Statement for the 40th Human Rights Council

We welcome the tenth anniversary report and strategies for advancing cultural rights for the next decade presented by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. We recognise the importance of those rights within the universal human rights framework. We welcome the commitment of the Special Rapporteur to giving a voice to human rights defenders, including women’s human right defenders. As it has been underlined, such approach strengthens their interest in the mandate especially in the context of the work on fundamentalism, extremism and the cultural rights of women.
We also welcome the advances of cultural rights and its integration in the relevant fields.

We agree with the emphasis on the empowering aspect of cultural rights of women aiming to ensure that women can exercise their cultural rights in full equality, including the right to determine which traditions and cultural practices need to be preserved, modified or discarded.

We share the concern for the challenges in the field of cultural rights. We agree that cultural rights are not tantamount to cultural relativism and shall not be an excuse for violations of other human rights. We support the view that the distinction should be made between the cultural rights, which amplify rights and are protected by universal human rights framework and cultural relativism, which
diminishes rights in the name of culture.

We welcome the contribution of the mandate to the opposition against the fundamentalism and developing a cultural rights approach to the rise of diverse forms of fundamentalism and extremism as highlighted in the report issued in 2017. We strongly reject the ideologies based on intolerance of differences and a rejection of universality which have particular effects on the cultural rights of women, minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

We welcome the recommendations presented in the report and are eager to implement the ones addressed to the civil society actors in the view to include cultural rights of women in our work and participate in a dialogue on a national and international level.