Right To Information Act, 2009 : Touchstone of Progress
In recent days the term ‘Right to information’ is becoming more familiar as it is of great significance for being associated with the fundamental human right “Freedom of information”; recognized by Resolution 59 of the very first session of UN General Assembly held in 1946 as well as by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948. In this specific article UDHR states that the fundamental right of freedom of expression includes the freedom “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Article 10(1) of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), 1950 accords with the same. The general right of access to information is also included under Article 19(2) of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1976, of which covenant Bangladesh has become a party on 6 Sep, 2000. But these are not the inaugural recognition of freedom of information. In fact, it was Sweden which passed its Freedom of the Press Act in 1766, about 200 years before the UN resolution was even adopted. Such erstwhile existence of the right to information laws proves that free access to information is a must to fulfill all other rights in a democratic society. In Bangladesh, Article 7 and 11 of our Constitution reinforce the power of the people by declaring the republic as a democracy and guarantying human rights. Therefore, it implicitly recognizes peoples’ right to information through Article 39, which formulates freedom of thought, conscience and speech as fundamental rights. Referring to these constitutional obligations in its preamble The Right To Information Act (RTIA), 2009 (Act No. XX of 2009) was enacted by the current government on March, 2009 to make provisions for ensuring free flow of information and peoples’ right to information. Through this statute the Government of Bangladesh is now pledged bound to guarantee access to...
2010, April 27
Right To InformationAct2009
M S Siddiqui
A citizen of a free and democratic country has the right to have access to information and know everything happening around him. It is a fundamental right of every citizen as enshrined in the UN resolution in its very first session in 1946, stating that 'Freedom of information is a fundamental human right.'
It is interesting to note that the right to information laws existed about 200 years before the UN resolution was adopted. Sweden passed its Freedom of the Press Act in 1766.
Access to information is a basic democratic right. The access to information or freedom of expression is the precondition to fulfillment of all other rights in a democratic society.
The developing countries are lagging behind in this respect. There is pressure from media and civil society groups, both domestic and international, for greater access to government information. International bodies, donors such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc. are promoting such laws in developing countries and have drafted guidelines or model legislation to promote freedom of information. This is an effort on their part to increase government...
Privacy Act versus Right to InformationAct
M S Siddiqui
Democracy is a pre-condition for good governance and effective democratic institutions are essential for democratising the society, ensure human rights and free flow of information. Democracy cannot flourish in the absence of good governance. The economic development is also linked to democracy. Democracy works properly with transparency and accountability. The free flow of information has a precondition to protect state security, personal and private secrecy for safety and peaceful private life.
GDP of Bangladesh has been growing at about six per cent for last two decades and second generation citizens are living in the cities. They are economically secured and the lifestyles changing steadily in slow pace and citizens now prefer individualism. They are trying to have private life with out interference of relatives and neighbors.
On the other hand, privacy is a fundamental human right. It underpins human dignity and other values such as freedom of association. It has become one of the most important human rights of the modern age. It is protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in many other international and regional human rights treaties. Nearly...
...The right to seek, receive and impart information
Freedom of information is considered a fundamental human right, protected by international and constitutional law, that should essentially be promoted to the maximum extent possible given its critical role in democracy and public participation in political life. Freedom of information refers primarily to the access of information held by public bodies, reflecting the principle that they do not hold information on their own behalf, but rather for the benefit of the public sphere. However, it also includes the right to seek, receive and impart information.
- International standards
The Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1948 states that “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 means that freedom of expression, one of the fundamental freedoms, do not only refers to opinions and thoughts but also to information that can or can not be related to them. Thus, Article 19 brings an expansion of the scope of freedom of expression, since it refers to all the processes...
...Relevance of work of Lokmitra in the sustaining the change in educational scenario in the context of Right to Education.
There has been a feeling of missed opportunity with the Right to Education Act. Still good sections have been looking forward to its notification. Whatever little enthusiasm notification generated has subsided with Union budget 2010-11, where no new initiatives has been proposed and there is a modest increase in allocation of resources. This paper proposes that if we take a dynamic view of current situation then CSOs can still be hopeful and invest on processes that will pave the way for next round of legislative changes and redefining of development priorities. For the first time a large numbers of parents will get mobilized through SMCs (more importantly SMCs will be headed by a Parent). SMCs can be facilitated to federate at Cluster and Block level to carve space for their mutual learning (rather being dependent on government machinery) and learn how to make government machinery and legislatures accountable. LOKMITRA, an NGO working in Raebareli district has practiced the concept of federating SMC and evolving them as Block Parent Association. Emerging leaderships from SMC/PA have been involved at district and state level advocacy in alliance with NGOs. This also proves that even poor parents are interested in quality education, not just poor schooling. Along with this Lokmitra has promoted another practice...
...Right to Education Act2009: Major Issues and Challenges By:sudarshana Rana
India remained a major center for education of the world in the ancient and medieval period, during the British Raj. India’s traditional system of knowledge system was by and large destroyed and no other alternate system was created to fill this vacuum. Presently India has emerged as a leading nation in the world. On the other side there are continuous challenges to India. According to UNESCO data ‘largest number of illiterate people of the world are in India’.
In the post- independence era, numbers of steps were initiated in this direction. The preamble of Indian constitution emphasized the need for equal opportunities for the entire population of the country irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The Constitution of India in A- 21 (A), 24 and 39 of the directive principles of state policy pledges its commitment towards the cause for upliftment of children. According to A-21(a) the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of age of 6 to 14 years as stated by law.
The Background of the Right to education
In the early 1990’s India initiated major economic reforms and intensified the process of globalization. India’s political and social life was also pressing through a phase which posed the danger of long accepted value. To enable the people to benefit in...
...Right to Information In Bangladesh
Introduction: The Right to Information is the key to all other rights. It is among the most important instruments to effectively empower those to whom power should belong in democracy - the people. The United Nations has called it the touchstone of all the freedoms to which UN is consecrated.3 The history of the recognition of the right toinformation is much older though. The first country to have the RTI law was Finland and Sweden in 1766 when the former was a territory governed by Sweden. The joint Parliament of the then Finland and Sweden adopted the first RTI law of the world titled Access to Public Records Act, 1766. Nearly seventy countries have since enacted RTI law or act, of which over 40 have done so during the decade of nineties and thereafter. The newly elected Government of Bangladesh adopted the Right to InformationAct in the first session of the 9th Parliament on March 29, 2009, marking a significant step forward in fulfilling the constitutional pledge of the state of Bangladesh.
This upsurge of the RTI law worldwide comes as an indicator of the growing recognition of the importance of the citizens’ access to information as a catalyst for strengthening democracy, promoting human rights and...
...The aim of this essay is to discuss the development of human rights legislation and whether the Human RightsAct has helped to protect the rights of British citizens.
The general aim of this essay is to;
1) To follow the development of human rights legislation, from the end of World War 2, to the present day.
2) And how the Human RightsAct 1998, has affected the lives of British Citizens, for example recently a law allowing terror suspects to be detained for up to 90 days without charge, but this was dropped as it was deemed to breach the rights of those being detained for such a long period of time.
After World War 2, appalled by the atrocities committed during the war, The United Nations adopted the universal Declaration of Rights in 1948. Although not legally binding, it urged member countries to promote certain rights contained within the declaration. The Universal Declaration was the first ever international, legal attempt to limit the behaviour of countries.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights contains 30 articles. But the most important of these are articles are considered to be the following;
o The right to life, liberty, property and security of person.
o The right to an education
o The right to employment, paid holidays, protection against...
...A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATIONACT IN NIGERIA
By Ayodele Afolayan
Freedom of information, specifically access to information held by public authorities is a fundamental element of the right to freedom of expression and vital to the proper functioning of a democracy. It is an act that makes provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them (Robert, 2000). This means that the act enables one sees a wide range of public information because it gives the right to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject. According to the Media Rights Agenda (2011)
This Act makes public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy, protect serving public officers from adverse consequences for disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorization and establish procedures for the achievement of those purposes and; for related matters.
In a country where Freedom of InformationAct is in operation, anyone can make a...