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Access to cultural heritage
FEATURE STORIES
Independent Expert: Cultural Rights enrich universal human rights
Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights

Questionnaire on access to cultural heritage

Introduction

In her first report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/14/36) presented in June 2010 session, the Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights highlighted that she wishes to pay particular attention, inter alia, to measures to ensure access to cultural heritage, which is commonly understood to refer to tangible heritage (e.g. sites, structures and remains of archaeological, historical, religious, cultural, or aesthetic value); intangible heritage (traditions, customs and practices, aesthetic and spiritual beliefs; vernacular or other languages; artistic expressions, folklore) and natural heritage.(e.g. protected natural reserves; other protected biologically diverse areas; historic parks and gardens and cultural landscapes). This subject is of particular concern, as ensuring access to cultural heritage is a precondition for fostering dialogue and understanding across cultures and civilizations and therefore, for creating an environment which enables the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

Purpose of the questionnaire

The Independent expert in the field of cultural rights would like to initiate a constructive dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders, including States, National Human Rights Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, human rights and cultural institutes and other stakeholders on the recognition, access and protection of cultural heritage.

This subject is of particular concern, as ensuring access to cultural heritage is a precondition for fostering dialogue and understanding across cultures and civilizations and therefore, for creating an environment which enables the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

In line with the foregoing, the Independent Expert invites you or your institution or organization to complete the questionnaire below, and where possible provide electronic and other references to facilitate the identification of relevant materials.

The Questionnaire on access to cultural heritage

The questionnaire (English | French | Spanish) is structured on the four following areas: the recognition of cultural heritage; the legal and policy framework for the protection of cultural heritage; the access to cultural heritage and the way forward. The information collected will help the independent expert to fulfill her mandate, which includes identifying best practices in, and possible obstacles to, the promotion and protection of cultural rights at the local, national, regional and international levels and will serve as the basis for her next thematic report to the Human Rights Council.

Submissions

In order to enable the Independent Expert to consider submissions for her thematic report in 2011, all stakeholders are encouraged to submit their responses to the questionnaire at their earliest convenience and no later than December 10, 2010. Although your responses can be submitted in any of the official languages of the United Nations, please note that responses in English, French or Spanish would be preferable.

Questionnaires can be transmitted electronically to ieculturalrights@ohchr.org (encouraged) or be addressed to:

Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights
ESCR Section
Human Rights Council and Special Procedures Division
OHCHR
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06

Please include in your submissions the name of the organization submitting the responses to the questionnaire, as well as contact details in case follow up information is sought.

Should you have any question regarding this request, please contact Ms. Mireya Maritza Peña Guzmán at +41 (22) 917 9773 or, electronically at ieculturalrights@ohchr.org

 
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