UNESCO urges more protection for artists who are attacked

In a report titled Defending Creative Voices, released on Thursday, the UN Educational, Science and Cultural Organization said that international communities must do more to protect artists who are caught in armed conflicts, political instability, and disasters.

Emergencies tend to exacerbate the vulnerabilitiespeople working in the arts experience. They face multiple threats, such as online harassment, loss of earnings, legal prosecution, violent acts, censorship and silence.

According to the report, creatives often have no safety nets because of their precarious legal standing.

UNESCO reported that in 2021 a record number of 39 artists had been killed in 12 different countries and 119 others were imprisoned across 24 countries. The data was cited by Freemuse, a non-governmental international organization (NGO), which advocates freedom of artistic expression.

In addition, in that same year, there were more than 1,200 documented violations of artistic freedom around the world.

UNESCO supervises the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions which came into force in 2007.

Only 27 percent of the 152 countries who have ratified this treaty have created or supported safe places for artists.

Over half (53%) have independent bodies to receive complaints and monitor violations of artistic freedom.

UN agency announced also a new $1 million investment to support artistic freedom projects in over 25 countries. Thirteen of the projects are led by governments, and the rest are managed by NGOs.

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