Supporting artists in Mauritius: UNESCO helps design new law

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From 31 January – 17 February 2017, a first technical assistance mission will take place in the Republic of Mauritius to support the Ministry of Arts and Culture in designing new legislation on the Status of the Artists. The law aims to stimulate artistic creation and the economic and social rights of artists. Vesna Čopič, member of the 2005 Convention Expert Facility, will provide advice and expertise.

The mission will help foster discussions between representatives from several ministries, as well as from civil society and the private sector. Emphasis will be placed on interministerial cooperation, involving the Ministries of Labour, Employment, Social Security, Education, Finance, Social Integration, and Foreign Affairs.

They will exchange ideas and share advice on the working and social status of artists, on fiscal issues, the financial resources of artists, management services, as well as on education and training.

This new legislation will take into consideration many of the key provisions of the 2005 Convention on the Promotion and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which Mauritius ratified in 2006. It will also draw upon the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, which states that artists play an important role in the life and development of society and should therefore receive the legal, social and economic advantages of other workers.

This technical assistance mission is part of UNESCO’s new Aschberg programme for artists and cultural professionals designed to facilitate the mobility of artists and increase their access to global markets. More specifically, it aims to strengthen institutional and legal frameworks, which allow for “preferential treatment” for artists and cultural professionals, as per Article 16 of the 2005 Convention.

Ms Čopič will return in a few months to refine, with all partners, a set of final proposals and provisions for the draft law.