At the weekend, the world marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities — the 30th anniversary of the celebration. With a future-orientated theme — the role of innovation — it is nonetheless also an opportunity to remember the need to get the basics right, not least the right of access to information. IFLA encouraged those working with providing this access to help us update our Marrakesh Monitoring Report. 

Article 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities makes clear that the right of access to information is for everyone, and that governments should work to enable the enjoyment of this right at no extra cost.

Libraries are of course at the heart of efforts to deliver on this commitment, providing support and services tailored to the needs of library users.

The Marrakesh Treaty, signed in 2013, represents a major facilitator of this work, removing unnecessary and harmful copyright barriers to the making and sharing of works in accessible formats.

While it is most associated with the cause of persons with print disabilities, such as visual impairments, it leaves the door open to extending its provisions to people with other disabilities, in order to help libraries focus as much of their time and resources as possible on providing services, rather than fulfilling administrative requirements.

IFLA has produced its Marrakesh Monitoring Report for a number of years now, highlighting whether and how countries have incorporated the Treaty into their own national laws, and in particular, whether they used the opportunity to maximise access.

We are now planning for the 2023 edition, and so encourage librarians around the world who are engaging with laws around the making and sharing of accessible format works to help us make this as useful as possible!

In particular, we encourage you to:

  • Check entries for your country to check if they are up to date and correct. In particular, we are interested in seeing whether laws benefit people with disabilities other than print disabilities
  • Highlight practical examples of how the Marrakesh Treaty is facilitating your work
  • Share insights into how libraries in your countries are protecting reader privacy

You can provide all of this information in our draft 2023 Marrakesh Monitoring Report, both in the main table (with countries), and the annexes at the end.

We welcome your inputs by 20 January!