Article 19 (stylized ARTICLE 19) is a British human rights organization with a specific mandate and focus on the defense and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide founded in 1987. The organization takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
|Motto||Defending freedom of information and expression|
|Founded||February 5, 1987|
|Founder||J. Roderick MacArthur|
|Type||International nongovernmental organization|
|Registration no.||Charity number 327421|
|Focus||Freedom of expression and freedom of information|
|“||Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.||”|
Article 19 monitors threats to free expression around the globe; lobbies governments to adopt laws that conform to international standards of freedom of expression; and drafts legal standards that strengthen media, public broadcasting, free expression, and access to government-held information. The Law Programme also produces legal analysis and critiques of national laws, including media laws. In addition, Article 19 intervenes in cases of individuals or groups whose rights have been violated; and provides capacity-building support to non-governmental organizations, judges and lawyers, journalists, media owners, media lawyers, public officials and parliamentarians.
Article 19’s work is organised into five Regional Programmes—Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East—a Law Program, and a Digital Program. It has over 100 staff and regional offices in Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Senegal, and Tunisia. It works in partnership with nearly 100 organizations in more than 60 countries around the world.
Article 19 is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a clearinghouse for a global network of non-governmental organizations that monitor free expression violations worldwide. It is also a member of the Tunisia Monitoring Group, a coalition of 21 free expression organizations that lobbied the Tunisian government to improve its human rights record. And it is the coordinator of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA), a coalition of international organizations working to promote and protect freedom of expression in Azerbaijan.
Article 19 is a founding member of the Freedom of Information Advocates (FOIA) Network, a global forum that aims to support campaigning, advocacy and fundraising on access to information through the exchange of information, ideas and strategies. The FOIA Network also aims to facilitate the formation of regional or international coalitions to address access to information issues.
Article 19 1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. 3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals
Article 19 lists its regular financial contributors on its website:
- Swedish International Development Agenda (SIDA)
- UK Department for International Development (DFID)
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- The Ford Foundation
- Fritt Ord
- Open Society Institute (OSI)
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Shortly before his death in 1984, J. Roderick MacArthur established a vision for Article 19 as a global human rights organization that would focus on censorship issues. His son Greg MacArthur, director of the J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation, set the wheels in motion for the creation of the organization inspired by an Article from the Universal Declaration of Human rights. Through Aryeh Neier—a lawyer and human rights leader who was formerly the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (1970–1978) before founding Human Rights Watch in 1978 -- Martin Ennals was appointed to realize the idea. Ennals brought his experience from UNESCO, the National Council for Civil Liberties, and the Nobel Prize-winning Amnesty International, and started the Article 19 organization in 1986 with a budget around $1,500,000 and a staff of eight with its first executive director Kevin Boyle.
|Article 19 Executive Directors|
|Dr Frances D'Souza||1989-2002|||
|Dr Agnès Callamard||2004–2013|||
As executive director, Kevin Boyle oversaw the first report that would summarize the current state of censorship on a global scale in a report released in 1988. The Article 19 report "Information, Freedom and Censorship" established a benchmark from which to move forward. In the report, Article 19 was critical of the United Kingdom where the government could interfere in the British Broadcasting Company's editorial decisions. Other directors would also criticize the United Kingdom frequently even though the organization is based in London.
Under the leadership of Boyle, Article 19 also took up as its first campaign, the defence of one of its own. Among Article 19's first directors on its board of directors was South African journalist Zwelakhe Sisulu.
|Article 19, International Board of Trustees, 2014–15|
The Sisulu name was well known worldwide as both of his parents were activists against South Africa's Apartheid system. Sisulu himself had established his own reputation as the leader of a press strike by black journalists in 1980. For this activity, he was arrested and banned from journalism for 3 years. After his disappearance in 1986 and after his arrest was made official, Article 19 took up the case of its own human rights defender. Sisulu was released two years later.
Dr Frances D'Souza, a founder and former director of Relief and Development Institute focusing on famine monitoring and relief operations, became the organization's second executive director 4 July 1989. She brought with her years of experience as a human rights defender from the field. Among her signature campaigns was the defence of Salman Rushdie after Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwā, or religious ruling, 14 February 1989 based on the charge that the book The Satanic Verses (1988) was a work of blasphemy. The religious ruling was a death sentence. D'Souza became the chairwoman of the Salman Rushdie Defence Committee while also executive director of Article 19 and became the writer's main spokesperson.
D'Souza also participated in the drafting of the Johannesburg Principles in 1995.
- "Congratulations to Article 19 for Two Decades of Speaking Out for Free Expression". IFEX.org. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (Cairo) (2012-02-19). "Tunisia: IFEX-TMG Concerned By Series of Setbacks". Africa News.
- Fein, Esther B. (1992-08-16). "Conversations/Frances D'Souza; Working to Nourish Democracy Where Minds Are Being Starved". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Saxon, Wolfgang (2001-12-06). "Greg MacArthur, Philanthropist And Green Party Supporter, 53". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Fitzgerald, Mary (2012-06-04). "Standing up for the universality of human rights" (interview). Irish Times. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- "History & Achievements". Article 19. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Moorehead, Caroline (1986-10-31). "New body set up to attack censorship / Launch of Article 19 organization". The Times (London).
- Allemang, John (1988-11-09) [2013-01-26]. "Group fights worldwide censorship". The Globe and Mail (Canada).
- Pepinster, Catherine (1991-10-06) [2013-01-26]. "At the forefront of freedom". The Observer.
- "Who was Martin Ennals?". martinennalsaward.org. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- Centre for the Study of Human Rights. "Andrew Puddephatt". London School of Economics. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
- Barker, Dennis (1989-10-04) [2013-01-31]. "Wednesday People: Champion in the cause of liberty". The Guardian (UK).
- Wolmar, Christian (1989-10-30) [2013-01-31]. "Defender of Liberty in a state of decay". The Independent.
- Puddephatt, Andrew (2003-05-24) [2013-01-26]. "Letter: Mind your language". The Daily Telegraph.
- Puddephatt, Andrew (2004-08-25) [2013-01-26]. "ALERT: Article 19 expresses concern about NGO bill". IFEX. Missing or empty
- "Agnes Callamard". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Executive director - Thomas Hughes". Article 19. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Human Rights: First World Report on Censorship Blasts Britain". Inter Press Service. 1988-05-23 [2013-01-29].
- "Black editor abducted / Zwelakhe Sisulu in South Africa". The Guardian (UK). 1986-06-28 [2013-01-29].
- Associated Press (1986-06-29) [2013-01-29]. "U.S. Editors' Society Urges Pretoria to Free a Journalist". New York Times.
- "Minister frees detained editor / New Nation newspaper editor Sisulu released by South African authorities". The Guardian (UK). 1986-07-19.
- Hultman, Tami (2012-10-05). "South Africa: Zwelakhe Sisulu - a Remembrance". AllAfrica. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Findley, Timothy (1987-03-21). "Writing: the pain and the pleasure The power to persuade is mitigated wherever you turn". Toronto Star.
- Brittain, Victoria (1989-12-07). "Editor says black South African paper is threatened with closure". The Guardian (UK).
- "Tributes paid to 'revolutionary journalist' | Media". BDlive. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Sisulu, Zwelakhe (2008-12-11). "Statement by Zwelakhe Sisulu on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of Article 19" (pdf). Article 19. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- Sometimes misspelled as De Souza.
- Usborne, David; Jury, Louise; Cornwell, Rupert (1998-09-25). "Secret talks that ended a 10-year ordeal". The Independent (London).
- "Review: Publish and be damned: Writers, broadcasters, friends and publishing insiders recall what it was like to be caught up in the most controversial story in recent literary history, The Satanic Verses and the ensuing fatwa against its author, as Salman Rushdie prepares to bring out his eagerly awaited memoir". The Guardian (London). 2012-09-15.
- Shamdasani, Ravina (2002-12-05). "Human rights specialist hits out at anti-subversion laws". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong). Retrieved 2013-01-26.