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The 17th China Information Accessibility Forum Focused on theEntry into Force of the Marrakesh Treaty in China

The year 2022 has witnessed the entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty with respect to China. On July 28, the 17th China Information Accessibility Forum was co-organized in Nanjing by Accessibility Promotion Office of China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), Nanjing Normal University of Special Education, and China Braille Press. The forum, with the theme of “Humanity and Accessibility”, was focused on the significance of ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty and the major measures to implement the treaty.

In the sub-forum of “The Marrakesh Treaty and Information Accessibility”, Mr. Lv Shiming, Member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and Vice Chairman of CDPF and Mr. Wang Zhicheng, Director General of Copyright Department of the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) delivered speeches.

Mr. Lv remarked in his speech that the entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty with respect to China is a vivid manifestation of China’s people-centered development thinking and an important measure to promote accessibility for the disabled. The implementation of the treaty will highlight China’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and China’s commitment to protecting human rights. For persons with reading disabilities to benefit from the Marrakesh Treaty and information technology, the laws and standards related to information accessibility are to be improved, a sound and long-term mechanism of promoting information accessibility to be established; the policies and regulations to support information accessibility services to be put in place, and public awareness of providing accessible information to the disabled to be raised.

Mr. Wang said in his speech that the ratification and entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty is a major achievement of China’s participation in global intellectual property governance within the framework of the World Intellectual Property Organization and an important example of complying with the internationally accepted copyright rules for the good of the disabled. The promotion of information accessibility and the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty complement and reinforce each other; the former eliminates “technical obstacles” while the latter brings the “rich contents”. The Interim Rules for the Provision of Works for Persons with Reading Disabilities in a Accessible Way will be soon released by NCAC as a detailed guideline for implementing the Marrakesh Treaty. Also, it is necessary to better know the needs of persons with reading disabilities, effectively supervise the supply of accessible format copies, and have the cooperation and support of the right holders. In this way, the Marrakesh Treaty could be effectively implemented and information accessibility promoted, to enable the disabled share the fruits of development and have a lasting sense of happiness, gain and security

In the sub-form, Mr. Li Qingzhong, Director of CDPF, President of China Association of the Blind and President of the World Blind Union – Asia Pacific, delivered a keynote speech on “Implementing the Marrakesh Treaty and Safeguarding the Rights and Interests of Tens of the Visually Impaired”. Mr. Hu Kaizhong, Professor of Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, delivered a keynote speech on “Issues on the Implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in China”. Mr. Wang Qian, Professor of East China University of Political Science and Law, delivered a keynote speech on “The Marrakesh Treaty and the Amendment of Copyright Law”. In the sub-forum of “Information Accessibility and Rule of Law”, Mr. Han Dayuan, Dean of the Center for Human Rights Studies of Renmin University of China and Honorary Chair of the Association of Constitutional Law of China Law Society, made a keynote speech titled “The Marrakesh Treaty: Background, Principles and Implementation in China”.

An exhibition on the Marrakesh Treaty was also held during the forum, to introduce to the participants about China’s efforts to actively participate in global copyright governance under the framework of the WIPO, and to effectively safeguard the rights of persons with reading disabilities to equally engage in cultural life and to share the fruits of cultural development.