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Questionnaire on access to cultural heritage


In her first report (A/HRC/14/36) to the Human Rights Council, presented at the June session 2010, the Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights announced her wish to pay attention, inter alia, to measures to ensure access to cultural heritage, which is commonly understood to refer to tangible heritage (e.g. sites, structures and remains of archaeological, historical, religious, cultural or aesthetic value); intangible heritage (traditions, customs and practices, aesthetic and spiritual beliefs, vernacular and other languages, artistic expressions, folklore) and natural heritage (e.g. protected natural reserves, other protected biologically diverse areas, historic parks and gardens and cultural landscapes).

Aim of the questionnaire

The Independent Expert wishes to initiate a constructive dialogue and cooperation with National Human Rights Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and human rights and cultural institutes and other stakeholders on the recognition, access and protection of cultural heritage.

This subject is of particular concern, as ensuring access to cultural heritage is a precondition for fostering dialogue and understanding across cultures and civilizations and therefore, for creating an environment which enables the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

In line with the forgoing, the Independent Expert invites you to complete the following questionnaire and, where possible, to provide electronic and other references to facilitate the identification of relevant materials.

The questionnaire on access to cultural heritage

The questionnaire (English | French | Spanish) is structured around the following four aspects : The recognition of cultural heritage ; the legal and policy framework for the protection of cultural heritage ; access to cultural heritage and the way forward on this thematic. The information collected will enable the Independent Expert to fulfill her mandate which includes identifying best practices in, and possible obstacles to, the promotion and protection of cultural rights at the local, national, regional and international levels.  

Sending responses to the questionnaire

To allow the Independent Expert to include your responses in her 2011 thematic report, all stakeholders are invited to submit their responses no later than 10 December 2010. Although your responses can be submitted in any of the official languages of the United Nations, please note that responses in English, French or Spanish would be preferable.
Kindly submit your responses electronically to: (preferably) or to:

Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Genève 10, Switzerland
Fax: 41 22917 90 06

Please include in your responses the name of the organisation submitting the questionnaire as well as the coordinates, in case more information is needed.

Should you need more information concerning this request, please contact :