Paraguayan NGOs Launch Campaign to Pass FOI Law

22 September 2010

Leaders of nongovernment organizations in Paraguay have begun talking with congressional leaders about passing a freedom of information law.

The groups have developed a draft law (in Spanish).  

“We are trying to get a broad consensus on the importance of having a legislative debate on a FOI law,” according to Ezequiel Santagada, an attorney for Instituto de Derecho y Economía Ambiental (IDEA) (the Institute of Law and Economics.  He added,“We are optimistic that in the coming days we will have positive news.”

The draft law is being presented by IDEA and a group called GIAI or Grupo Impulsor de Acceso a la Información (Access to Information Advocacy Group).  This group is made up of civil society organizations and academics.  Its main objective is to obtain the approval of a law on access to public information in Paraguay and finally make effective a right included in Article 28 of the Constitution. The campaign also has the support of Alianza Regional por la Libertad de Expresion e Informacion (the Regional Alliance for Freedom of Expression and Information).

The draft law is based on the Model Law of Access to Information of the Organization of American States.  

The major newspaper of Paraguay, ABC Color, published an article on conversations by the NGOs with the House of Representatives’ Speaker (http://www.abc.com.py/nota/sondearon-de-vuelta-sobre-ley-de-informacion/) and an opinion column on the topic (http://www.abc.com.py/nota/el-derecho-a-la-informacion/).

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