Legal Framework


The right of access to public information is a component of the fundamental right of freedom of expression as set forth by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the subsequent International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These state that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Seeking and receiving is the dimension of the right that is immediately relevant to this SDG indicator, with the right to impart information and ideas constituting the other side of the coin.


The right to information is an umbrella term that refers to the legal right to access information held by public bodies. It is often used in the same way as terms such as Freedom of Information. The implementation of the right to information, refers to efforts to give practical effect to the provisions of the law, policy or regulation. Implementation thus designates government bodies providing information to the public (on request as well as proactively). Implementation is important to ensure that the benefits of the law, policy or regulation are realized.