How Does Access to Information Help Citizens Realize their Rights?

11 December 2007

More than 30 participants from four Central Asian countries will take part in an international workshop, Human Rights Policy Dialogue: Access to Information in Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 12 December 2007.

Access to information allows the most vulnerable groups in society to be involved in human development and transform their lives. Without specific information, for example, on their rights to health, housing and work, citizens are not able to exercise these rights.

Heads of governmental agencies, NGOs, media, international organizations and embassies will share experiences regarding international standards in the area of human rights and access to information in particular.

Toby Mendel, Director of Law and Asia programs of ARTICLE 19, a London-based human rights organization focusing on the defense and promotion of freedom of expression, will be the featured speaker at the meeting. A draft of the Russian language version of the Article 19 publication, Access to Information: an Instrumental Right for Empowerment will be presented at the workshop for discussion.

Workshop partners include the Commission on Human Rights under the President of Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ombudsmans office in the Republic of Kazakhstan, The United Nations Development Program in Kazakhstan, the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and the United Nations Department of Public Information and the Kazakhstan-based NGO, Mirotvorchestvo (Peacebuilders).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany are providing financial support for the one-day event.

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