Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, participated in the International Seminar on the place of Archives: Access to Information, Transparency and Memory, giving a conference entitled: “Transparency, Access to Information and Data Protection“.
During her conference, Helen Darbishire highlighted the role of archivists in the access to information since “the storage and preservation of information are essential for transparency and memory“ which are, according to this Human Rights campaigner, “sine qua non for any state aspiring to be democratic”.
Helen also identified some of the main problems and/or challenges we currently face in the area of transparency and the right of access to information:
- the variety of existing laws on access to information;
- the (abusive) use of personal data in a digital context;
- the use of data protection laws to limit access to information, which hinders the fight against corruption and the integrity of public life; and
- the lack of records on the performance of public bodies, which prevents any traceability of decision making by citizens.
The seminar, organised by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), the Iberarchivos cooperation program, the Latin-American Association of Archives (ALA) and the Archivos de Estado of Spain, put the finishing touch to two days of events celebrating the 2019 Ibero-american Year of Archives for Transparency and Memory.