Madrid, 8 July 2013 – The largest analysis of the worldwide movement for access to information, The Global Right to Information Update was published today by the Freedom of Information Advocates Network.
The publication looks at how the movement for the right to information has brought issues of transparency and open government to the forefront of political and economic debate – as reflected in recent weeks in open data commitments made by the G8 – and maps out the challenges lying ahead.
The authors, human rights advocates from seven continents, report on the threat to progress made so far posed by the financial crisis, particularly in Europe where civil society has difficulty securing funding for its work. The authors also cite regressions in freedom of expression rights in at least four countries in Europe, namely, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Russia and Turkey.
Lydia Medland from Access Info who was a writer and the lead editor of the study said, “The report reflects the truly global nature of this movement, which has secured over 95 access to information laws and recognition of a human right of access to information.”
“Future challenges include the privatisation of public services and the pressing for greater corporate transparency,” concluded Medland.
The Global Right to Information Update includes case studies from each of the seven regions covered, which show how the right of access to information has been used to fight corruption, improve citizen access to their basic entitlements, and to trigger governmental reforms. In the South Asian region for example a case study explains how using the right to information helped citizens gain access to food, whilst in the European region a case study illustrates how journalists are able to use the right to information to investigate the misuse of public funds.
The qualitative analysis of the situation for human rights groups and citizens in each world region, is complemented by regional maps which illustrate the quality of the legal framework for access to information in each country of the region (drawn from the RTI-Rating tool, developed by Access Info Europe and the Centre for Law and Democracy).
Read the report here: