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Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
Issues pertaining to public spaces have been raised by a variety of stakeholders and from different perspectives. However, much of this work is sector specific and not holistic or human rights based.
Public spaces are greatly important for the enjoyment and exercise of human rights in general, and are particularly relevant for cultural rights. As spaces created, maintained, secured, developed and managed by public authorities, policymaking regarding those spaces should follow a human rights approach.
Below, you will find the thematic work conducted by the mandate over the years on the impact of policies and practices in the management of public space on cultural rights, as well as developments in other parts of the UN system and important links.
In her 2019 thematic report to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur considered how actors from across the cultural ecosystem access and use public spaces, identified the challenges they face and the strategies they develop to overcome them, and analysed the impact this has on their cultural rights (A/74/255).
What public spaces are concerned?
The term "public spaces" aims at underlining the plurality and diversity, and the differences in nature and scope of these spaces. Public spaces may include not only urban but also rural and natural spaces, and real and virtual spaces.
In order to get a wide array of views and learn from a variety of experiences about the human rights impact of policies regarding public spaces, the Special Rapporteur disseminated a questionnaire in May 2019. See the report page for more information.
In her 2014 report to the General Assembly, the Special Rapporteur sought to identify main challenges and obstacles posed by advertising and marketing practices to the enjoyment of cultural rights, including the right to education, the right to artistic freedom, the right to enjoy and access cultural heritage and the right to choose one's way of life (A/69/286).
What advertising and marketing practices are we talking about, and how are they human rights issues?
Advertising and marketing practices encompass a diversity of trends and methods used to sell or promote services or products including print, TV, radio, internet and billboards, branding, promotions, and sponsorship of cultural events or products, among other strategies. They also include the development of new practices linked to behavioural targeting and neuromarketing
These practices have an impact on the enjoyment of a series of human rights, including on freedom of thought, opinion and expression, cultural diversity and ways of life, the rights of children with respect to education and leisure, academic and artistic freedom and the right to participate in cultural life and to enjoy the arts.
In order to identify main challenges and obstacles posed by advertising and marketing practices to the enjoyment of cultural rights, including the right to education, the right to artistic freedom, the right to enjoy and access cultural heritage and the right to choose one's way of life, the Special Rapporteur prepared a questionnaire and disseminated it in December 2013. See more information and consult the responses received on the impact of advertising and marketing practices on the enjoyment of cultural rights on the report page.