27 September 2019.
28 September, International Right to Know Day, is a day when people around the world celebrate the right to access information held by public authorities. A map of some of the key activities shows the truly global scope of engagement on this day around the world. The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is participating in three main activities on this day. We have, again, updated the RTI Rating, which now assesses 128 national right to information laws globally. And we participated in a panel discussion in Halifax on updating the Nova Scotian right to information law and a major conference to celebrate the day in Islamabad.
“The truly impressive global and thematic range of activities taking place on International Right to Know Day shows how seriously it is taken around the world,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director, CLD. “CLD is proud to be collaborating with so many different groups, both directly and indirectly, to celebrate this important human right.”
The number of countries with right to information laws has grown from 89, when the RTI Rating was first launched in 2011, to 129 today, an increase of 40 or an average of five laws per year. The RTI Rating has kept pace with this growth adding new countries as they have adopted laws and updating countries which have revised or replaced their laws.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, where CLD is based, the right to information law has not materially changed for 25 years. A panel discussion on 26 September involving local RTI experts, including Laura Notess, Legal Officer, CLD, discussed whether the law was in need of renewal, concluding that it was high time for it to be updated.
CLD Executive Director, Toby Mendel, was the Chief Guest at the main event celebrating this day in Islamabad on 27 September, sponsored by a number of local stakeholders. The focus was on implementation of right to information laws in Pakistan which has very strong laws, both nationally and sub-nationally. CLD has worked with GIZ and local stakeholders in Pakistan to develop a sophisticated methodology for assessing implementation of these laws. The methodology is currently being piloted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and will be launched globally in due course.
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