1st LD-Writethru-China Focus: Marrakesh Treaty for print-disabled people takes effect in China

BEIJING, May 5– The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, came into force in China on Thursday. China is one of the first signatories of the treaty. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, adopted a decision on ratifying the…

BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) — The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, came into force in China on Thursday.

The Marrakesh Treaty, the first and only human rights treaty with copyright so far, aims to eliminate copyright-related obstacles for print-disabled people in obtaining works.

It was adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization on June 27, 2013, and entered into force on Sept. 30, 2016. China is one of the first signatories of the treaty.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, adopted a decision on ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty in October 2021.

China has about 17.3 million people with visual disabilities, and the number of print-disabled people is even bigger, according to the second national sample survey on disability.

China has always attached great importance to ensuring that print-disabled people have the right to equal access to culture and education in order to improve their well-being.

The country has made multiple revisions to its copyright law, in a bid to further facilitate the adaptation of printed publications into braille as well as the transmission of printed publications via barrier-free means.

Through joint efforts by education authorities, publishing houses and the society, large-character print textbooks have been made available as part of the country’s endeavor to advance inclusive education for people with disabilities. The beneficiaries include primary school students who are print-disabled.

“I feel quite excited about the treaty taking effect,” said Hong Yan, mother of a visually-challenged nine-year-old student, noting that her son received a batch of large-character print textbooks earlier this year.

Hong added that she is looking forward to seeing more changes in the future, such as the advent of more large-character extracurricular and digital books for readers like her son.

The enforcement of the treaty will substantially enrich the cultural life of the print-disabled population, and improve the quality of their education, said China’s National Copyright Administration.

It is also a push for the international promotion of China’s best publications among the print-disabled people, the administration added. Enditem

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