UN – The right to artistic freedom


In her fifth thematic report (A/HRC/23/34), the Special Rapporteur focused on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creation, which includes the right of all persons to freely experience and contribute to artistic expressions and creations, through individual or joint practice, to have access to and enjoy the arts, and to disseminate their expressions and creations. This report addresses laws and regulations restricting artistic freedoms as well as economic and financial issues significantly impacting on such freedoms. The underlying motivations are most often political, religious, cultural or moral, or lie in economic interests, or are a combination of those.

The Special Rapporteur studied in detail the international framework on possible limitations to artistic freedom, and also stressed positive obligations of States in support of the right of people to enjoy the arts and their artistic freedoms. The Special Rapporteur encouraged States to critically review their legislation and practices imposing restrictions on the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity, taking into consideration their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil this right.