Dr Rhona Smith

Cultural Rights and International Law

Cultural rights have a protracted history within the UN system. Even now, proponents face many difficulties when claiming their rights. This presentation seeks to better understand the current context. The evolution of recognition of cultural rights will be traced, highlighting challenges, not least in definitions. Mechanisms within the UN system which can be utilised to strengthen respect for cultural rights will also be analysed. Findings will complement the presentation from Professor Stone. Examples will be drawn from around the world. Cambodia has suffered much from its tragic past, including periods of rapid change and mass population displacement. It provides an interesting concluding focus to the presentation

Dr Rhona Smith is Professor of International Human Rights and Head of Newcastle Law School. She is also the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia. She has worked in human rights capacity building projects, particularly in Asia. Her research encompasses cultural identity and rights, the UN human rights system and other areas of human rights.