1. The present report focuses on the right to the freedom indispensable for artisticexpression and creativity, protected under articles 15 of the International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and 19 of the International Covenant onCivil and Political Rights (ICCPR).2. Art constitutes an important vehicle for each person, individually and in communitywith others, as well as groups of people, to develop and express their humanity, worldviewand meanings assigned to their existence and development. People in all societies create,make use of, or relate to, artistic expressions and creations.3. Artists may entertain people, but they also contribute to social debates, sometimesbringing counter-discourses and potential counterweights to existing power centres. Thevitality of artistic creativity is necessary for the development of vibrant cultures and thefunctioning of democratic societies. Artistic expressions and creations are an integral partof cultural life, which entails contesting meanings and revisiting culturally inherited ideasand concepts. The crucial task of implementation of universal human rights norms is toprevent the arbitrary privileging of certain perspectives on account of their traditionalauthority, institutional or economic power, or demographic supremacy in society. Thisprinciple lies at the heart of every issue raised in the debate over the right to freedom ofartistic expression and creativity and possible limitations on that right.4. There is no intention to propose a definition of art, or to suggest that additionalrights should be recognized for artists. All persons enjoy the rights to freedom of expressionand creativity, to participate in cultural life and to enjoy the arts. Expressions, whetherartistic or not, always remain protected under the right to freedom of expression.5. This report aims to understand the challenges and obstacles that impede theflourishing of artistic creativity, and make specific recommendations to overcome them.The approach adopted is broad. The report addresses forms of expression that carry anaesthetic and/or symbolic dimension, using different media including, but not limited to,painting and drawing, music, songs and dances, poetry and literature, theatre and circus,photography, cinema and video, architecture and sculpture, performances and public artinterventions, etc., irrespective of whether their content is sacred or profane, political orapolitical, or whether it addresses social issues or not. It recognizes that artistic activityrelies on a large number of actors not reducible to the artist per se, encompassing all thoseengaged in and contributing to the creation, production, distribution and dissemination ofartistic expressions and creations. The Special Rapporteur is convinced that freedom ofartistic expression and creativity cannot be dissociated from the right of all persons to enjoythe arts, as in many cases restrictions on artistic freedoms aim at denying people access tospecific artworks. Hence, removing creative expressions from public access is a way torestrict artistic freedom. Ironically enough, restrictions are often imposed in the name of thepublic which, however, is prevented from making its own judgement.


Protection in universal, regional and national instruments.
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