to this Protocol undertake to guarantee the exercise of the rights set forth herein without discrimination of any kind for reasons related to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, economic status, birth or any other social condition.
Place/Date of Conclusion: San Salvador, 17 November 1988
Entry into Force: 16 November 1999
Status: Signatories: (33) Parties: (16)
Legal Citation: Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [Protocol of San Salvador] (17 Nov. 1988), OAS Treaty Series No. 69; 28 I.L.M. 156, entered into force 06 Nov. 1999.
- Every human being has the right to the equal recognition, enjoyment, exercise, and protection, at both the individual and collective levels, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in their domestic law and in the international instruments applicable to the States Parties.
Place/Date of Conclusion: La Antigua, Guatemala, 06 June 2013
Entry into Force: Not yet in forced
Status: Signatories: (7) Parties: (0)
- The American States agree to grant to women the same civil rights that men enjoy.
Place/Date of Conclusion: Bogota, Colombia, 02 May 1948
Entry into Force: 17 March 1949
Status: Signatories: (45) Parties: (21)
Legal Citation: Inter-American Convention on the Granting Civil Rights to Women (Bogota, Colombia, 02 May 1948), 1438 U.N.T.S. 51, entered into force 17 Marc. 1949.
- The High Contracting Parties agree that the right to vote and to be elected to national office shall not be denied or abridged by reason of sex.
Place/Date of Conclusion: Bogota, Colombia, 02 May 1948
Entry into Force: 29 December1954
Status: Signatories: (46) Parties: (24)
Legal Citation: Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women (Bogota, Colombia, 02 May 1948), 1438 U.N.T.S. 63, entered into force 18 July 1978.
Soft Law (guidelines, declarations, or principles)
- Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression
- Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public Information
- American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
- Principles on the Right of Access to Information