Communication rights: Fundamental human rights for all

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Abstract

The right to communicate includes the right to “freedom of opinion and expression” and rights and freedoms “without distinction of … language”. The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a time to celebrate and reflect on communication as a human right, particularly with respect to Article 19 and its relationship to national and international conventions, declarations, policies and practices. This review profiles articles from the special issue of International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (volume 20, issue 1) addressing communication rights from four perspectives: (1) communication rights of all people; (2) communication rights of people with communication disabilities; (3) communication rights of children and (4) communication rights relating to language. Divergent perspectives from across the globe are considered. First-hand accounts of people whose right to communicate is compromised/upheld are included and perspectives are provided from people with expertise and advocacy roles in speech-language pathology, audiology, linguistics, education, media, literature and law, including members of the International Communication Project. Three steps are outlined to support communication rights: acknowledge people–adjust the communication style–take time to listen. Future advocacy for communication rights could be informed by replicating processes used to generate the Yogyakarta Principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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