This conference, organised by the Human Rights Consoritium, Institute of Modern Languages Research and Brunel University Law School, marks the 15th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). Building on this occasion, it intends to reflect on the particular rights of indigenous peoples and ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the domain of cultural and language rights.  

Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues (Université de Moncton, University of Pretoria), will be the keynote speaker at this conference, which seeks to place culture at the centre of discussions: the UN distinguishes between tangible and intangible cultural heritage, but how does this equate with how indigenous peoples and minorities understand their own 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?

The full programme for the day (9am–6pm) is available here. Concessionary rates are available for students, the unwaged and members of the Human Rights Researchers’ Network (HRRN). If you would like to join the network, you may combine membership payment with conference registration (see rates below).

Conference only: standard £20 / student/unwaged/HRRN member £15
Conference and membership of HRRN: standard £45 / student/unwaged £35

Registration includes lunch, refreshments and a drinks reception to mark the opening of the Native Spirit Festival, and an exhibition of indigenous language items curated by Senate House Library. Email or for details.

When: 11 October, 9am–6pm
Who: Human Rights Consortium and the Institute of Modern Languages Research
Where: The Court Room, first floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

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Cover mage: © Doruk Seymen