International Day for Universal Access to Information meets Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2020

September 2020

The number of countries with access to information (ATI) laws has grown significantly over the past twenty years. While in many countries these laws have been translated into policies and strategies, in practice, exercise of the right to information is still reserved for sophisticated experts. In most countries with ATI laws there are no sustained, widescale efforts to educate the population about how average citizens, especially youth, can exercise their right to information to improve their own lives or the general situation in society regarding health, education, access to justice, equal treatment, and peacebuilding. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes about use of access to information laws/policies are essentially media and information literacy (MIL) competencies - information, media, and digital competencies.

Specific attention must be paid to youth participation in consultations about ATI laws, and in the articulation, implementation and monitoring of these laws. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the spotlight once again on the necessity of multi-stakeholder involvement in validating and disseminating information in times of crisis. Youth are catalysts in the global COVID-19 response. This webinar will explore questions such as how youth are engaged in the implementation of ATI policies and MIL policies/strategies, what steps are being taken to promote MIL for youth and by youth, and whether implementing MIL at all levels of society can sustain greater youth knowledge and critical engagement in ATI policies.

This webinar, and a regional series of webinars to follow, will contribute to a draft action plan for youth engagement in ATI laws and policies, MIL policies and strategies, and for articulation and implementation of ATI policies to include MIL as a tool for education and awareness. The webinar kick starts the Global MIL Week 2020 Youth Agenda Forum and connects the International Day for Universal Access to information with the Global MIL Week celebrations.

Global MIL Youth Hackathon

1-29 October 2020

An MIL and Games Youth Hackathon will be held online throughout October, in cooperation with digital gaming and MIL communities - including Korean technology companies. The Hackathon will build on experience with the MIL Youth Hackathon organized during the 2018 Global MIL Week, and the 2020 Code the Curve Hackathon, which took place within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth around the world will be mobilized to participate in this four-week online hackathon, to design innovative and creative solutions to disinformation and related online challenges. The solutions could range from social media campaigns and audiovisual products, to games, online applications, and websites.

Part of the activity design includes a central live streaming of the hackathon throughout the process, to which developers can connect and through which they can showcase their solutions as these are being developed. The live stream will be connected to the dedicated platform for the 2020 Global MIL Week.

The Hackathon will follow the themes of MIL against the disinfodemic. It complements the mainstreaming of youth in the In-Focus Online Sessions described below by enabling significant youth leadership. It will be designed by youth and for youth. Youth from local schools, universities, and youth organizations, as well as youth leaders from around the world, are invited to participate. The outcome of the Hackathon will be showcased on UNESCO's website, and presented during a dedicated In-Focus Session on 29 October 2020.

In-Focus Sessions

27 October 2020, 28 October 2020

Two of the In-Focus sessions during the Feature Conference will have youth-related themes and will be part of the Youth Agenda Forum.

The first session will be a press conference titled "Youth Tackling the Disinfodemic: Outcome of the MIL and Games Youth Hackathon". This press conference will present the winning teams, and share highlights and success stories from the Hackathon. The panelists will include the winning teams, representatives from the jury and the team of mentors, representatives from UNESCO, and other youth activists. Participating journalists will have the opportunity to ask general questions related to the Global MIL Week Youth Agenda Forum, action by youth worldwide to counter the disinfodemic using MIL, and UNESCO's engagement with youth in the field of MIL. The session will take place on 27 October at 21:00 - 22:30 (KST).

Secondly, there will be a session titled "Participation in society by media and information literate youth in the face of disinformation". This session will engage youth leaders in a debate on the acquisition and use of media and information literacy (MIL) to counter disinformation and participate in the development of society. It will seek to answer how youth are involved in the implementation of MIL and other related policies such as access to information and artificial intelligence, and what steps are being taken to promote MIL for youth and by youth. The session will be held on 28 October at 18:00~19:30 (KST).

As with other In-Focus sessions, registered participants will have access to watch these two sessions through this online platform at the scheduled time.