Under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognizes freedom of expression as a human right. In Article 19 of UDHR, it is stated that everyone has the right to freedom of expression including freedom of seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas without limitations. The exercise of these rights was amended in the version of Article 19 in ICCPR to carry special duties and responsibilities depending on certain restrictions when necessary to protect others’ rights or reputations, national security, public order, public health and morals. In Areopagitica, John Milton declared that freedom of expression is not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas but three other aspects including the right to seek, the right to receive, the right to impart information and ideas (1644). The protection of freedom of expression is also recognized by international, regional and national standards as a right not only the content but also the means of expression including any mediums, whether it be orally, in written, in print, through the Internet or art forms. Freedom of expression is of the essence of human rights. It bolsters other rights and helps them to flourish. Each person has not only the right to speak but also the right to hear. They can express their ideas not only through consensus but also through dissension. The lack of access to freedom of expression, especially in developing countries, leads to discrimination among different social classes such as girls and women, LGBT communities, disabled people. If they are not encouraged to raise their ideas, views, worries, and needs, they are deprived of meaningful participation in society. This is due to the impact of poverty, discrimination, religious and cultural barriers which causes significant restrictions for minority groups on access to freedom of expression. Therefore, access to free expression is vital to both personal and social development.
Although there are many controversies around the world regarding whether there is a prohibition against free expression, citizens need to be granted freedom of expression in a free country. There are many reasons for this, however, this essay will focus on the three most important reasons which are helping to build a transparent government, to stimulate a dynamic economy and to assure safety for citizens.
References will support both sides of the arguments and provide more supporting ideas for the essay. The ideas from this paper will be based on those researches from professionals with persuasive shreds of evidence to meet the high standard of an academic research paper. Besides, reading those research supports students to have well-rounded perspectives about their subject, not be biased about one side. It is good for students’ critical thinking to analyze which information is useful and which is not. Listing references is also a way for students to learn to respect others’ intellect and effort.
There are many skills gained after students complete their research papers. Firstly, the skill of summarizing is enhanced thanks to the selection of information and ideas from researches to put in their research. Secondly, to avoid plagiarism, students have to use paraphrasing for what ideas they choose. Thirdly, the speed of reading is also improved when students read many types of research to get ideas for the research. Last but not least, academic writing is nurtured when students absorb many academic pieces of research and know how to write a better research paper.
- Balkin, J. M. (2008). The future of free expression in a digital age. Pepp. L. Rev., 36, 427. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/pepplr36&div=18&id=&page=
- Massaro, T. M. (1990). Equality and freedom of expression: The hate speech dilemma. Wm. & Mary L. Rev., 32, 211. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/wmlr32&div=15&id=&page=
- Perry, M. J. (1981). Interpretivism, Freedom of Expression, and Equal Protection. Ohio St. LJ, 42, 261. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=heinjournals/ohslj42&div=17&id=&page=