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The cultural rights movement has provoked attention to protect the rights of groups of people, or their culture, in similar fashion to the manner in which the human rights movement has brought attention to the needs of individuals throughout the world.
Cultural Rights are rights related to art and culture, both understood in a large sense. The objective of these rights is to guarantee that people and communities have an access to culture and can participate in the culture of their election. Cultural rights are human rights that aim at assuring the enjoyment of culture and its components in conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination. They are rights related to themes such as language; cultural and artistic production; participation in cultural life; cultural heritage; intellectual property rights; author’s rights; minorities and access to culture, among others. Focusing less on the preservation of cultures as an end in itself and more on the realization of "ecological" relations between cultural groups as a condition for equitable interactions and the potential for organic cultural change, Gregory Paul Meyjes proposes the interchangeable terms cultural justice and ethno-cultural justice and intercultural justice — which he defines as societal and institutional policies that seek to accommodate the culturally-specific rights and attitudes of minority groups and their members, within the legal, regulatory, or policy limits of the institution, community, or society concerned (also see universalization).
Cultural rights of groups focus on such things as religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous societies that are in danger of disappearing. Cultural rights include a group’s ability to preserve its way of life, such as child rearing, continuation of language, and security of its economic base in the nation, which it is located. The related notion of indigenous intellectual property rights (IPR) has arisen in attempt to conserve each society’s culture base and essentially prevent ethnocide.
The cultural rights movement has been popularized because much traditional cultural knowledge has commercial value, like ethno-medicine, cosmetics, cultivated plants, foods, folklore, arts, crafts, songs, dances, costumes, and rituals. Studying ancient cultures may reveal evidence about the history of the human race and shed more light on our origin and successive cultural development. However, the study, sharing and commercialization of such cultural aspects can be hard to achieve without infringing upon the cultural rights of those who are a part of that culture.
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