18 March 2020

Libraries Help Deliver on Human Rights in Australia, Georgia and Myanmar

In cooperation with our partners in Australia, Georgia and Myanmar, IFLA prepared stakeholder inputs for the Universal Periodic Review in these countries. The three submissions explore libraries’ contribution to promoting and protecting human rights – from the rights to information, education and culture, to the rights and empowerment of vulnerable populations.

The United Nations Human Rights Council carries out cyclical Universal Periodic Reviews to assess and monitor the human rights situation in Member States. As part of the review process, interested stakeholders can submit their inputs, drawing on their experiences to see what progress has been achieved and what can be improved.

The review process offers an opportunity to reflect on how libraries help deliver on and defend human rights. Following the 2019 IFLA contributions for the UPR in Italy, Croatia and the United States, these three new submissions offer further insights into the work libraries carry out in different countries.

Australia

The joint submission by IFLA and the Australian Library and Information Association discusses libraries’ work to provide access to knowledge and information - and help deliver on people’s cultural and educational rights. It also explores the work they do to promote social cohesion, equality, and the rights of vulnerable groups.

Read IFLA and ALIA’s submission for the Universal Periodic Review in Australia: [PDF – English]

Georgia

The submission on Georgia highlights how Georgian libraries strive to promote and protect human rights. They work extensively to ensure access to information, especially in remote and rural areas - from delivering reading materials tailored to residents’ interest to offering public internet access. They also raise awareness around human rights and promote civic participation and engagement – and help deliver on people’s educational rights by digitising important teaching and learning materials.

Read the submission to the Georgian UPR: [PDF – English]

Myanmar

Libraries in Myanmar support their communities by offering access to information and learning opportunities – and supporting digital inclusion. Several projects in the country have shown the vast network of libraries can contribute to the empowerment of women and girls – and raise awareness and support people in danger of human trafficking or ‘risky’ migration. A joint submission by IFLA and the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) discussed the work of libraries in these – and other – areas.

Read IFLA and MBAPF’s input to the Myanmar UPR: [PDF – English]

We would like to once again thank our partners – in particular the Australian Library and Information Association, the National and Parliamentary Library of Georgia and the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation for offering valuable insights and sharing their experiences.

If you would like to learn more about the Universal Periodic Review – and how libraries can take part – read more on the IFLA Policy and Advocacy blog!

FAIFE (Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression), Access to information, Access to knowledge, Human rights

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