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How the right to information can help fight poverty

Indigenous women attend a Mass in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, 15 February 2016
Indigenous women attend a Mass in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, 15 February 2016

REUTERS/Max Rossi

This statement was originally published on article19.org on 19 July 2017.

ARTICLE 19 and the Campaign for Freedom of Information have today launched a new report Open Development: Access to Information and the Sustainable Development Goals, which examines the links between the right to information and fighting poverty.

The Report is being launched at the UN's High Level Political Forum in New York, where representatives of civil society and governments from around the world are meeting to review the progress of the UN's anti-poverty initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It examines the progress countries have made since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals on implementing the commitment to make access to information available to all people in their countries.

118 countries - 61 percent of UN member states - covering nearly 90 percent of the world's population have now adopted legal protections ensuring public access to information about their activities. However, there is still much work to be done both for those countries with laws and those without to ensure that all people are able to obtain the information they need. The report proposes a framework for the UN to use to monitor its progress.

The report also presents case studies on projects where access to information has been used to help communities achieve their rights under the SDGs, promoting health care in Tunisia and Senegal, indigenous women's participation in Mexico, water in rural Brazil, education in Indonesia, and environmental protection in Bangladesh.

Read the full report.

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