On September 28th, International Day of the Right to Information, the Information and Data Protection Commissioner’s Office, hosted a group of students and teachers from various high schools of Tirana, such as: “Ismail Qemali”, “Petro Nini Luarasi”, “Sami Frashëri”, “Qemal Stafa” and “Partizani”. The activity aimed at acquainting access to public information produced/administered by institutions and cultivating a culture of awareness of the exercise of the right to information in practice.

In his intervention, Mr. Besnik Dervishi, the Commissioner, stressed that this activity is an expression of the desire and inclination for an informed and educated generation with regard to the exercise of rights in practice. “In the first place, the right to information is important for us as citizens, to get acquainted with state institutions. Everything that is official, precisely because it is official, must be recognized by the public. It is precisely this culture that should dominate us. It is the culture that citizens must cultivate, to use this right as an instrument to demand accountability from public authorities, as well as a means of exerting positive pressure to strengthen this relationship” – he assessed.

The meeting served as an informative visit to the premises of the Commissioner’s Office to get familiar with the basic concepts of the right to information. The young people were introduced to the functions and activities of the Commissioner’s Office, its role in guaranteeing the exercise of the right to have access to public information, as well as the fulfillment of the obligations of the regulatory framework by public authorities. The focus was on the treatment of issues or problems found in the education sector, the work to strengthen proactive transparency through the periodic updating of the Transparency Program, as well as knowledge about the role of the coordinator for the right to information. The meeting also served as an opportunity to expand knowledge about the other area of responsibility of the Commissioner’s Office – the protection of personal data, where young people received practical advice, especially on access to social networks.