The forthcoming report builds on the Special Rapporteur’s 2022 report to the General Assembly (A/77/290), which highlighted the central role that culture and cultural rights have in any sustainable development strategies and identified specific and clear principles on how cultural rights should be incorporated in all development agendas.
Cultural rights protect the rights for each person, individually and in community with others, as well as groups of people, to develop and express their humanity, their world view and the meanings they give to their existence and their development through, inter alia, values, beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge and the arts, institutions and ways of life. They are also considered as protecting access to cultural heritage and resources that allow such identification and development processes to take place.
Objectives of the report
In this report, the Special Rapporteur intends to examine how the various operational actors of development agendas integrate cultural rights and goals in their principles and policies. She proposed to identify existing gaps between the international cultural rights norms and standards and the operational approaches and programmes. The aim is to contribute to bridging these gaps between the principles and the practices, to share successful practices and experiences and to provide some guidance on how cultural rights can be better implemented in development agendas and strategies, including in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and beyond.
The Special Rapporteur recalls that all development agendas should be firmly anchored in human rights and respect international human rights law and principles. Development processes should both contribute to the exercise of human rights and the achievement of greater human dignity for all, as well as refrain from having negative impact on their full realization. Cultural rights, as an inherent part of the human rights system, should be fully considered in these processes.
To help the Special Rapporteur identify relevant experiences and challenges, the following questionnaire is widely disseminated to States, international and regional development agencies, United Nations agencies, national human rights institutions, academics, cultural workers and practitioners, as well as civil society organizations.
In addition to the main questions, each stakeholder is invited to also provide answers to the additional questions in the section best describing their status/ organisation.
The Special Rapporteur looks forward to benefiting from the diverse views and experiences.
Key questions and types of input sought
Main questions (for all stakeholders)
- How are human rights generally integrated in your policies and programmes? Please indicate if human rights are mandatory considerations, at what stage of the programme they are integrated and if any, what kind of impact assessment and monitoring is done of their implementation.
- Please provide examples of any programmes that contribute to the respect, protection and implementation of cultural rights, in particular:
- The right to choose and maintain one’s identity, and to take part in the cultural life of one’s choice;
- The right to access, enjoy and transmit cultural heritage, including languages and ways of life;
- The right to access and transmit creative expressions and knowledge, and to access the creativity and knowledge of others;
- The right to access to the benefits of science and its applications, including scientific knowledge, technology, and opportunities to contribute to the scientific enterprise;
- The right to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which one is the author;
- The right to take part in decision making processes that have an impact on one’s cultural life, including:
- the right of effective participation and consultation for minorities;
- the right to free, prior and informed consent by indigenous peoples and by local populations.
- Please provide recent examples of programmes, policies and commitments where:
- sustainable development is discussed beyond wealth accumulation model;
- cultural rights are mentioned and explained;
- cultural development is mentioned and explained;
- the expression of cultural diversity is respected, protected and implemented;
- marginalized voices and aspirations are identified and heard;
- commitments to ensure that development is self-determined and community led are included;
- commitments to take into account the local aspirations, values and priorities, rather than work on a one-size-fits-all model, are explicit;
- commitments are made to ensure forward looking development.
- Please provide information on any monitoring or evaluation mechanisms assessing the impacts of your development programmes or policies on cultural rights. Also please discuss any mechanism to submit complaints and seek reparation in cases of violations.
A. Additional questions for international, global and regional banks and development agencies (World Bank, IMF, WTO, Asian Development Bank…)
- Does your agency have a general commitment, strategy or policy on human rights? If so, please explain the sources of such commitment, be it an international treaty, framework or voluntary code of conduct, charter or guidelines. Please explain, if relevant, the evolution of such commitment to human rights in your organisation’s history.
- How is respect for diversity integrated in your agency’s process of devising and implementing development programmes? How are your development programme adapted to the cultural values, world views, practices and identities of the concerned persons, in each context? Please provide examples of contextualization and adaptation of the planning, implementation and monitoring of your programmes to respect different development visions and aspirations.
B. Additional questions for Governments and their national development agencies
- How are human rights generally integrated in your development policies and programmes both in your internal policies and in all programmes of development assistance and cooperation?
- What human rights guarantees have your Government and its agencies integrated in the development strategies, programmes and cooperation and assistance agreements?
- Are there participatory processes influencing and informing the elaboration, implementation and evaluation of the development policies and programmes conducted by your Government abroad? If so, how are they integrated?
- Have the development priorities or the assistance provided by global agencies (such as the World Bank, the IMF and any other relevant international trade and development organisations) impacted on the cultural rights and diversity aspects of your country’s development policies? Please provide positive and negative examples where relevant, especially after 2018.
C. Additional questions for international, national and local civil society actors, including those involved in development programmes
- Does your organisation have a general commitment, strategy or policy on human rights? If so, please explain the sources of such commitment, be it international treaty, framework or voluntary code of conduct, charter or guidelines. Please explain, if relevant, the evolution of human rights commitment in your organisation’s history.
- How is the planning, implementation and monitoring of your development programme adapted to the cultural values, world views, practices and identities of the concerned persons, in each of the context of your work? How is respect for diversity integrated in the process?
- Have the development priorities or the assistance provided by global agencies (such as the World Bank, the IMF and any other relevant international trade and development organisations) impacted on:
Please provide examples of positive and negative impacts, especially after 2018.
- the cultural rights and diversity aspects of your development initiatives?
- your country’s development policies and orientations?