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Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights


Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rightsThe Human Rights Council, through resolution 10/23 decided to establish, for a period of three years, a new special procedure entitled “independent expert in the field of cultural rights”.

This mandate was further extended for a period of three years in 2015, through resolution 28/9 of 10 April, and in 2018, through resolution 37/12 of 22 March.

More information on the mandate.

Current question in focus: 10th anniversary of the mandate on cultural rights

To mark the tenth anniversary of the mandate on cultural rights and the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur’s report to the 40th session of the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/40/53) provides an overview of the work of the mandate since its creation in 2009 and suggests future priorities and strategies for advancing cultural rights during the next decade in order to achieve the vision set out in article 27 and guarantee the cultural rights of all.

Developments in today’s world make this a timely review. Embattled humanity, living in a world of extremists of all kinds, of proliferating cultural relativism and cultural excuses for human rights violations, a world threatened by catastrophic climate change which threatens human civilization, including cultural heritage, where hate is being normalized, inequalities are growing, public space is being privatized and where the impulse to censor thrives, desperately needs full implementation of its cultural rights and other universal human rights. At the same time, there are many positive advances which must not be overlooked, including local initiatives aimed at increasing understanding and tolerance, creative efforts by cultural rights defenders to improve compliance, new possibilities for global cooperation in the promotion of cultural rights, multiplying challenges to sexual harassment in the fields of art and culture, the ongoing exercise of human creativity and scientific research, despite the obstacles, and growing recognition of areas of human rights, including cultural rights, such as those of persons with disabilities, peasants and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. In her review of the work of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur aims to ascertain how to magnify the positive developments while revisiting the strategies needed to confront the negative ones.

Latest news

HRC adopts resolution 37/17 on cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage


Leaflet: The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
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Special Rapporteurs

Ms. Karima Bennoune
Since 2015

Ms. Farida Shaheed

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