A growing network of countries have ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, giving ever wider access to information for people with print disabilities. The Treaty, which was signed in 2013, promises to do away with the unnecessary and unjustified barriers to making and sharing accessible format copies of books created by excessive copyright protections.


With the Treaty in force for almost a year, any country ratifying will not only facilitate the creation and exchange of works within their borders, but will be able to join a growing network of countries committed to the interests of some of the most vulnerable people in society.


IFLA was therefore honoured to be represented at a seminar organised in Moscow by the World Intellectual Property Organisation bringing together key experts and decision-makers from Russian-speaking countries.


Represented by Sania Battalova from the St Petersburg Library for the Blind, and EIFL Marrakesh Treaty Advisor, IFLA stressed that for the Treaty to have its full effect, politicians had to avoid creating or maintaining barriers to access.


Libraries, which have a special role under the Treaty as authorised entities, already represent a trusted and professional network of institutions dedicated to improving the lives of their users. They should not be burdened with unnecessary bureaucratic or financial costs, but rather empowered to fulfil their mission.  


IFLA’s presentation was well received, with many participants asking for further information on the role of libraries, and keen to support their work in delivering the promise of Marrakesh. IFLA looks forward to working with governments to make this happen.


Find out more about IFLA’s work on the Marrakesh Treaty.