UNESCO calls on States to strengthen the protection of artists at risk
On the occasion of the World Summit on Arts & Culture, UNESCO published the report Defending Creative Voices calling on States to enhance the protection of artists and culture professionals in emergency contexts. It recommends new monitoring and emergency assistance policies for artists at risk. UNESCO also announced a new investment of US$1 million to finance projects supporting artistic freedom in over 25 countries.
The new UNESCO publication Defending Creative Voices highlights that emergency situations – such as armed conflict, unstable political contexts and natural disasters – exacerbate the pre-existing vulnerabilities. Artists face multiple threats, for example, online and offline harassment, brutal loss of income, legal prosecution, violence, censorship, and silencing – and often lack minimal safety nets due to their precarious legal status.
The report suggests in particular:
- UN-wide monitoring of the artistic freedom in emergency contexts, that recognizes artists as a vulnerable group in need of specific attention,
- A collaborative support programme for the safety of artists, and the protection of both artworks and cultural spaces in emergency contexts,
- Tailored capacity building of judicial and legal actors to protect artists through investigations and prosecutions.