[IRP] Declaration of the Assembly on the Right to Communication, Dakar- Feb 11, 2011

Anriette Esterhuysen anriette
Wed Mar 2 15:28:28 EET 2011

Hi all

One of APC's members was instrumental in developing this.

Have a look, and endorse if you want to.. and I am sure people with
critical comments too.



The right to inform and be informed

Wednesday 23 February 2011


Declaration of the Assembly on the Right to Communication, Dakar -
February 11, 2011

We, actors in the field of alternative information as well as citizen
activists who use communication as a tool for social transformation:

Note that, in a global context:

- information is held in a stranglehold by political, economic and
industrial forces and is manipulated by the governments and States;

- freedom of expression is being denied, thwarted or repressed;

- there is little or no guarantee for an unfettered access to information
for all citizens;

- a violent repression is unleashed upon citizens and actors in the field
of information;

- information is being commodified and standardized;

- there is an increasing distrust by public opinion regarding information
conveyed by the mainstream media.

We also note, particularly in Africa:

- an almost total absence of laws favouring citizens? access to information;

- freedom of expression and freedom of the press being undermined by
repressive laws;

- hindrances and restrictions, if not outright censorship, placed upon
communities who wish to establish community media.

At the same time, we see new perspectives opening up, in the face of this
disturbing situation:

- a greater awareness and ability by citizens to participate in the
production and circulation of information in order to promote social

- the emergence of alternative media and the stepping unto the stage of
citizens who contribute to social and political change, as evidenced by
recent events in Tunisia and Egypt.

We declare that the right to communicate is a fundamental right and a
common good of humanity.

We commit ourselves to:

- defend, support and promote all initiatives that ensure and extend the
right to communication and information as a fundamental human right;

- building advocacy for a legislative and regulatory framework for public,
alternative and community media, including ensuring among others a better
right to airwave-access and broadcasting options;

- recognize and protect the actors and activists involved in information
and communication around the world;

- create and strengthen synergies between all actors and activists working
towards social transformation;

- promote accessibility and popular ownership/mastery of media and
information/communication technology by all citizens, without restriction
of gender, class or origin;

- promote mechanisms for ongoing communication between the various actors,
participants and organizers of social forums, including the "extended"
Social Forum as well as the various experiences of shared communication.

- support the development and strengthening of community and alternative

- combat censorship and guarantee freedom of expression on the Internet;

- work towards the elaboration of a model that ensures the viability,
sustainability and independence of the alternative media;

- give a central place to issues of communication rights in the thematic
spaces of social forums.

Action Plan:

- Center our information campaigns and awareness-raising activities on key
issues that are on the international agenda (Rio+20, G8, G20, Palestine
Forum, Durban, etc.).

- Organize a World Forum of Free and Alternative Media in 2012, as part of
the WSF process.

As actors of communication, we clearly state our support for the Tunisian
and Egyptian peoples, we call on their governments to lift censorship and
to stop the repression against all citizens and actors in the field of

We also call on all actors of social change and to unite our forces in the
struggle for the right to information and communication, without which no
change is possible.

Participating organizations:

    * Abong (Brasilian association of NGOs) - Brasil
    * Action Jeunesse - Morrocco
    * African Klomeo renaissance - Nigeria
    * AK-Project France-S?n?gal
    * Alai - Ag?ncia Latinoamericana de Informaci?n - Ecuador
    * Alba TV Venezuela
    * Alternatives Canad?
    * Amarc World association of community radios
    * Aphad - Senegal
    * Arcoiris TV - Italy
    * Babels
    * Berlin Carr? - Germany
    * Caritas - France
    * CIC Bata - Spain
    * Caritas (France)
    * CIC Bata (Espagne)
    * Cdtm72 (France)
    * Cedidelp (France)v
    * Ciranda International - Shared Communication
    * International Commons strategies group - Germany
    * Citim (France)
    * Communautique - Canada
    * Editions Charles L?opold Mayer - France
    * e-Joussour - Morrocco
    * Federacion de sindicatos de periodistas - Spain
    * FocusPuller - Italy
    * Forum Alternatives Morrocco - FMAS
    * Fundacion Quepo - Spain
    * Giaba - Guin?e Bissau
    * Guin?e Culture - Guinea
    * HEKS - Senegal
    * Imersao Latina - Brazil
    * Intervozes - Brazil
    * IES News Service - Palestine
    * IPS (Inter Press Service)
    * KebethCache women resource center - Nigeria
    * Maison des citoyens du monde (France)
    * Maison des droits de l?homme (France)
    * Maison du Monde d?Evry (France)
    * May first / People link - USA
    * Mission for Youth - Uganda
    * NIGD - Network Institute for Global Democratization - Finland
    * Pambazuka (Afrique)
    * Queens Magazine - Nigeria
    * Revista Forum - Brasil
    * Ritimo - France
    * Rural Health women Day - Nigeria
    * Saharareporters.com - Nigeria
    * Social Watch - Italy
    * Solafrika
    * Soylocoporti - Brasil
    * Support Initiative For sustainable development - Nigeria
    * Survie - France
    * TIE - Brasil
    * TV Star - Senegal
    * UnisCit? - France
    * UPO - Spain
    * Vecam - France
    * WarriorsSelf-Help group - Kenya
    * WSFTV - WSF Forum TV

Contacts: Info_fsmdakar at ritimo.org

Translated from French by Gr?goire Seither / Babels

APC Forum is a meeting place for the APC community - people and
institutions who are or have been involved in collaboration with
APC, and share the APC vision - a world in which all people have easy,
equal and affordable access to the creative potential of information and
communication technologies (ICTs) to improve their lives and create more
democratic and egalitarian societies.

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