By Abhishek Chandok and Abhay Nanda
Pakistan officially joined the Marrakesh Treaty on December 12, 2023, a global initiative aimed at ensuring visually impaired individuals have access to published works.
President Dr. Arif Alvi signed the accessibility to the Marrakesh Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in a special ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad, Pakistan. The president applauded the Ministry of Human Rights for leading the initiative to join the Marrakesh Treaty for visually impaired persons.
The Marrakesh Treaty, established in Morocco on June 27, 2013, and endorsed by numerous countries worldwide, focuses on making books and literary works accessible to the visually impaired and print-disabled.
The main goal for signing the Marrakesh Treaty is to provide facilitating access to published works for people with print disabilities in developing nations such as Pakistan, by enhancing access to published materials for educational and employment purposes. The international treaty actively promotes the production and distribution of accessible formats, including large print, braille, and audiobooks.
The treaty empowers ‘authorized entities,’ such as blind people’s organizations and libraries, to collaborate and consolidate their accessible collections and significantly amplifying the availability of accessible books. By becoming a signatory to the Treaty, Pakistan will now be granting approximately 10 million visually impaired citizens easier access to published works.
Parthvi Khandelwal, Associate at S.S. Rana & Co. has assisted in the research of this Article.