The Organization of American States was created to defend peace, justice, solidarity and independence. ARTICLE 19 works with the OAS to ensure that its work supports and protects freedom of expression and information.
The OAS oversees the ACHR through the IACMHR and IACtHR. Also known as the Pact of San José, the ACHR was adopted in 1969 and came into force on 18 July 1978.
The ACHR is not legally binding and is conspicuous by the absence of the USA and Canada as members. In the case of the latter, this is due to its stance on abortion.
However, Article 13 provides for the right to freedom of expression:
Article 13. Freedom of Thought and Expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and expression. This right includes freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium of one's choice.
2. The exercise of the right provided for in the foregoing paragraph shall not be subject to prior censorship but shall be subject to subsequent imposition of liability, which shall be expressly established by law to the extent necessary to ensure:
a. respect for the rights or reputations of others; or
b. the protection of national security, public order, or public health or morals.
3. The right of expression may not be restricted by indirect methods or means, such as the abuse of government or private controls over newsprint, radio broadcasting frequencies, or equipment used in the dissemination of information, or by any other means tending to impede the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions.
4. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 above, public entertainments may be subject by law to prior censorship for the sole purpose of regulating access to them for the moral protection of childhood and adolescence.
5. Any propaganda for war and any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitute incitements to lawless violence or to any other similar action against any person or group of persons on any grounds including those of race, color, religion, language, or national origin shall be considered as offenses punishable by law.
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