Why Is Freedom Of Expression Important?
full access to freedom of expression for a wide range of reasons including poverty, discrimination and cultural pressures. While attention is often, rightly, focused on the damaging impact discrimination or poverty can have on people’s lives, the impact such problems have on free expression is less rarely addressed.
We are not talking about the classic examples of challenges to freedom of expression where repressive regimes attempt to block, limit and inhibit across a population as a whole. Rather we are looking at cases where in both more and less free societies particular groups face greater barriers to free expression than the wider population. Such groups can often be denied an equal voice, and active and meaningful participation in political processes and wider society. Poverty, discrimination, legal barriers, cultural restrictions, religious customs and other barriers can directly or indirectly block the voices of the already marginalised. How much do these barriers and lack of access to freedom of expression matter? A lot – as the examples below tell us.
Why is access to freedom of expression important? Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It also underpins most other rights and allows them to flourish. The right to speak your mind freely on important issues in society, access information and hold the powers that be to account, plays a vital role in the healthy development process of any society.
The lack of access to freedom of expression is a…