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Policy & advocacy

PEN Honduras President, Dina Meza, testifies before the Inter-American Commission on impunity for violence against journalists in Honduras. PEN secured landmark precautionary measures for PEN Honduras member, Julio Ernesto Alvarado

Since our first International Congress 90 years ago, PEN has been a truly global organisation, with our Centres leading the way in the defence of writers, essayists, novelists, bloggers and journalists throughout the world.

All of PEN’s policy and advocacy work is governed by the PEN Charter which has guided, unified and inspired its members for over 60 years.

To achieve this, the International Secretariat works with our members in 150 Centres in over 100 countries around the world to produce the evidence-based research upon which we formulate our policy positions. Every year at the PEN International Congress, PEN Centres pass resolutions  on the most urgent developments concerning thematic and country situations in relation to freedom of expression and writers at risk. PEN International and our centres also undertake research reports  and submissions to the UN Universal Periodic Review  process on the latest developments on freedom of expression at the country level.


In our mission to promote freedom of expression and protect writers at risk, PEN denounces violations, meets with high-level officials, leads and advises on diplomatic efforts and works with partner organisations to ensure free expression. Our international advocacy at the national, regional and international levels is built on our evidence-based research and policy. Through submitting reports and recommendations and holding advocacy events and meetings with key decision makers, PEN’s international advocacy   is designed to secure legislative and policy change on freedom of expression with national governments, regional human rights bodies and international organisations