ON INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MANDATES
According to the report, there is something of an international trend towards establishment of regional freedom of expression mandates. The OSCE and OAS bodies were both established in 1997 and significant steps have been taken toward creating a similar mandate for Africa. Developments in Asia are lagging somewhat behind, says ARTICLE 19, but there are a number of initiatives to set up both national and regional human rights bodies in Asia.
In November 1999, ARTICLE 19 convened the first ever joint meeting between the UN, OSCE and OAS rapporteurs on free expression, which allowed them to discuss possible co-operation and resulted in a declaration reflecting their common approach. A second seminar was held in November 2000, addressing defamation law, contempt of court and hate speech. The new report sets out in detail the discussions at this second seminar. Collaboration between the three mandates also resulted in a joint declaration in February 2001 addressing racism and the media for the upcoming World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance [See IFEX "Communique" #10-9]. The report is available at http://www.article19.org.