Access to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by international instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, as well as our own Constitution.
Article 15 of Liberia’s constitution states that freedom of information is a right that includes the right to receive and impart knowledge and information and the right to be informed about the government and its functionaries.
Even though Liberia became the first country in West Africa, and sixth on the continent to establish a comprehensive right to information law in 2010, the right to information or access to information is still a concept not fully practiced.
As a major stakeholder in media development in Liberia, we joined several partners in a campaign intended to raise awareness on Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution and the 2010 Freedom of Information Act to demand unfettered access to information. We argued that unless the law is fully implemented by all parties (public and private), journalists cannot accurately and fairly keep the public informed and educators and students cannot have ready and easy access to information (e.g., documents, books, articles, news clips and features, and significantly institutional data whether written, printed, audio, visual or electronic) thereby placing constraints on effective teaching and learning.