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Report on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creation
Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
To the Human Rights Council at its 23rd session
"Nadia Plesner's drawing Simple Living(2007) was inspired by the artist's reaction to mass media prioritizing between world matters and celebrity gossip. Sued by Louis Vuitton, Nadia Plesner fought to include references to status symbols in her art works, and was declared by a court in the Hague to be free to exhibit the drawing." With the courtesy of the artist.
For her 2013 report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur focused on
the right to freedom of artistic expression and creation
, which includes the right of all persons to freely experience and contribute to artistic expressions and creations, through individual or joint practice, to have access to and enjoy the arts, and to disseminate their expressions and creations.
The Special Rapporteur addresses the multi-faceted ways in which the right to the freedom indispensable for artistic expression and creativity may be curtailed. She reflects upon the growing worldwide concern that artistic voices have been or are being silenced by various means and in different ways.
This report addresses laws and regulations restricting artistic freedoms, as well as economic and financial issues significantly impacting on such freedoms. The underlying motivations are most often political, religious, cultural or moral, or lie in economic interests, or are a combination of those.
The Special Rapporteur encourages States to critically review their legislation and practices imposing restrictions on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity. States should take into consideration their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil this right. The Special Rapporteur notes that more discussion is urgently needed on this issue.
Learn more about the
rights related to artistic freedom and creativity
In order to assess achievements and challenges related to the right to artistic freedom, the Special Rapporteur prepared a questionnaire and sent it to States, United Nations agencies, academics and civil society organizations.
note verbale and
Member States of the United Nations
National human rights institutions
Individuals and civil society organisations
Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Amis des étrangers au Togo
Arts Council of Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)
Canada Council for the Arts
Céline Romainville, Universités de Louvain et de Saint Louis, Belgique
Coalition béninoise pour la diversité culturelle
Council of Danish Artists
Czech Actors Association
Equity, United Kingdom
Japan Actors Union and Japan Arts Council
Jordi Baltà, Fundación Interarts, Spain
Mark Vladimirovich Shugurov, Russian Federation
Meta Atauea, Cultural producer, Kiribati
National Association for the Visual Arts, Australia
Observatoire de la diversité et des droits culturels, Switzerland
Organización de Sindicatos de Artistas del Estato Espanol (OSAAEE)
Portuguese Coalition for Cultural Diversity
Romania Independent Society of Human Rights
Syndicat français des artistes interprètes