[A2k] UN Special Rapporteur calls for binding Treaty for Blind

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Wed Nov 16 10:32:19 PST 2011


UN Special Rapporteur calls for binding Treaty for Blind

http://tacd-ip.org/archives/480

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion
and Expression November, 2011

WIPO SCCR 23: Declaration from the UN Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, Frank La Rue.

“Freedom of expression and opinion is a human right. Article 19 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that the right to freedom
of opinion and expression “includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and, to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

The digital age we now live in provides technology which could allow
blind, partially sighted and other reading disabled people across the
world to both receive and impart information regardless of frontiers,
and therefore enjoy this human right fully.
This should be a wonderfully empowering development, helping reading
disabled people to access information on an equal basis with others
for the first time in history. However, the reality is starkly
different. Blind and partially sighted people face a “book famine” in
which the vast majority of books are never made into accessible
formats like braille, audio or large print.

WIPO SCCR23 has an opportunity and a responsibility to help to solve
this problem, by removing the copyright barriers which prevent access
for reading disabled people. To that end, the Committee has a draft
text for consideration which could and should form the basis for a
binding treaty (SCCR_22_16).
http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=188547

In my capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, I urge
all WIPO Member States’ delegates of SCCR23 to work assiduously to
agree a binding WIPO treaty for blind and other reading disabled
people, and to thereby open a door to reading, ideas and information
for reading disabled people across the world.”

Frank La Rue

Relator Especial


-- 
Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
http://www.keionline.org
manon.ress at keionline.org




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