Report of the Special UN Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, is available

The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms. Farida Shaheed, submits the present report in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 19/6. In this report, the Special Rapporteur addresses the multi-faceted ways in which the right to the freedom indispensable for artistic expression and creativity may be curtailed. She reflects upon the growing worldwide concern that artistic voices have been or are being silenced by various means and in different ways. 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 encourages 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. The Special Rapporteur notes that more discussion is urgently needed in several areas that she has considered.

Open consultation on Visa Code

The European Commission wants to assess whether the legislation has achieved its objectives. Building on this evaluation, the Commission plans to propose amendments to revise the Visa Code and to further develop and modernise the common visa policy. The revision of the Visa Code is identified as one of the priority initiatives of the Commission’s Work Programme for 2013 in the area of home affairs. The online consultation is open until June 17 for individuals and organisations.

Deutsche Welle launches award for outstanding reporting on human rights and development

Germany's international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, recognizes with the German Development Media Awards excellence in human rights and development journalism.The awards are open to journalists from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East as well as from Germany. Outstanding reports can be submitted until May 31, 2013.

First survey on violations on artistic freedom of expression has published its first survey presenting a glimpse of the situation for artists worldwide in 2012 and includes cases in more than 50 countries across the fields of dance, film, music, theatre, visual arts and literature (journalists are not included). A total number of 186 cases of attacks on artists and violations of their rights have been registered. The cases include 8 artists being killed, 16 imprisoned, 1 abducted, 5 attacked, 15 threatened, 37 prosecuted and 37 detained, as well as 67 cases of censorship.