The launch of the Fribourg Declaration on Cultural Rights was held May 7, 2007 at the University of Fribourg and May 8, 2007 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The text was presented by the Observatory of Diversity and Cultural Rights (which headquarters are at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Ethnics and Human Rights at the Fribourg University) together with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and UNESCO. The Fribourg Declaration is supported by more than fifty human rights high profiles, as well as a platform of NGOs.
Cultural Rights are indivisible from Human Rights.
The Fribourg Declaration seeks to lay out what Cultural Rights means:
Article 2 (definitions)
For the purposes of the present Declaration,
The term “culture” covers those values, beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge and the arts, traditions, institutions and ways of life through which a person or a group expresses their humanity and the meanings that they give to their existence and to their development;
The expression “cultural identity” is understood as the sum of all cultural references through which a person, alone or in community with others, defines or constitutes oneself, communicates and wishes to be recognised in one’s dignity;
“Cultural community” connotes a group of persons who share references that constitute a common cultural identity that they intend to preserve and develop.
Article 3 (identity and cultural heritage)
Everyone, alone or in community with others, has the right:
To choose and to have one’s cultural identity respected, in the variety of its different means of expression. This right is exercised in the interconnection with, in particular, the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, opinion and expression;
To know and to have one’s own culture respected as well as those cultures that, in their diversity, make up the common heritage of humanity. This implies in particular the right to knowledge about human rights and fundamental freedoms, as these are values essential to this heritage;
To access, notably through the enjoyment of the rights to education and information, cultural heritages that constitute the expression of different cultures as well as resources for both present and future generations.