November 4, 2015

Cultural Heritage and Human Rights In War

Ana Filipa Vrdoljak, University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law, is publishing Cultural Heritage, Human Rights and the Privatisation of War in Heritage, Culture and Rights: Challenging Legal Discourses (A. Durbach and L. Lixinski, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2016). Here is the abstract.
This chapter focuses on the legal issues raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on cultural rights and cultural heritage during military engagements. It is divided into four parts. First, there is an examination of the current debate amongst heritage practitioners, 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 and human rights provisions covering cultural rights and cultural heritage during armed conflict and occupation. Third, the response of professional bodies and associations of heritage practitioners through their codes of ethics and public pronouncements to these emerging challenges is detailed. Finally, there is a brief explanation of international initiatives to regulate the activities of PMSCs. It is clear that the rapidly changing face of war has not only revealed the limitations of existing international law; but the efforts of professional bodies and industry to ‘regulate’ these activities through codes of ethics and good practice guidelines cannot fully address the shortcomings.

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