Presentation: The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression & Creation

Posted on October 1, 2013 | No Comments

IndependentExpertArts/Rights/Justice Working Group presents UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights Report on The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression & Creation – October 2 – Brussels

The presentation of the UN Report, “The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creation” at the European Parliament in Brussels on 2nd October 2013, from 11:30-14:30 in the Paul Henri Spaak Building, Room P5B001.  Presenting the report will be its author, Mme Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights.

The United Nations established the UN Special Rapporteur in 2009. Ms. Farida Shaheed’s UN Special Report was formally presented to the UN on 31st May 2013. The EU Working Group on Arts and Human Rights (ARJ)* invites members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, selected foundations, NGOs, artists and experts to join in the discussion.  A copy of the Report can be found here.

The European Parliament already recognises artists as a category of human rights defenders. Recent highly visible events such as the incarceration of the Chinese visual artist Ai Wewei or of the Russian music group Pussy Riot have brought the vulnerability of artists to the public eye. Indeed, discussions about artists as human rights defenders have taken place relatively recently in the European Parliament and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Artists are an ‘early and easy target’ for governments seeking to increase repression. Closer to home, we see increasing numbers of cases in Members and candidates of the EU. From censorship to beatings, imprisonment and death we have documented stories of the silencing of artists who wish to highlight injustice through song, writing or image.

Freedom of expression is the cornerstone for protecting artists. States that inhibit freedom of expression often curtail other related human rights: freedom of association, freedom of assembly or the right to gather with others, freedom of association or the right to join unions or professional associations, freedom of movement or the right to travel in and outside the country, the right to access information, the right to defend a cultural identity.


Leave a Reply

Sign up for our newsletter