Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

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FOI/RTI in International Treaties

The right to information (RTI) is recognized universally as a basic human right that every individual must have by virtue of being born human. Internationally, RTI received recognition as a human right for the first time in 1948 through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since then several global and regional human rights treaties require States Parties to guarantee their peoples access to information held by governments and public bodies. RTI was initially viewed as a “first generation human right”- a civil liberties issue. However RTI is increasingly becoming a crucial factor for the enjoyment of rights identified as “second generation of rights”, such as access to food, water, shelter, education and health. In recent years RTI has become an essential feature of group rights (also known as the “third generation of rights”) of women, children, migrant workers and people with disabilities. RTI is an indispensable tool for ensuring sustainable development and combating corruption

The Tshwane Principles which is a set of guidelines which have been developed on the basis of the international and national laws, standards, good practices and contributions of academics for balancing the need for keeping information confidential on grounds of national security and disclosing national security related information in public interest.      ...Read more
Posted By : Seema Choudhary
The Declaration defines a human rights defender as anyone working for the promotion and protection of human rights. This broad definition encompasses professional as well as non-professional human rights workers, volunteers, journalists, lawyers and anyone else carrying out, even on an occasional basis, a human rights activity.The Declaration articulates existing human rights in a way that makes it easier to apply them to the situation of human rights defenders. It specifies how the rights contained in the major human rights instruments, including the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, apply to defenders. It also outlines the specific duties of States and the responsibility of everyone with regard to defending human rights.The rights protected under the Declaration i...Read more
Posted By : Seema Choudhary