NGOs address access to information in Ukraine

October 6, 2008
A round table under the theme: “Existing legal guarantees for theright to information in Ukraine and possible ways for the protectionand implementation of this right” was held at the premises of theNational Union of Journalists of Ukraine with the support of IMS on 25September 2008. The event was organized by the Institute of MassInformation in cooperation with the Media Law Institute and theUkrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.

The main goal of the round table was to raise public awareness ofthe efforts of non-governmental organizations in the access toinformation field and to discuss joint strategies of the civil societyactors to avoid duplications and achieve more comprehensive andsustainable results in the area.

Call for more activism

Mr Ihor Rozkladaj (Media Law Institute), Mr Roman Holovenko(Institute of Mass Information), Mr Volodymyr Yavorskyi (UkrainianHelsinki Human Rights Union) and Ms Maryana Demkova (Center forPolitical and Legal Reforms) performed as key-speakers of the roundtable which was moderated by Ms Viktoria Syumar, Executive Director ofthe Institute of Mass Information.

The presentations covered a number of issues ranging from access toinformation by journalists and citizens, quality of publicadministration performance, legal instruments and remedies for theprotection of right to information, an to the forthcoming legislativereform planned in Ukraine.

The discussion focused on the need for the civil society toconsolidate its efforts to improve access to information and increasetransparency of public administration. There was general consensus thatthese are crucial elements for Ukraine where not only citizens but evenjournalists often do not show enough activism when protecting theirright to information in their interactions with public authorities. Themeeting also opened new perspectivies for further cooperation anddevelopment of the non-governmental initiatives in the field.