Creating the legal framework for diversity of cultural expressions

Republic of Korea
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and local government
Key objectives of the measure:

The act and decree on cultural diversity are designed to enhance the quality of individuals’ cultural lives and to foster social integration and creation of a new culture based on cultural diversity.

Scope of the measure:
Local, Regional, National
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

1. The act entails cultural diversity and expressions based on the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity. It prescribes the responsibilities of central and local governments; basic matters relating to formulation, execution, etc. of basic plans for cultural diversity; establishment of the Cultural Diversity Committee under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister; preparation of a national report under the UNESCO convention; actual status surveys on cultural diversity and annual reports; designation of the Day of Cultural Diversity; and support for protection and promotion of cultural diversity. 
2. The ordinances issued by local governments on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity total 20, including other ordinances related to cultural diversity. Seven municipalities have enacted ordinances focused on cultural diversity: Seoul Metropolitan Government (on May 18, 2017), Busan Metropolitan Government (Mar. 22, 2017), Gwangju Metropolitan Government (Jan. 1, 2017), Gyeonggi Municipal Government (Mar. 13, 2017), Chungcheongbuk-do Municipal Government (Nov. 10, 2017), Jeollanam-do Municipal Government (Dec. 1, 2016) and Jeju Special Self-governing Province (Jun. 2, 2017). Main points of the ordinances are similar to the act on cultural diversity, but the ordinances provide an institutional basis from which to disseminate the value of cultural diversity at local communities through the ad hoc local consultative organs. Busan Metropolitan Government, in particular, has encapsulated in eight versions of its declaration its aims to pursue cultural diversity.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

1. The expected results of the Act from institutional and practical points of view are as follows. From an institutional perspective, first, the Act provides a basis for a more flexible implementation of cultural diversity projects. Second, it provides a foundation for sound coexistence of various members of society. In other words, it would narrow the gap in cultural and artistic preferences influenced by nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, generation, physical ability and sexual orientation, and lay the basis for resolving cultural conflicts caused by differences in religion, locality, tradition, income level and marital status. From a practical perspective, the Act would help Korea, as a party to the Convention on Cultural Diversity, establish concrete action plans.
2. The municipalities intend to improve the understanding of cultural diversity by prescribing the policies and action plans in the ordinances to protect and promote cultural diversity at the local level. Higher receptiveness to various cultures is expected to engender integration of community and creation of new cultures.

Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)