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Building peace in the minds of men and women

Promoting democracy and freedom of expression

The successful promotion of democracy and long-term sustainable development are inseparable from the principle of freedom of expression. This is why UNESCO is working to strengthen freedom of expression through empowering free, pluralistic and independent media at the global, regional and national levels, with a strong focus on gender, youth and media and information literacy.


With generous financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UNESCO is implementing projects that aim to strengthen freedom of expression and democracy throughout the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The focus of the project is on:


Freedom of expression both online and off-line


Safety of journalists, media workers and bloggers


Professional and ethical journalism


Women and youth empowerment


Awareness and Research on world trends of freedom of expression and media development


This project is being implemented at a global level, as well as throughout, Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Myanmar, Palestine, Paraguay, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.


    November 2014        July 2018    
  • Supporting an enabling legal and policy environment for freedom of expression and democratic principles;
  • Generating knowledge and awareness of freedom of expression and media development around the world;
  • Enhancing the safety of media practitioners and combating impunity surrounding the crimes committed against them;
  • Promoting freedom of expression, privacy and safety on the Internet;
  • Strengthening the competence of media practitioners in reporting on civic affairs, human rights, democratic culture, elections, and sustainable development;
  • Promoting the empowerment of women through widened access to information, and enhanced gender-balanced media coverage, protection of female journalists and gender equality in media outlets;
  • Fostering media and information literacy, especially among youth and women;
  • Increasing youth capacities in media production, media and information literacy, and awareness of freedom of expression;
  • Facilitating networking and reinforcing the capacity of actors involved in reforms towards enhanced freedom of expression, thereby fostering the adoption and effective implementation of legislation aligned to international standards, underpinning democracy and the respect for human rights.


Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. SIDA works in order to implement the Swedish development policy that will enable poor people to improve their lives. Another part of its mission is conducting reform cooperation with Eastern Europe, which is financed through a specific appropriation. The third part of SIDA's assignment is to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need of assistance. SIDA carries out enhanced development cooperation with a total of 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The selection of cooperation countries are based on political decisions made by the Swedish government.


Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

SEAPA is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation campaigning for genuine press freedom in Southeast Asia.


The Supreme Court of Paraguay

The Supreme Court of Paraguay is the highest judicial body within the country.


Ibero-American Judicial Summit Pro-Tempore Secretariat

The Ibero-American Judicial Summit is a cooperation, consultation and experience exchange body which is articulated by the Judicial Entities of each of the Ibero-American region’s countries as well as through the development of joint projects and actions which aimed at contributing to the strengthening of justice administrations, and as a consequence, of the democratic system of the region, in the context of common cultural heritage.


Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (Spanish acronym FLIP)

The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) is a non-governmental organization in charge of monitoring attacks on press freedom in Colombia, developing activities that contribute towards protecting journalists and media, and promoting freedom of expression and access to information.


Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression in order to bring together international experts and activists with the University’s faculty and students to survey, document, and strengthen free expression.


The Ibero-American Network of Judicial Schools

The Centre for Justice and International Law works to foster the Ibero-American justice system by promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience, reinforcing training mechanisms and consolidating a common judicial culture.


Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM)

The Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) is an interdisciplinary research centre hosted in the Department of Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield with global outreach that studies issues of media freedom and standards. CFOM aims to inform and advise governments, policymakers and stakeholders internationally on threats to media freedom, in order to bring about positive changes to laws, policy and practice and to uphold standards of journalism safety worldwide.


University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is a public research university in Sheffield, England.


Centre for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)

The Centre for Justice and International Law (Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional) works to promote human rights throughout the Americas by alerting the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of violations, putting forward policy reform proposals and by disseminating knowledge to raise awareness about endemic human rights abuses.


Inter American Press Association (IAPA/SIP)

The Inter American Press Association is a press advocacy group representing media organizations in North America, South America and the Caribbean.


Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution that, together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, makes up the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS), which serves to uphold and promote basic rights and freedoms in the Americas.


International Association of Broadcasting (IAB/AIR)

IAB is permanently defending Freedom of Expression of Thought and freedom of reception of all kinds of broadcasts, to foster the collaboration of the broadcasters in public interest and social service activities.


International Association of Lawyers (UIA)

UIA defends the legal profession and encourages international networking, cooperation and understanding among lawyers with due regard to their cultural and professional diversity.


International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPDH)

Comité international pour la protection des droits de l'homme (CIPDH) - is a non-profit association protecting human rights by the organization of independent community of lawyers of Europe.


Escuela Nacional de Formación y Perfeccionamiento de Magistrados Ministro

The National School for the Training and Improvement of Magistrates (ENFAM) is the official training body for Brazilian magistrates. It is responsible for regulating, authorizing and supervising courses for entry and career promotion.


Myanmar News Media Council

The Myanmar News Media Council is an independent co-regulatory body that works to foster freedom of expression by handling defamation complaints in place of criminal proceedings.



FILASTINIYAT is a pro-active, non-governmental and not-for-profit media advocacy organization committed to ensuring and supporting the equitable participation of Palestinian women and youth at all levels of public spheres and all forums of public discourse.


National Association of Black Journalists

The National Association of Black Journalists is an organization of African-American journalists, students, and media professionals that aims to provide quality programs and services to and advocate on behalf of black journalists.


The Blue Nile Film and Television Academy

Blue Nile Film and Television Academy is a pioneering professional institution in Ethiopia offering high quality filmmaking training.


Addis Ababa University

Addis Ababa University is a state university in university in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Kamoinge Institute

Kamoinge is collective of African-American photographers seeking artistic equality and empowerment.


Tech Tribes

Tech Tribes helps nonprofits and cause-driven groups architect low-cost and replicable interactive tech solutions that can help them solve community issues and enhance public participation.

  • Ma'aly Hazzaz, Project Officer, Communication and Information Sector (CI), UNESCO Headquarters Paris