Keynote and Public Lecture by Professor Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues.
2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). Building on this occasion, this conference reflects on the particular rights of indigenous peoples and ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the domain of cultural and language rights. Both indigenous peoples and minorities have cultural life at the core of their collective identities. There are major weaknesses and also some opportunities in the existing international human rights law framework to address these rights. The preservation and development of distinct ways of life, languages, values, sciences, legal systems, philosophies, beliefs, and other aspects of culture are both evolving and also under threat.
The conference seeks to place culture at the centre of discussions. The UN distinguishes between tangible and intangible cultural heritage, but how does this equate with indigenous peoples’ and minorities’ own understanding of culture? In what ways do cultural rights, such as language rights, facilitate the realisation of other human rights for these groups? How have states accommodated cultural rights through legal or policy frameworks? What are the intersections between cultural rights and key issues of access to justice, land rights, gender equality or forms of autonomy and self-determination?
Registration includes refreshments, lunch and a reception to mark the opening of the 12th Native Spirit Film Festival . If you would like to join the Human Rights Researchers’ Network you may combine membership payment with conference registration. Delegates are invited to book separately to attend the film show at a special concessionary rate.
This conference is jointly convened by the Human Rights Consortium, the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advance Study, University of London, and Brunel University Law School, and supported by the Cassal Trust Fund, and the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) project "Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community" - Translingual Strand.