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14 A Right to Cultural Identity in UNESCO

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first touches on the idea of developing a right to cultural identity in international human rights law, in order to clarify the issues and difficulties surrounding this right. It then addresses the work of UNESCO in relation to a right to cultural identity, including the adoption of several relevant instruments and the encouragement of debate through studies and seminars. As regards UNESCO instruments, the chapter focuses only on those that are most directly related to a right to cultural identity. While the value of cultural identity for human dignity is recognized, a human right to freedom of cultural identity has not been further developed in UNESCO. UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (1978), implies the right not to be excluded, humiliated, exploited or forcibly assimilated. It is in this spirit that a right to freedom of cultural identity should be valued.

Keywords: cultural identity; human rights law; UNESCO



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