The Human Rights Council, through resolution 10/23 decided to establish, for a period of three years, a new special procedure entitled “independent expert in the field of cultural rights”.
This mandate was further extended for a period of three years in 2015, through resolution
28/9 of 10 April, and in 2018, through resolution
37/12 of 22 March.
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Current question in focus: Cultural rights and public spaces
In her most recent report presented to the General Assembly (A/74/255), the Special Rapporteur addresses the importance of public spaces for the exercise of cultural rights and the challenges that must be addressed so that everyone can access and enjoy such spaces.
Acknowledging the fact that issues pertaining to public spaces have been raised by a variety of stakeholders and from different perspectives, the Special Rapporteur notes that much of this work is sector specific and not holistic or human rights based. Accordingly, the report reviews existing frameworks, provides an overview from a cultural rights perspective of key questions and proposes a more holistic human rights-based approach for policymaking. Issues considered include: 1) the challenges faced by various groups of person in accessing and enjoying public spaces, 2) security concerns, 3) possibilities to exercise cultural practices and organise events in public spaces, 4) the impact of design and urban planning on making public spaces welcoming to diversity, 5) the rights to access natural spaces and 6) cyberspace as public spaces.
The Special Rapporteur affirms the responsibility of public authorities to create, protect, secure, develop and maintain open and inclusive public spaces for the exercise of all human rights and cultural rights in particular.