Who we are

ARTICLE 19 envisages a world where people are free to speak their opinions, to participate in decision-making and to make informed choices about their lives

For this to be possible, people everywhere must be able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information. Without these rights, democracy, good governance and development cannot happen.

We take our name from Article 19 of the UDHR:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

HISTORY

ARTICLE 19 was founded in 1987.  We are registered and regulated in the UK (charity number 327421), Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, Tunisia and the USA.

American businessman and philanthropist J. Roderick MacArthur originally envisaged the founding of an organisation which would defend the right to freedom of expression. After MacArthur’s death in 1984, his children contacted New York civil liberties lawyer and former director of ACLU, Aryeh Neier: he commissioned Martin Ennals, a former director of Amnesty International to develop a proposal for a new organisation to be called ARTICLE 19. Kevin Boyle was appointed the first ARTICLE 19 executive director in 1987.