Australia will promote and protect freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of a vibrant democracy and a culture of accountability; it underpins good governance and stronger institutions. Australia's domestic and international policy initiatives place a heavy emphasis on protecting the core human right to freedom of expression.

Two women conducting a radio braodcast.
Women from Timor-Leste participating in education and training courses to produce news stories at the Independent Centre for Journalism. Credit: DFAT.

Australia has played an active part in promoting Human Rights Council resolutions on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists, human rights defenders, human rights and the internet, and civil society.

We are committed to ensuring individuals are able to enjoy the same human rights online as they enjoy offline. Australia became a member of the Freedom Online Coalition in March 2015.

Australia has supported the development of a strong, professional and sustainable media sector in partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region. This has resulted in stronger governance and stronger civil society and media sectors.

While we will highlight freedom of expression as a key political right, Australia will underline other important human rights. We will advocate for the universal abolition of slavery and the death penalty. We are committed to supporting the rights of persons with disability, combating homophobic and transphobic attitudes by promoting equality for all, and addressing violence against women and girls.

Our Pledge:

  • Australia will underscore the fundamental importance of freedom of expression.
  • Australia will advocate for the protection of journalists, human rights defenders and civil society.
  • Australia commits to working with other countries to ensure that individuals are able to enjoy the same human rights online as they do enjoy offline, including freedom of expression.
Last Updated: 26 February 2018