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Access to cultural heritage

In her second thematic report, submitted to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/17/38), the Special Rapporteur focuses on the right of access to, and enjoyment of cultural heritage. She stresses that cultural heritage is important not only in itself, but also in relation to its human dimension, in particular its significance for individuals and communities in terms of both their identity and development processes. As set out in the report, the right of access to and enjoyment of cultural heritage finds its legal basis in various human rights norms. It includes the right of individuals and communities to, inter alia, know, understand, enter, visit, make use of, maintain, exchange and develop cultural heritage, as well as to benefit from the cultural heritage and the creation of others. It also includes the right to participate in the identification, interpretation and development of cultural heritage, as well as in the design and implementation of preservation/safeguard policies and programmes. However, varying degrees of access and enjoyment may be recognized, taking into consideration the diverse interests of individuals and communities depending on their relationship to specific cultural heritages. In order to promote a human rights-based approach to cultural heritage matters, the Special Rapporteur concludes her report with a number of recommendations addressed to States, professionals working in the field of cultural heritage and cultural institutions, researchers and tourism and entertainment industries.

Questionnaire: English | French | Spanish

Responses to the questionnaire

Public consultation on "Access to cultural heritage as a human right", Geneva, 10 February 2011

Side event, 1 June 2011

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