The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was agreed in 1966 and came into force in 1976. It guarantees the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), confirming in Article 15 that “Every human being has the right: (a) To take part in cultural life; (b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications; (c) to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author”. As interpreted by the ICESCR Committe, this encompasses an obligation to preserve cultural heritage from vandalism, theft and destruction.

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