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Cultural Rights: the Cinderella and the Ball

4:00pm - 6:00pm / Friday 21st April 2023
Type: Lecture / Category: Department
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Cultural rights are often referred to as the Cinderella of human rights. This lecture will explain why the Cinderella must go to the Ball and how political the Ball actually is. Alexandra will look at the current state of art regarding cultural rights and discuss the main challenges on which her work has focused on. They include pushing for the recognition of cultural development; calling for international financial bodies to respect cultural rights; and clarifying the importance of cultural rights for people on the move. The balancing of cultural rights with other rights and the quest for real freedom in creativity are ongoing difficult themes in her work. The Special Rapporteur will share the successes that offer hope for the impact of the mandate, but also the disappointing failures and the lessons they have taught her.


Alexandra Xanthaki was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights in October 2021. She is a Professor of Laws at Brunel University London, United Kingdom. Throughout her academic career, she published extensively on the cultural rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, cultural diversity, cultural heritage, balancing cultural rights with other rights and interests, and multiculturalism and integration in international human rights law. She has worked with NGOs, civil society and has consulted States on such issues. Alexandra is the Brunel lead of ITFLOWS, a H2020 project on using technology to predict migration flows. She is a member of the Scientific board of the Institute of Minority Rights in EURAC, Bolzano; and member of the human rights faculty at Oxford University. She was a proud member of Liverpool Law School between 2001-2004.