Right to Culture


The concept of the “Right to Culture” is an essential part of human rights and is recognized in various international treaties and agreements, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and other instruments.

The right to culture broadly encompasses the following aspects:

  • Cultural Identity and Participation

Individuals and communities have the right to freely participate in their cultural life, practice their own cultural traditions, languages, and customs without discrimination. This includes the right to maintain, express, and transmit their cultural heritage and identity.

  • Access to Cultural Heritage

People have the right to access and enjoy cultural heritage, including access to cultural sites, monuments, museums, literature, arts, and scientific achievements. This involves preserving and protecting cultural heritage for present and future generations.

  • Cultural Diversity and Tolerance

The right to culture emphasizes the importance of respecting and promoting cultural diversity. It involves fostering tolerance, understanding, and dialogue among different cultures, ensuring the protection of minority cultures, languages, and traditions.

  • Education and Cultural Rights

Education plays a vital role in promoting cultural understanding and respect. The right to culture includes access to education that respects and reflects various cultural backgrounds, languages, and traditions.

The right to culture aims to ensure that individuals and communities have the freedom to preserve, develop, and express their cultural identities without discrimination or suppression. States are encouraged to take measures to protect cultural rights, promote cultural diversity, and foster mutual respect and understanding among different cultures within their territories.

Constitution of Pakistan

The Constitution of Pakistan doesn’t explicitly have a standalone article dedicated to the “Right to Culture,” however there are specific articles indirectly address elements related to cultural rights, preservation of languages, safeguarding of cultural heritage, and the promotion of cultural diversity within the country.

  • Article 20

This article protects the freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions. It indirectly safeguards the cultural rights of minorities by allowing them to practice and preserve their cultural and religious customs without discrimination.

  • Article 28

It ensures the preservation of language, script, and culture. It states that any community with a distinct language, script, or culture shall have the right to preserve and promote it.

  • Article 31

This article discusses the promotion of the Urdu language and its use for official and other purposes, while also encouraging provincial assemblies to adopt measures for the teaching, promotion, and use of provincial languages in education, administration, and mass media.

  • Article 33

It addresses the protection of historical sites and monuments by declaring it a duty of the state to safeguard and preserve places of historic, cultural, and religious significance.

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