Brazil celebrates approval of Access to Information Law
The theme of this year's World Press Freedom Day, Freedom of Information, is especially relevant in Brazil because of the recent approval by the House of Representatives of the General Law of Access to Information. This Law, which regulates access to information within the public administration, represents a great step forward for Brazilian democracy.
The Access to Information Law contributes to strengthen the country's commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially the provisions contained in Article 19. It now awaits consideration by the Senate and sanction by the President.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, in her message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day highlighted the importance to establish mechanisms to regulate the access to information. She also recalled that this issue is especially relevant for journalists, given its significant role in monitoring the public authorities and in deepening the public debate regarding the actions being undertaken by governments.
UNESCO's Brasilia Office celebrates the Day with a series of actions, organized in cooperation with the Brazilian media, such as discussions with journalists, awareness campaigns and events. These actions highlight the importance of the right to information for participatory democracy, transparent government and quality journalism.
In the framework of the celebrations, the Director of UNESCO's Brazil Office, Vincent Defourny, presented the Organization's vision of the right to information at the 12th meeting of the Council of Public Transparency and Fight against Corruption on 4 May. The Council of Public Transparency, which is associated with the Comptroller General of Brazil, is of utmost importance to this agenda as it aims at suggesting and discussing measures for improving the control systems and increasing transparency within public administration.
Besides these actions, UNESCO also supports initiatives from other organizers, such as the <a target=_blank href="http://artigo19.org/infoedireitoseu/artigo19%20versao%201%20-%20APOIO%20UNESCO.mp3">radio spot</a> created by Article 19 to be disseminated by radio stations throughout the country. UNESCO and Article 19 encourage radio producers to download it for free.
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