Information regulators from around the globe are set to meet in Johannesburg from the 10-13 March 2019 at the Vodacom Commercial Park for the International Conference of Information Commissioners (the ICIC2019).
The conference is an international gathering of Information Commissioners from more than 25 countries and representing all continents, who will gather to discuss the right of access to information (RTI).
The right to information is provided for in a number of human rights instruments internationally and regionally, and in national constitutions globally.
Since 2003, Information Commissioners from around the world have been meeting every two years under the auspices of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (the ICIC), to encourage the exchange knowledge and experience and to foster a global public awareness of the right of access to information.
In a statement, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says information is an asset, information is knowledge, and information is power.
“Having access to information goes to the heart of a healthy, functioning democracy. RTI is central to the exercise of other human rights, and if properly implemented, it can foster good governance, enhance transparency, accountability and public participation.”
According to the SAHRC Advocate Pansy Tlakula, South Africa’s official ‘Information Commissioner’, has been a driving force behind the upcoming ICIC2019.
“During her tenure as African Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Advocate Tlakula led an African Union initiative to produce a model law on access to information, as well as to develop guidelines about transparency during elections.”
The commission outlines that the ICIC2019 marks an important and timely milestone in the march towards openness and the recognition of access to information as a human right.
“RTI comes into sharp focus with national elections scheduled for 8 May in South Africa, and for the 19 other African countries scheduled to hold Presidential, Parliamentary or local government elections in 2019. RTI is central to the achievement of free, fair, credible and transparent elections. However, RTI must be balanced against the right to privacy, particularly of voters to prevent the abuse of their personal information, especially by political parties or candidates during campaigning. “
The ICIC2019 is hosted by the Information Regulator of South Africa in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ and CD). Click below for more on the conference:
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