28 September 2023.
The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) would like to wish everyone a happy International Right to Know Day (IRTKD), 2023. First established in 2002 by a group of leading right to information civil society organisations meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, IRTKD has grown in stature and recognition, being formally recognised by UNESCO in 2015 as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) and then by the United Nations General Assembly as a formal UN day by the same name in 2019. The purpose of IRTKD is to reflect on the importance of the right to access information held by public authorities or right to information (RTI), to welcome advances in recognition and implementation of this cross-cutting human right and to consider the many challenges for its full realisation that still lie ahead.
“This is essentially a day to celebrate the right to information, its recognition as an official UN day and the inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of RTI as an aim for all States”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “At the same time, we must also recognise that only approximately two-thirds of all States have even adopted RTI laws, while many of those that have done so are struggling to implement them properly.”
This year, to celebrate IRTKD, CLD is participating in UNESCO’s main event, being held in Oxford, United Kingdom, under the title The Importance of the Online Space for Access to Information; specifically, Toby is moderating Panel 2 on Internet Connectivity as an Enabler of the Ability to Exercise Rights Online, with a Particular Focus on ATI. CLD has also, as it does every year, updated the RTI Rating to include countries which have adopted laws since the last IRTKD. As of today, the RTI Rating covers all 138 countries which have national RTI laws, along with a growing number of international and sub-national jurisdictions.
Happy International Right to Know Day!
For further information, please contact: