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The impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the enjoyment of cultural rights

In her second thematic report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/34/56), the Special Rapporteur addresses the rise of fundamentalism and extremism, in diverse forms, and their grave impact on the enjoyment of cultural rights. She stresses that these represents major threats to universal human rights worldwide and a growing challenge that must be faced with urgency, using a human rights approach. The report maps how such ideologies, in all their form, gravely undermine the enjoyment of cultural rights, have in common a mindset based on intolerance of differences and pluralism and attempt to stamp out cultural diversity and dissent. The Special Rapporteur stresses the centrality of cultural rights in combating fundamentalism and extremism, stating that arts, education, science and culture are critical to creating alternatives, making space for peaceful contestation, promoting inclusion and protecting youth from radicalization. She makes a number of recommendations, including a call to the international community to give much more consideration to the local opponents of fundamentalism and extremism, human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, in international gatherings to discuss strategy on how to battle these ideologies.

This question was addressed further in her second report to the General Assembly (A/72/155), in which the Special Rapporteur focused on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women. She stresses that a human rights-based response to fundamentalism and extremism must by fully gender sensitive, centering the cultural rights and equality of women, and defending universality. She stresses in particular that women’s human rights, including cultural rights, are an essential part of the fight against fundamentalism and extremism, without which it cannot succeed.

Side-event "Facing up to the global avalanche of hate: the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on cultural rights", 3 March 2017, Palais des Nations, Geneva. See the video of the event.

Side-event "Time to take a stand: the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women", New York, 26 October 2017. Read the concept note and see the webcast of the event.

Call for submissions to the 2017 GA report

Responses received

The Special Rapporteur thanks all those who have submitted information in response to the call for submission. She notes with concerns that a number of those who made submissions for the report on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women asked not to be listed publicly, because they feared retaliation.

Anissa Helie
Annamarie Laaksonen
Association Dazairouna
Association Femmes contre les intégrismes
Association des femmes iraniennes en France
ALHR - Women and Girls' Rights Subcommittee, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
ALP - Asamblea Lésbica Permanente, Argentina
ARC International and ILGA - International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
ARROW - Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women
Astra Network - Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
At-sik-hata - Nation of Yamassee-Moors
Bosnia and Herzegovia
Center for reproductive rights
Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos de México
Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
Defensor del Pueblo del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
Defensoría del Pueblo de Colombia
Defensoría del Pueblo de Ecuador
ESOHR - European Saudi Organization for Human Rights
Femmes solidaires
Geraldine Gudefin and Lisa Fishbayn
GAMS - Groupe pour l'abolition des mutilations sexuelles
Helle Porsdam
Human Rights Center, University of Minnesota
HRGJ - Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York
IWRAW - International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific
Komal Vaishnav
Lawrence Michael
LDIF - Ligue du droit international des femmes
Libres MarianneS
MADRE & Proceso de Comunidades Negras, Colombia
Mondher Tounsi and ConArte
Mouvement jeunes femmes
Muslim for Progressive Values
National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria
ONG Epicerie
Planned parenthood global & Federation of America
Procurador de los Derechos Humanos de Guatemala
Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de El Salvador,
Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Republica de Nicaragua
PROMSEX - Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights
RASHID - Research, Assessment and Safeguarding of the Heritage of Iraq in Danger
Saudi Organization for Human Rights
Sudanese Women Human Rights Defenders Project
Turquoise Mountain
Valeria J. Bradley
WHRIA - Women’s Human Rights International Association
WICUR - Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universals Rights