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

The rise of fundamentalism and extremism, in diverse forms, represent major threats to human rights worldwide and are growing challenges that must be faced with urgency, using a human rights approach.

You will find below the thematic work conducted by the mandate on this topic, as well as developments in other parts of the UN system and important links.


Fundamentalism and extremism and their grave impact on cultural rights (2017)

In her 2017 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.

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.

The expert 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.

Find more information on the report page

The impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women (2017)

© Mohamed Messara. An actress performs a scene from the play 'Sin of Success' during the 17th edition of the Carthage Theatrical Days Festival at the Municipal Theatre in Tunis, Tunisia, 18 October 2015. The piece written and directed by Tunisian writer and theater director Meriam Bousselmi explores the situation of Arab women today and their battles for equality with men.

Questions relating to fundamentalism and extremism are further addressed in the Special Rapporteur's 2017 report to the General Assembly (A/72/155). In this report, she focuses on the specific impact of these ideologies on the cultural rights of women.

She stresses that a human rights-based response to fundamentalism and extremism must by fully gender-sensitive, focusing on the cultural rights and equality of women, and defending universality. She highlighted in particular that women's human rights, including cultural rights, are an essential part of the fight against fundamentalism and extremism, without which it could not succeed.

In order to assess the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on women's enjoyment of cultural rights, the Special Rapporteur prepared a questionnaire. See the note verbal, the questionnaire and the responses received on the report page.

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