London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Cultural diversity and human rights

Author(s) Berg, W.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2009  
Editor P. Cunningham, Human Rights and Citizenship Education  
Age group -  
The UNESCO-Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression has already been signed by numerous states. Hence these states are obliged to respect cultural diversity within the state and worldwide. They have to provide individuals and communities with access to global culture, and, at the same time, give them the opportunity to express themselves according to their traditional culture. The Convention is a good argument contra global players who like to define cultural products and services in terms of market economy only. On the other hand, the Convention raises lots of questions as it seems to legitimize back warded regimes to keep (indigenous) people in ignorance or traditionalism, hurting their Human Rights. The Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression, which has been noticed scarcely, has strong societal and educational impacts. These impacts, however, are ambiguous and ambivalent. Fostering self-determination of individuals and communities, also minorities and regional identity, the Human Rights are prerequisite; otherwise “traditions” can continue to oppress liberty, equality, democracy. To acknowledge diversity as a value, a wealth, and to respect individuals and communities who live according to their rules, is a strong challenge for the state, the education system, for civil society and all individuals. It needs more than tolerance, at least when communication and cooperation requires to develop a kind of modus vivendi.

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