Libraries supporting human rights: good practices and key trends from Eswatini, Greece and Ireland
30 March 2021
IFLA has submitted contributions for the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Reviews of Eswatini, Greece and Ireland, working with local partners. These demonstrate how libraries are delivering on rights, as well as highlighting overall trends and priorities.
From privacy to the right to culture, from free expression to sharing in scientific advancement – libraries have a strong link to, and help deliver on, many fundamental human rights.
The Universal Periodic Review is a unique UN Human Rights Council mechanism that helps take stock of progress made towards delivering on key human rights obligations at a country level. As part of the process, interested stakeholders are invited to contribute their own inputs and submissions. This offers libraries in countries under review a unique opportunity to reflect on and discuss key trends, successes and room for growth in their work to support and promote human rights.
Over the past two years, we had the opportunity to work together with experts from the library fields in Italy, Croatia, the USA, Australia, Georgia and Myanmar and Belgium to highlight the library perspectives and libraries’ work on defending and delivering on human rights.
In a round of UPR inputs, we are thrilled to have cooperated with experts from Eswatini, Greece and Ireland!
A joint submission by the Eswatini Library and Information Association (ESWALA) and IFLA offers insights on how libraries in the country help deliver on a range of fundamental socioeconomic and cultural rights.
From setting up and expanding school libraries to running a mobile library service, and from library-based access to the internet to valuable cultural materials and knowledge, the input highlights examples of good library practices which focus on expanding access to information, education and participation in cultural life.
ESWALA-IFLA submission: [PDF – English]
Another stakeholder input, developed by Georgios Glossiotis, Dr. Evgenia Vasilakaki and Eva Semertzaki, offers an in-depth look at key trends and good practices within the library sector in Greece.
Expanding access to information for people with disabilities and refugees, championing open access and digital inclusion, and more – the input focuses on rights to culture, education, health, and sharing in scientific advancement, as well as key rights of particular groups of persons.
IFLA submission: [PDF – English]
Finally, a joint submission by IFLA and the Library Association of Ireland highlights key recent developments and the work of libraries to help deliver on the right to education – by championing equity and inclusivity, to support literacy, the right to health, science, and the right to participate in cultural life – as well as promote human rights awareness.
IFLA-LAI submission: [PDF- English]
To find out more about the Universal Periodic Review and ways for libraries to get involved, you can also look at the IFLA Policy and Advocacy blog!