The High-Level Workshop on Equal Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data, held on October 9 and 10 by the OAS Department of International Law (DIL) and the Institute for Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (IAIP) of Honduras, brought together over 70 participants from eminent public institutions and organizations. These included mayors of different municipalities; representatives of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the Human Rights Committee; the National Council against Corruption; the National Human Rights Commission, the Unit for Financing, transparency, and oversight of political parties and candidates; State secretariats, the OAS Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH); clean politics commissioners; public officials of institutions with responsibility in this area; the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce; the association for a civil society; public and private universities; and media representatives.
The event fulfilled its aim of examining the Honduran legal framework on access to information and protection of personal data. Interactive meetings and roundtables created a reflection forum for the examination of, dialogue on, and discussion and formulation of recommendations for improving the legal system in force and examining ways to continue moving forward on this front.
Also examined were the principles of the inter-American system governing this area, the Model Inter-American Law on Access to Information, adopted by the OAS General Assembly in June 2010, and its corresponding implementation guide, as well as best international practices in the area. The panel discussions and roundtables also examined the maximum disclosure principle, information management, the exceptions regime, the role and functions of the body responsible for guaranteeing access to information, and the relevance of personal data protection.
Participating in this effort and experience were international experts of the bodies responsible for guaranteeing access to information of El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay, and of the Partnership for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, a network of nongovernmental organizations that works to build capacities among its member organizations to promote best practices of and legislation on access to information and freedom of expression in their countries and the region.
On October 11, a conference was held at which the DIL formally presented the recommendations adopted by the participants at the High-Level Workshop. Public authorities and the general public participated productively in this conference. This occasion also facilitated awareness of the importance in a democracy of access to information, citizen participation, and personal data protection.
The participants repeatedly recognized the OAS for this initiative and underscored the need to continue to carry out activities such as this and to promote the sharing of experiences and technical knowledge among the countries of the region.
This workshop was held as follow-up of the
commitment of the Eighth Summits of the Americas
(2018), at which the Heads of State and
Government of the Hemisphere undertook to
implement and/or strengthen bodies responsible
for transparency and access to public
information, based on applicable international
best practices; and the mandate issued by the
General Assembly by which it requested the DIL
to support the efforts of the those member
states that so request in adopting the
legislative and other appropriate measures to
guarantee access to public information, in
particular for the implementation of the Model
Law or for continuing to bring themselves into
line with it [AG/RES. 2927 (XLVIII-O/18)],
"Strengthening Democracy,” as well as the
Inter-American Program on Access to Public
Information, adopted by the OAS General Assembly
on June 14, 2016 [resolution AG/RES. 2885
Thus far, the Department of International Law of the OAS Secretariat for Legal Affairs has held
in Argentina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
The event was widely covered in the press and both its resulting recommendations and the presentations by the experts and by representatives of multimedia media outlets may be consulted at the following link:
» For the Model Inter-American Law on Access to Public
» For the Inter-American Program on Access to Public
For the Cooperation Project,
For further information on this matter,
please contact the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS +1 202 370 0743.