UNESCO launches Global Survey on Status of the Artist

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific Organization (UNESCO) is launching a global survey on policies and measures taken around the world to support the economic and social rights of artists.

The UNESCO’s 2018 Global Report 2018 titled Re-shaping Cultural Policies saya artist’s employment and social status continue to be precarious having low access to social security, pensions and other welfare provisions.

The report is the finding from a survey designed to focus on three thematic areas: culture in the digital environment; transnational mobility of artists and flow of artistic works; and social and economic rights, artistic freedom and gender equality.

Aligned with core policy issues addressed by the UNESCO recommendation on the status of the artist, the online questionnaire is available for UNESCO member states and relevant national and international non-governmental organizations.

The recommendation, adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 1980,  calls upon governments to improve the professional, social and economic status of artists through the implementation of policies and measures related to training, social security, employment, income and tax conditions, mobility, and freedom of expression.

The obligation of strengthening the legislation to resolve these issues has given over the last years a renewed impetus to UNESCO’s action. Through its Aschberg programme, and under the framework of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, technical assistance is provided to countries wishing to develop or revise their legislative framework for artists and cultural professionals. The Republic of Mauritius has benefited from this dedicated support in 2017 to design such a new regulatory environment.

The findings of the survey will be presented by the UNESCO Director-General to the 40th session of the General Conference in autumn 2019.