International Access to Information Day
On the 28th of September each year, we celebrate International Access to Information Day (IAID). This day celebrates the importance of equal and universal access to information, particularly through right to information laws.
The right to access information is recognised by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), which state:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
This right to receive information and ideas is enshrined in Australian law through information access legislation – for example, WA’s Freedom of Information Act 1992, which creates a “general right of access to State and local government documents” .
In October 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 28 September as “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI). This followed a 2015 proclamation from the UNESCO General Conference declaring 28 September of every year as IDUAI. IDUAI was first officially held in 2016 is now celebrated in at least 26 countries . Celebrated in Australia as IAID, it is also known as “Right to Know” day.
International Access to Information Day 2023
This year’s UNESCO theme for IAID is “the importance of the online space for access to information.”
This theme touches on both the challenges and opportunities afforded to us by the digital era, as well as the issue of accessibility of information within the digital space.
The internet gives us access to government information like never before – whether that be through an agency’s website or social media, or through agency contact via email. In many cases, this can be quick and convenient. However, with ever-expanding channels of communication comes the opportunity for misinformation and disinformation to spread faster than ever. Government must therefore find effective ways to deal with this issue. Also, many Australians face barriers to accessing information in the online space. The UNESCO theme invites us to reflect upon these issues and consider how we can use the online space to improve information access for all.
IAID event from OIC WA: Wednesday Webinar – Let the Sunshine In – a discussion with Professor Peter Coaldrake AO to mark International Access to Information Day
Wednesday the 27th of September 2023 at 2pm (AWST)
This webinar is a live online discussion between Professor Peter Coaldrake AO and WA Information Commissioner, Catherine Fletcher, about the findings and implications of the 2022 Coaldrake Review of culture and accountability in the Qld Public Sector , in order to provide some learnings for the WA public sector.
This event will be held via Zoom. All are welcome to attend.
We encourage you to share this event with your networks and anyone you feel may be interested.
IAID events from across Australia
Other resources for IAID 2023
Previous IAID Celebrations at the OIC WA