Access to Information
It is a fundamental human right to ask for, and receive, information held by public organisations and bodies. It is critically important to make sure information held by public, and in some cases private institutions is available and accessible to citizens.
The right to seek, access and receive information is guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Article 4 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa. It is also recognised under Section 37 of the Malawi Constitution and many of the Constitutions of southern African countries.
MISA Malawi also advocates for Freedom of expression which is a basic right, expressly guaranteed in the Malawi Constitution. Therefore, this programme seeks to campaign for the public to enjoy their right to be informed through unrestricted access to information.
MISA Malawi, as any MISA Chapter across southern Africa, currently operates based a three year strategic plan that focuses on two broad thematic areas namely Media Monitoring and Research and Advocacy Campaigns.
The Advocacy component dwells on three main areas namely Freedom of Expression and Access to Information Campaign, Broadcasting Diversity – under which NAMISA campaigns for a three tier system of broadcasting i.e. community, commercial and public, and finally campaign for the repeal of insult laws. MISA Malawi’s campaign for Repeal of Insult Laws is one way of creating a conducive environment for free expression.
Right to Information Day
MISA Malawi commemorates September 28th as International Right to Information Day. MISA Malawi celebrates Right to Information Day to raise awareness about the importance of the right of access to information throughout the world and cast the spotlight on the challenges that hamper the enjoyment of this fundamental right.