Friday, December 6 2019


Việt Nam expected to join Marrakesh treaty

Update: November, 21/2018 - 09:00
People with visual impairment need more access to books and information. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — In Việt Nam, books available for people with disabilities remain as low as one per cent – but there is hope for the future.

Expert gathered at a seminar yesterday in Hà Nội co-hosted by the National Committee on People with Disabilities and UNDP.

They discussed how a treaty signed in Marrakesh, Morocco five years ago was implemented to help those who are visually impaired or struggle to read books could be beneficial in Viet Nam.

The Marrakesh Treaty is the latest addition to the body of international copyright treaties administered by World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

It main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs).

People with print disabilities are those who cannot read texts, hold a book or turn pages because of visual, learning or physical disability. These people need books to be transferred to accessible formats including Braille, audio or large print to be able to read.

The treaty enables production, distribution, importation and exportation of accessible format copies without having to ask for right holders’ permission.

Meanwhile, it provides reassurances for the publishing industry and the author.

In developed countries, up to 10 per cent of published books are made into formats to which print disabled people can access, the percentage in developing countries including Việt Nam is one per cent.

While 70 countries have joined the treaty, Việt Nam is still to sign up.

“The workshop clearly demonstrates Việt Nam’s strong commitment to lift barriers that stand on the way to realise the full potentials and inclusion for people with disabilities,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director Akiko Fuji.

On behalf of UNDP, Catherine Phuong, Assistant Country Director, also showed expectation on Việt Nam’s participation in the treaty. 

“We hope that Việt Nam will be the new country to join the treaty. More countries need to ratify the treaty to maximise the access to knowledge of people with visual impairment and print disability,” she said. — VNS

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