International Day for Universal Access to Information

Updated:18 Aug, 2022

The date 28th September has been declared as the International Day for Universal Access to Information by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The day also known as Access to Information Day highlights that everyone on the globe has the right to seek, receive and impart effective information for the knowledge and development of society.

The right to information is an integral part of the right to freedom of expression which cannot be denied in any circumstances. In order to render information globally, media has a very crucial role in it. Media is the medium through which people get informed about the situations and happening around them. So it can be said that somewhere right to information of individuals around the world directly depends on the right to freedom of the press. If the press is not subjected to work on an individual basis, and if political influence is implicated in it the rights given by constitutions of various countries will be automatically violated or exploited.

International Day for Universal Access to Information - Significance

The day is significant as a global observation as it focuses on the importance of informational laws and policies, their distribution and access, and the sustainable development of society. In the year 2021, the day was celebrated by keeping in mind the context of the pandemic with the theme "Building Back Better".

The current era is an era of criticism and questioning. We criticize or question the political, cultural, social, natural, or other activities going around us on the basis of the information we are provided with. Through access to information press freedom and freedom of expression can grow governments can be held accountable and corruption can be exposed. The universal value of freedom of information was recognized by the UN and all the member countries in 1948. The initiative was adopted by most of the countries and they openly inscribed laws in their constitution in term to start protecting freedom of information, but just making constitutional laws does not protect freedom of expression or information it needs to be implemented in a lawful manner so that everyone can get true access to information everywhere regardless of their, gender, status, position, condition, origin and affiliation. Information is something that has to be provided if asked for and it should not be forged or tamed rather, the information transmitted to the general public has to be authentic and effective. The right to information is a basic right of an individual that cannot be denied by any government and it is universally accepted by world leaders.

International Day for Universal Access to Information - Background

On 17th November 2015, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) declared 28 September to be observed as International Day for Universal Access to Information. Consequently, on 28 September 2019, the UN General Assembly also adopted the day and many member nations and their governments implemented it in their laws.

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