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1980 UNESCO Recommendation as relevant as ever

The report on the state of implementation of the UNESCO 1980 Recommendation regarding the Status of the Artist has just been released. Based on a wide survey of governments and sectoral NGOs, this document focuses on digital technologies, mobility, social security and freedom of expression.

Whilst reporting on some good practices and positive developments in some areas, especially in the field of social protection, the report clearly shows that only a handful of countries have taken a holistic approach to promoting laws and policies that encourage creative expression and ensure an equitable environment for artists tailored to the unique circumstances in which they work. In most other cases, the report shows a rather patchy approach to the needs of professional artists, leaving important gaps that still need to be addressed.

The report underlines the contemporary nature of the 1980 UNESCO Recommendation in its ability to inspire governments, still today, as they devise more sustainable and respectful environments in the field of arts and culture. It also stresses the fundamental hurdles that most artists continue to be confronted with as they seek to cross borders to pursue their profession. Finally, the Report also warns about the need to promote and protect cultural diversity also in the online environment and ensure that artists are properly remunerated whenever their works are made available there.

Among its concluding remarks, the Report recommends training the member States to properly implement the UNESCO Recommendation, hosting an international conference to promote a culturally diverse and fair online environment and tighter cooperation, at national level, between governments, artists and their associations.