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Poland: UN expert set for visit to assess cultural rights situation


GENEVA (24 September 2018) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, will visit Poland from 24 September to 5 October 2018 to assess efforts to implement the right of all people to participate in cultural life.

“I am looking forward to learning how Poland understands the realization of cultural rights, and how it endeavours to implement them through laws and policies, especially in the way cultural diversity and its expression are respected and promoted and how people are able to take part in decision-making processes that have an impact on their cultural life,” said Ms Bennoune, who is tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring, reviewing and advising on cultural rights in all countries.

“I will also assess policies designed to ensure that people from all backgrounds can access and enjoy cultural heritage, express their historical narratives, manifest their world views and enjoy freedom of artistic expression, without discrimination.

The expert will visit a number of cities and will meet central and local authorities, as well as a wide range of people working in the field of culture, including academics, artists and relevant institutions. She will also hold talks with civil society organisations and representatives of UN agencies, enabling them to share their experiences, discuss good practices and identify challenges in the enjoyment of cultural rights.

At the end of her mission, the Special Rapporteur will share her preliminary observations at a news conference at 13:30 local time on Friday, 5 October at the United Nations Information Centre, ul. Piękna 19, 00-549 in Warsaw. Access to the news conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

Ms Bennoune will present a comprehensive report on her visit to a future session of the UN Human Rights Council.


Ms Karima Bennoune was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in October 2015. She grew up in Algeria and the United States. She is Professor of Law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar at the University of California-Davis School of Law where she teaches courses on human rights and international law. Ms Bennoune has worked in the field of human rights for more than 20 years.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights country page - Poland

For inquiries and media requests, please contact:In Poland (during and after the visit): Ms. Johanne Bouchard (+ 41 79 444 48 28 / jbouchard@ohchr.org) or write to srculturalrights@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.