Freedom of Expression in Brazil

UNESCO promotes freedom of expression and freedom of the press as a basic human right, through sensitization and monitoring activities. It also fosters media independence and pluralism as prerequisites and major factors of democratization, peace and tolerance-building by providing advisory services on media legislation and sensitizing governments, parliamentarians and other decision-makers.

Press Freedom on All Platforms

As the UN agency with a specific mandate to foster freedom of expression, and its corollaries, press freedom and freedom of information, UNESCO sees these rights as crucial foundations of democracy, development and dialogue, and as preconditions for protecting and promoting all other human rights.

UNESCO facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue and mobilises advisory services toward legal and regulatory environments conducive to freedom of expression. Our actions seek to develop, in accordance with international standards, press laws, freedom of information legislation and a framework enabling freedom of expression on the Internet.

Advancing press freedom across all types of media includes monitoring, sensitization and advocacy efforts, such as the annual celebration World Press Freedom Day on 3 May and the awarding of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. In addition, the Organization also contributes to strengthening professional standards through capacity-building and self-regulation mechanisms (such as codes of ethics, press councils and in-house news ombuds).

In all this, UNESCO follows a gender-sensitive approach, and pays special attention to countries undergoing conflict, post-conflict, and transition situations.

Freedom of Expression in Brazil

Brazil has experienced the establishment of a ‘post redemocratisation’ constitutional framework that undoubtedly grants freedom of speech and of the press. The country has prepared the ground for the establishment of a social communication system in alignment with the most advanced international regimes in the field.

Brazil’s Federal Constitution guarantees to the Brazilians a broad access to information from different and multiple sources within a democratic environment where freedom of speech and the press is ensured. However, the country still faces some gaps in the media regulatory framework.

The 1988 Constitution counts on an infraconstitutional legislation dated from 1962. Therefore it does not respond to the new Brazilian social and political challenges or to the technological revolution gone through the communication and information sector of today. The country still need to go further in diversifying its information sources expanding them to government and community communication channels.

UNESCO cooperates with various organizations that  develop actions in the fields of guaranteeing freedom of expression and of the press, media monitoring, editorial staff qualification, and inspection. They also foster discussions on public communication policies and advocacy actions aiming at producing transformation in a broad range of media-related affairs.


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