Subject: Will the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) help?
<From: "Walter Keim " <walter.keim@gmail.com>
Date: 02.04.2013 11:45
To: "'Foianet'" <foianet@foiadvocates.info>
CC: "Mr. Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur" <freedex@ohchr.org>

Dear all,

two of the achievements of the Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet) after 10 years are:
1) International Recognition as a Human Right
  · RTI is now firmly recognised as an internationally guaranteed human right, with decisions at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and European Court of Human Rights, and global recognition by the UN Human Rights Committee
2) Rapid Increase in National Legal Recognition
  · The number of national RTI laws has more than doubled since 2002, from 42 to 93 countries, comprising over three-quarters of the world’s population, with a concomitant growth in constitutional recognition for RTI
However Germany does not follow this trend:
  1. 88 states with approx. 5.5 billion inhabitants i. e. 78% of the world population give better access to information then the federal Freedom of Information Law in Germany (http://www.rti-rating.org/country-data/).  
  2. More then 120 states (http://right2info.org/laws) with more then 5.9 billion inhabitants i. e. 84 % of the worlds population adopted FOI laws or provisions in constitutions. 5 German states with half of the population lack FOI laws.
  3. The UN Convention against Corruption is ratified by more then 159 states with more then 6,5 billion inhabitants, but not by Germany
Both national authorities, regional ( EU, CoE, OSCE ) and global mechanisms (HRC: CCPR) did not support access to information and anticorruption in Germany.

Since 2001 I tried to make national authorities in Germany (government, parliaments, politicians, the press, NGOs and courts) aware of the human right of access to information [1] However only the Pirate Party seems to take note of this in Germany.

EU (Parliament, Commission, Agency for Fundamental Rights) [2], Council of Europe (Parliament, Commissioner for Human Rights, ECHR, GRECO) [3,4], International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), and OSCE [5] did not help.

Both GRECO (States against Corruption) and HRC (UN Human Rights Committee) [6] did not support the human right of access to information.

UN "Summary of stakeholders' information" of Canada report A/HRC/WG.6/16/CAN/3 mentions access to information: "54.Joint submission 4 (JS4) referred to shortcomings in Canada’s law and policy regarding freedom of expression. JS4 recommended Canada (...) repeal Sections 299-304 of the Criminal Code, which criminalize defamation, bring the Access to Information Act in line with international standards; and recognize a freestanding constitutional right to information."

There are 269 hits (Accessed January 2013) on "Access to Information" in the UPR-Info.org database e. g. freedom of information laws are mentioned for Canada, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kenya, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, and the REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI (submitted by ARTICLE 19). UNESCO has recommended Freedom of Information laws to all states reviewed during the 16. UPR session. Austria recommended to Bahrain (A/HRC/WG.6/13/L.4): "Enact a progressive, substantive Freedom of Information law". Djibouti and Ghana got same suggestion.

Will the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) [7] support access to information in Germany?

Does anyone have positive experiences with UPR?

Regards

--
Walter Keim
Netizen: http://walter.keim.googlepages.com
UN-Menschenrechtsausschuss: Deutsche Informationsfreiheits-
gesetze in der Kritik: http://t.co/vxdoGCuf
Is it possible to enforce access to information in Bavaria?
http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/enforce_access_to_information.html

References:
  1. Many petitions and complaints to Germany authorities (government, administration, parliaments, courts, NGOs) 2001 to 2012 did not help: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-de.htm
  2. 1. September 2012: EU does not Support the Human Right of Access to Public Documents in member states: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-eu.htm
  3. 24. August 2012: GRECO failed in Second Evaluation Round and must therefore do better in Third Round : http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-greco.htm
  4. 7. November 2012: Will OSCE Support the Human Right of Access to Public Documents?
  5. 31. March 2013: CoE failed to support ATI in Germany: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-coe.htm
  6. In the context of the 106th CCPR session  Human Rights Committee (HRC) did not observe that the human right of access to public documents is violated in Germany: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-ccpr-de.htm
  7. Will the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) help?: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-upr-de.htm
Development:
Answer of the German Government 11. September 2013: Germany is accepting: but what will be done? Conclusion: Germany accepts, but will do nothing, basically because of the pretension that "standards are high enough".


Subject: Who will support Germany?
Dato: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 07:51:32 +0100
Fra: Walter Keim <walter.keim@gmail.com>
Til: 'Foianet' <foianet@foiadvocates.info>


Germany has to improve the federal FOI law, adopt FOI laws in 5 local states (Bundesländer), ratify COE and UN conventions against corruption and improve transparency of funding of political parties to catch up with Europe, America, OSCE, OECD and BRIC states (see weakness no. 2, 3, 4, 8, 34, 35 and 52 of National Integrity Report Transparency Germany).

Who will support Germany?: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/foi-ngo.htm
--
Walter Keim
Netizen: http://sites.google.com/site/walterkeim/
Who will support transparency in Germany: http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/foi-ngo.htm
http://home.broadpark.no/~wkeim/files/foi-ccpr-de.htm


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