Access to Information Laws

Access to Information Laws

Access to Information can be defined as the right to seek, receive and impart information held by public bodies. It is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression, as recognized by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which states that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Highlights

Self-paced Online Course on Access to Information Laws and Policies and their Implementation
International Day for Universal Access to Information
New guidelines issued for fostering access to information through the Universal Periodic Review

For Information Commissioners

UNESCO is rethinking its policy guidelines on access to information at WSIS Forum 2022

#RightToKnow, International Day for Universal Access to Information 2021 - H.E. Nazhat Shameem Khan

H.E. Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations for Fiji recalls the importance of Access to Information during the celebration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information on 28 September 2021.

The Universal Periodic Review - valuable mechanism facilitating the promotion and protection of all human rights around the world - is a unique peer-review process through which the Human Right record of each of the 193 Member States of the UN is reviewed and recommendations are provided to the states on how to protect and strengthen the promotion of Human Rights.

Furthermore, UNESCO launches new guidelines for UN Country Teams to promote freedom of expression through the Universal Periodic Review

Facts and Figures

65
jurisdictions with Access to Information guarantees

reported that their respective guarantee specifies the need for public bodies

28 countries
which submitted their Voluntary National Review

reported on access to information

26 countries
celebrated the IDUAI 2021
37 countries
out of 127 with Access to Information laws

explicitly refer to persons with disabilities and their rights

Our Publications

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR): model recommendations in the field of freedom of expression, safety of journalists and access to information; guidance note for Member States on drafting UPR Recommendations
2022
UNESCO
0000382364
Access to Information laws: a guarantee of inclusion and disability rights: Issue brief
UNESCO
2022
UNESCO
0000380470
Promoting gender equity in the right of access to information
UNESCO
2022
UNESCO
0000381684
The right to information in times of crisis: access to information – saving lives, building trust, bringing hope!
UNESCO
2020
UNESCO
0000374369
Freedom of information: a comparative legal survey
2008
0000158450