Cultural Rights: The Potential Impact of Private Military and Security Companies
Title: Cultural Rights: The Potential Impact of Private Military and Security Companies
Author: VRDOLJAK, Ana Filipa
Series/Report no.: EUI AEL; 2009/21; PRIV-WAR project
Culture and its protection has been present in the earliest codifications of the laws of war and international humanitarian law, both in its physical manifestations as cultural heritage and its practice and enjoyment as cultural rights. However, the engagement of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in recent conflicts has again raised the vexed issue of the role of ‘culture’ and heritage professionals in armed conflicts and belligerent occupation. This debate has in turn exposed the limitations of existing IHL and human rights instruments. To complement the PRIV-WAR project’s current and projected work, this report is divided into four parts. First, there is an examination of the current debate amongst heritage professionals, particularly archaeologists and anthropologists, about their professional engagement with PMSCs in recent conflicts and belligerent occupation. Second, there is an overview of existing international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights (HR) provisions covering cultural rights and cultural heritage during armed conflict and occupation. Third, the response of professional bodies and associations of heritage professionals through their codes of ethics and public pronouncements to these emerging challenges is detailed. Finally, in the light of this, the existing lacunae in international law are exposed and challenges for the protection of cultural rights and cultural heritage specifically are outlined.
Type of Access: openAccess