Campaigning for access to information

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Combining the freedom of information campaigning expertise of Article 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression with Fahamu's extensive experience of developing and running courses, this CD-ROM is meant for people and organisations in Africa who have an interest in the issue of access to information.

The right of access to information is a crucial human right. A number of different terms are used to describe the same right: freedom of information; right to information; right to know; and access to information. They all refer to a key strategic right that can be used to help realise many other human rights.

Access to information is often seen as an elite right – in particular as something that is of interest to the media, or perhaps to researchers. However, the crucial importance of access to information is that this is a right that belongs to everyone. It can be especially useful as a tool in campaigning for economic and social rights.

Access to information has a wide variety of practical uses:

• It can expose corruption, making government and the economy more efficient

• It can uncover mismanagement of food supplies, making shortages less likely

• It can expose environmental hazards that threaten health and livelihoods

• It can reduce the danger of human rights violations

• It can increase popular participation in government and development. The right of access to information is based on the assumption that information held by public institutions is the property of the public. In addition, the public should also have access to information held by private bodies such as companies if this is needed to protect or realise their own rights.

Title Campaigning for access to information
Edited by Pambazuka Press
Publisher Pambazuka Press
Imprint Fahamu Books
BISAC Subject Heading POL055000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Australian & Oceanian
Audience 01 General / trade
Audience Activists, campaigners, NGO-workers, academics, journalists, commentators
Credit Fahamu Ltd
Subject Scheme Identifier Code      93 Thema subject category: JP      94 Thema geographical qualifier: 1M

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