Details and links below to a new issue brief and infographic from EIFL,Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), World Blind Union – Asia Pacific, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Although the brief is focused on the Asia-Pacific region its contents will likely be of interest to a global audience.
From the UNDP Asia and Pacific:
This Issue Brief provides a concise summary of issues related to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. It describes the key benefits and calls for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to implement the Treaty and bring more equitable access to information and knowledge for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. Joining and implementing the Marrakesh Treaty will significantly contribute to achieving many Sustainable Development Goals, which are guided by the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’.
- The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled provides an international legal framework to allow the creation, distribution, and cross-border exchange of works in accessible formats such as braille, audio, e-books or large print for print disabled persons.
- Persons with print disabilities cannot obtain knowledge effectively from print materials in the conventional way (e.g. not being able to see/read the text, hold a book, or turn pages). Therefore, they require accessible formats, which are often unavailable particularly in developing countries.
- Lack of accessible formats restricts the fundamental human right to knowledge with serious development consequences. It excludes persons with print disabilities from achieving their full human potential, and from effectively participating in education, the labour market and cultural activities, leading to poverty, marginalisation, and social isolation.
- The Marrakesh Treaty is an effective legal tool to accelerate the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
- While most countries in the Asia-Pacific region are a Party to the UNCRPD, only a small number of them have become part of the Marrakesh Treaty so far. It is critical that more countries ratify and implement the Marrakesh Treaty, which can contribute significantly to national and global effort towards achieving inclusive and equitable societies under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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