What can be done?
Governments and states should make sure access to information is available for everyone. The right to access information is always vital, but even more so during a health emergency. Laws are not just about guaranteeing access to information, they also provide a space in which accountability is possible and applicable to all bodies: courts, the police, and other authorities that make critical decisions on behalf of people. Proactively disclosing information helps build trust among citizens, while providing the clarity that people seek amid the infodemic.
The 2020 International Day for Universal Access to Information raised awareness about the right to information in times of crisis, as well as public access policies beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.