Join an Online Event on July 19th on the Marrakesh Treaty and ABC: Taking Stock of Positive Impact and Remaining Challenges

July 12, 2022

The Marrakesh Treaty is an important human rights treaty that came into force in 2016 and currently has 89 contracting parties covering 115 countries. WIPO’s Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) implements the objectives of the treaty at a practical level by increasing the number of books in accessible formats and making them available to people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled around the world.

This hybrid event, which will take place on July 19th during WIPO’s Assemblies of Member States, will take stock of the positive impact of the Marrakesh Treaty and ABC, as well as look at the remaining challenges by way of examples in four countries - Lesotho, Mexico, the United States and Viet Nam. A moderator will lead the panel discussion, as well as allowing ample time for questions and interventions from delegates.

Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Time: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. CEST (Geneva time)

Location: WIPO Conference Hall

Streaming Link

Interpretation available: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish


  • Mr. Scott LaBarre, World Blind Union and the National Federation of the Blind, United States


  • Ms. Kelello Fanana, Lesotho National League of the Visually Impaired Persons, Lesotho
  • Mr. Dang Hoai Phúc, Sao Mai Vocational and Assistive Technology Center for the Blind, Viet Nam
  • Ms. Hilda Laura Vázquez Villanueva, Discapacitados Visuales I.A.P., Mexico

To learn more about ABC’s recent activities, read the 2022 Report of the Accessible Books Consortium, presented in the framework of the Assemblies of Member States, taking place from July 14 – 22, 2022.

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According to a 2017 study published in The Lancet, approximately 253 million people are blind or visually impaired world-wide. Nearly 90% of these are resident in developing countries, where the World Blind Union (WBU) estimates that people who are blind have only a one in ten chance of going to school or getting a job. A lack of accessible books remains a very real barrier to getting an education and leading an independent, productive life.

About ABC

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) is a public–private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that brings together all of the key players – organizations representing people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled, authors, publishers, collective management organizations, libraries and other authorized entities, as well as standards bodies. ABC was established in June 2014 to implement the goals of the Marrakesh Treaty. Through an effective international alliance of relevant state and non-state actors, ABC seeks to increase, and distribute, the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio, e-text and large print.

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About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.