Human Rights | Library ethics & Advocacy | Freedom of Movement
Open Societies are Healthy Societies
Libraries are at the heart of healthy societies. By bringing people together – students, researchers, creators, citizens – they support learning, sharing, and the creation of new ideas.
They also support the delivery of key human rights, as set out both in national constitutions and international conventions, most importantly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: freedom of expression and access to information, as well as the right to participate in cultural life and enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.
Libraries have long supported the flow of ideas and information across borders. IFLA has called for reforms to laws that hold this back. Evidence shows that such flows promote innovation and creativity, which in turn drives growth, jobs and equality everywhere.
However, arbitrary and unjustified barriers to the movement of people jeopardise this situation. Such policies run contrary to states’ obligations under international law, which prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, as set out in the UN’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
Read more: www.ifla.org/node/11176
Reaffirming our commitment to protecting free expression
On the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, PEN International has issued a statement aimed at encouraging governments to protect critical voices and freedom of expression.
IFLA and dozens of other free-speech organisations, institutes, and associations have added their signature to the statement in support of the crucial principles outlined and addressed.
The statement calls on all Governments to:
- Uphold their international obligations to protect the rights of freedom of expression and information for all, and especially for journalists, writers, artists and human rights defenders to publish, write and speak freely;
- Promote a safe and enabling environment for those who exercise their right to freedom of expression, and ensure that journalists, artists and human rights defenders may perform their work without interference;
- Combat impunity for threats and violations aimed at journalists and others exercising their right to freedom of expression, and ensure impartial, timely and thorough investigations that bring the executors and masterminds behind such crimes to justice. Also ensure victims and their families have expedient access to appropriate remedies;
- Repeal legislation which restricts the right to legitimate freedom of expression, especially vague and overbroad national security, sedition, obscenity, blasphemy and criminal defamation laws, and other legislation used to imprison, harass and silence critical voices, including on social media and online;
- Ensure that respect for human rights is at the heart of communication surveillance policy. Laws and legal standards governing communication surveillance must therefore be updated, strengthened and brought under legislative and judicial control. Any interference can only be justified if it is clearly defined by law, pursues a legitimate aim and is strictly necessary to the aim pursued.
Read the full statement: English | français
: determined to spy on everything we do on the internet. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
I’ve sat through more presentations about the way to solve the copyright wars than I’ve had hot dinners, and all of them has fallen short of the mark. That’s because virtually everyone with a solution to the copyright wars is worried about the income of artists, while I’m worried about the health of the internet. Read more….
Association of Research Libraries (ARL®) :: ARL-CARL Joint Statement in Support of Dale Askey and McMaster University.
For immediate release:
February 14, 2013
For more information, contact:
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) share a commitment to freedom of opinion and expression of ideas and are strongly opposed to any effort to intimidate individuals in order to suppress information or censor ideas. We further share the belief that a librarian must be able to offer his or her assessment of a publisher’s products or practices free from such intimidation. Read more...