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Human rights expert from Guatemala Frank La Rue picked to lead Communication and Information at UNESCO



UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector named Guatemalan human rights expert and former United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue as the organization’s new Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information.

By Janwikifoto [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“UNESCO is a crucial institution for the protection of freedom of expression, development of the media, and promotion of access to new technologies of communication. I hope to contribute to these goals and maintain a human rights focus in all our work,” La Rue said in a UNESCO press release.

La Rue is a Guatemalan journalist and human rights and labor rights lawyer. From 2008 to 2014, La Rue served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.  

He co-founded the Center for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH for its initials in Spanish), served as Director for Europe for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, was President of the Board of Directors of the Central American Institute for the Study of Social Democracy (DEMOS for its acronym in Spanish), was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 and has many other accomplishments to his name.

La Rue is one of the instructors for the course “International Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists,” which is offered in Spanish by UNESCO, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Registration for the course is still open

Catalina Botero, former Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, will teach the course along with La Rue. Current Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the IACHR, Edison Lanza, and UNESCO’s representative in South America Guilherme Canela, will also participate.

This is the fourth iteration of the course.  The pilot version in 2014 was offered to judicial officials in Mexico. In September 2015, a similar course was offered to judicial operators in Coahuila, México. Then in late 2015, the course was offered at the Latin American level.



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