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date: 23 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter studies the link between cultural heritage and human rights, considering treaties on cultural heritage and treaties on human rights. Cultural heritage is increasingly seen in international law not merely as an important product or value in itself but also in relation to the construction and preservation of cultural identities and, thereby, of the dignity of peoples, communities, and individuals. This has enhanced the human rights dimension of cultural heritage, in particular for minorities and Indigenous peoples. Several human rights—including the rights to take part in cultural life, to enjoy culture, and to freedom of expression and assembly—confirm that protection and promotion of cultural heritage is part of human rights. Strengthening and maintaining the link between cultural heritage and human rights reaffirms cultural heritage as a value for human dignity and reflects a shift from a sovereignty and State-centric approach to a people’s and peoples’ approach.

Keywords: cultural property, cultural heritage, human rights, freedom of expression, right to peaceful assembly, civil and political rights

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