The promotion and defence of freedom to publish, this fundamental subset of freedom of expression, has always been a key objective of the IPA. To fulfil this goal, IPA monitors, assists and lobbies, networks, rewards, showcases, observes, and leads fact-finding missions. Moreover, IPA is instrumental in selecting each year the World Book Capital City. The various means through which IPA tries to reach this key objective are outlined on the following pages.


IPA monitors cases of violations of freedom of expression or the freedom to publish and intervenes in the case of prosecution and persecution of publishers and authors worldwide. IPA also monitors international fora, in particular the UN Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodical Review (UPR) Working Group.

Assisting & Lobbying

IPA assists its national member organisations when national laws that affect freedom to publish, are reviewed or amended. IPA provides legal advice or participates in the lobbying of national governments or regional associations in cooperation with the relevant member organisation.

IPA promotes and monitors the ratification and enforcement of the UNESCO Florence Agreement on the Importation of Educational, scientific and cultural materials and its additional Protocol.


IPA has developed an extensive network of internationally active non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In the area of Freedom to Publish, excellent working relationships have developed with other organisations active in the protection of freedom of speech, including NGOs (International PEN, its Writers In Prison Committee, the World Association of Newspapers etc), and intergovernmental organisations (among others the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the European Union). IPA joined the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) in June 2004. IPA is on the Steering Groups of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) and of the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) Project.


IPA awards the IPA Freedom to Publish Prize for exemplary courage in upholding freedom of expression and freedom to publish. For more, see IPA Freedom to Publish Prize.


IPA actively supports or initiates international events focusing on freedom of expression and freedom to publish [e.g.: Freedom of expression in focus at the 2006 Göteborg Book Fair; the International Symposium on Neo-Censorship (Threats to the Open Book), Amsterdam, 18-20 September 2008; the Global Forum on Freedom of Expression, Oslo, 1-6 June 2009; a UN-side event on Freedom of Expression and Defamation of Religions on 16 September 2010; the 7th Gathering for Freedom of Expression, Istanbul, 9-10 October 2010; etc.].

Fact-finding & Observing

IPA initiates or takes part in fact-finding missions, e.g. in the Tunisia Monitoring Group, or the framework of the UPR Project (Armenia, Kenya, etc.), and in trial observation missions, e.g. at the trials of Ragip Zarakolu and Orhan Pamuk in Turkey.

Freedom to Publish News

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