Publishing is a powerful mechanism by which humanity has for centuries circulated works of the mind, information, ideas, beliefs and opinions. Many international treaties and declarations* enshrine freedom of expression as an inalienable human right and affirm media freedom as fundamental to liberty.
Human rights are safeguards of human dignity, and unhindered access to multiple information sources is a prerequisite for diversity, creativity, prosperity, tolerance and progress. Freedom of expression is the basis for the creation of works of the mind; for publishers, it forms both the creative and economic foundation of their profession.
The IPA believes that the unique contribution of publishers to enabling freedom of expression, debate and dialogue by disseminating the works of others deserves distinct recognition and protection.
The IPA is committed to defending and promoting the freedom to publish, which is under siege worldwide today. The IPA Statutes declare that the first Object of the Association is:
‘To uphold and defend the right of publishers to publish and distribute works of the mind in complete freedom, provided that in so doing they respect all legal rights attached to these works within their own countries and internationally. It is the duty of the Association to oppose steadfastly any attempt or threat to restrict that freedom’.
It is the task of the IPA’s permanent Freedom to Publish Committee to manage the association’s work in this field by implementing programmes and activities in partnership with member associations, international organizations, and other non-governmental organizations.
The IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee does this by: