The purpose of this paper is to discuss the critical reasons why citizens need government archives, with an elaboration on why managing electronic records is crucial.
The paper offers a philosophical framework that argues that not managing records harms individuals. Examples from several countries are reviewed to find the relevance of the records relationships between people and governments, and the nexus between human rights and archives through an examination of the first three articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is analyzed.
The paper identifies a strong relationship between human rights and archives and the way lives are reflected in the records in government archives. This reinforces the argument that governments need clearly established and legally empowered archival institutions.
Critical examination of the “I” in government archives is relatively rare in the literature, particularly when linked to the human rights implications of government records. The study is a constructive beginning for further academic discussions to explore this dimension, which in turn is related to both the efficiency of governance and the public trust in government.
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