About WHO

Publishing translations of WHO information materials

Publishing partners

To achieve its aims, WHO needs its information to be accessible to the widest possible audience. The Organization therefore welcomes publishing partners in all languages. Several hundred editions of WHO books have been published in more than 40 languages in the past two years.

WHO exercises copyright over its information to ensure that it is used in accordance with the Organization’s aims and principles. However, WHO licenses others to translate that information and to publish their translations for both commercial and noncommercial dissemination.

Terms and conditions

For this purpose, WHO uses a standard licensing agreement, adaptable to specific circumstances, that permits translation and publishing of WHO texts, while at the same time setting certain conditions. The agreement, which is signed by the publisher, applies whether the translation will be distributed free of charge or for sale.

WHO's policy on translation and publication of its information materials requires that:

  • The purpose of the publication should be to disseminate information, not to advertise or promote related products or services. Therefore no advertising or promotional material shall be included in the printed book.
  • If the publisher alone is responsible for the translation, the publisher will normally hold copyright.
  • WHO translation and publishing agreements are non-exclusive.
  • The WHO emblem may be used on a translation of a WHO book or document only with WHO's express permission. It should be clear from the cover of the book that it is issued by the publisher and not by WHO.
  • The original WHO source should be acknowledged.
  • Financial contributions to the cost of translating, or publishing the translation, may be acknowledged discreetly but should not be used to promote the donor.
  • Copies of the translated book are requested, as well as a read-only electronic file together with permission to place that electronic file on WHO's website (with appropriate acknowledgement of the publisher).
  • If the publisher intends to sell the translation for a profit, royalties will be normally be requested.

Requesting translation rights

If you wish to translate and publish a WHO book, document or other information materials, and to make sure the book is not already available in that language, please follow the link below to complete the form and provide as much detail as possible.