The Global Rainbow Foundation congratulates the Republic of Mauritius for ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty

May 5, 2021 | Media

The Founder- President of Global Rainbow Foundation, Prof Armoogum Parsuramen, commends the Republic of Mauritius for ratifying MARRAKESH TREATY on 11 April 2021. The Treaty was signed in Marrakesh on June 27, 2013, and came into force on September 30, 2016. On May 8, 2019, the United States joined the list of 82 member nations that have fully ratified the long-awaited Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

The Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MTV) is the latest addition to the body of international copyright treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. It has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension, and its 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).

The Marrakesh Treaty has one shared goal and benefit: To increase access to books, magazines and other printed
materials for the world’s population of persons with print disabilities. It is anticipated that the Treaty will have concrete positive effects in all countries where it is implemented, including developing and least developed countries, where the greatest numbers of persons with print disabilities live. Anticipated benefits which include:

a) Improved awareness of the challenges faced by the print
disabled community and persons with disabilities

b) Greater access to education

c) Enhanced social integration and cultural participation

d) Poverty alleviation and increased contributions to the
national economy

The Global Rainbow Foundation, a non-profit organization, is in partnership with Bookshare to serve people with print disabilities in Mauritius. Bookshare is the world’s largest library of accessible ebooks for people with print disabilities, such as visual impairment, severe dyslexia, and cerebral palsy. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a not-for-profit organization based in the United States that develops software for social good. Benetech is passionate about making information accessible so that everyone can learn, work, and pursue their dreams.

Bookshare and Global Rainbow Foundation work together to distribute accessible books to people who need them. Bookshare offers over 700,000 books from around the world available to eligible users in Mauritius. These titles can be read in multiple accessible formats including digital braille and audio paired with highlighted text. With the implementation of the Treaty, Bookshare readers in Mauritius will have access to 105,000 additional books that
have been produced under US Copyright law section 121. These additional books are offered on a free Bookshare
membership for people with qualifying disabilities. Any books produced by partners such as Global Rainbow Foundation under the Mauritius copyright exception can be securely shared with other Marrakesh-implemented countries, helping spread knowledge and culture of Mauritius with readers around the world.

Benetech wishes to express its strong support for the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty by all national governments, and we congratulate Mauritius for ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Global Rainbow Foundation will now develop programs with Bookshare within the framework of Marrakesh Treaty for people with barriers to reading. Acceding to the Marrakesh Treaty allows Mauritius to align policy with social benefit and economic potential and put the country at the forefront of disability rights.

Document of the Press Release :