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Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights

Purpose of the mandate

Cultural rights are fundamental for the respect of human dignity, in the diversity of its expressions. This mandate was created to:

  • Give greater visibility to cultural rights in the human rights system; and to
  • Foster a better understanding of the severity of their violations, and of the opportunity of their realisation for all.

Learn more about how the implementation of cultural rights is critical for sustainable peace, equality and development through the Issues in focus section.

About the mandate

In 2009 the Human Rights Council decided to establish, for a period of three years, a new special procedure entitled "independent expert in the field of cultural rights" through resolution 10/23.

This mandate was extended for a period of three years in 2012, through resolution 19/6; in 2015, through resolution 28/9, and in 2018, through resolution 37/12, in 2021, through resolution 46/9 and in 2024, through resolution 55/5.

Learn more about the mandate

Current mandate holder

Alexandra Xanthaki

Alexandra Xanthaki was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in October 2021. Ms. Xanthaki is Greek and lives in the United Kingdom where she works as a Professor of Laws at Brunel University London, United Kingdom. Throughout her academic career, Ms. Xanthaki has published on the cultural rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, cultural diversity, cultural heritage, balancing cultural rights with other rights and interests, and multiculturalism and integration in international human rights law. She has worked with NGOs, civil society and has consulted States on such issues.

Read Alexandra Xanthaki's full biography

Contact Information

Alexandra Xanthaki, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Telephone: +41 22 917 96 30
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06
E-mail: [email protected]

Subscribe to the mailing list

To subscribe to the Special Rapporteur's mailing list, please send an email to [email protected], with the title "mailing list of the Special Rapporteur". 

Former mandate holders

Ms Karima Bennoune

Ms. Farida Shaheed


25 April 2023
Watch the video message of the Special Rapporteur on the participation of Russian and Belarusian Athletes in international sports competition

21 October 2022
Contribution of the Special Rapporteur to the discussion on the right to science, organised by the GESDA in its annual Summit

29 September 2022
Watch the contribution of the Special Rapporteur to the ministerial thematic session on “Culture for sustainable development” at the UNESCO World Conference Mondiacult.

13 September 2022
Listen to the introductory presentation of the Special Rapporteur, in the context of the 2nd Argentinian national days on cultural rights. [