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Cultural IP Month 2022 - Press Release

Cultural IP Rights are Human Rights - Together we can change the law!

During April 2022 the Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative® (CIPRI) and its international members hosted the first Cultural IP Month themed Cultural Intellectual Property Rights are Human Rights.

Cultural IP Month consisted of a series of free virtual and face to face events that took place daily for the whole month of April including panel discussions, Knowledge Drops, meet and greets, virtual tours and live workshops. The purpose of these events was to generate a space for conversation, be a catalyst for system change, and to advocate for a new generation of rights that acknowledge Indigenous communities, ethnic groups and local communities’ self determination and collective rights to protecting their cultural expressions and Traditional Knowledge, and value their wisdom and their contributions to ecosystem services.

Cultural Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR) are the rights for Indigenous people, ethnic groups and local communities to determine and control the way their cultural heritage - Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) - are used, developed and sustained from generation to generation. They are recognised to TK and TCEs guardians and custodians and offer legal protection against misappropriation and misuse for an indefinite period of time. With relevance to the fashion and textile industry, CIPR are designed to protect the intellectual work of artisans, craftsmen and craftswomen, and to offer a form of compensation for their contribution to the survival of cultural heritage by transmitting traditional designs, traditional techniques and traditional cultural expressions from generation to generation (CIPRI Website, 2018).

Human rights are universal and implied for every individual, from birth until death, simply for being human. They are a tool to create a world of equity, dignity, social justice and wellbeing. The right to express, nurture and sustain Traditional Knowledge, Traditional Cultural Expressions, and cultural heritage, and the prerogative of cultural heritage being respected, fall under the respect of human rights. These principles are what Cultural Intellectual Property Rights embody.

Cultural IP Month honoured the creativity, wisdom and innovation of Indigenous People, ethnic groups and local communities and advocates that all knowledge systems should be equally valued. Cultural IP Month events showcased an international and multidisciplinary display of knowledge and expertise from Intellectual Property lawyers, designers, artisan communities, business strategists, educators, researchers, social investors and more who are committed to crafting a system which respects Cultural Intellectual Property Rights.

The goal of hosting Cultural IP Month was part of a larger strategy to address systemic issues particularly in Intellectual Property law and the creative industries. CIPRI is working towards changing the law which currently provides limited protection of the creativity, innovation and cultural heritage of Indigenous People, ethnic groups and local communities, and does not comply with the equity, dignity, social justice and wellbeing implied by the respect human rights.

We thank CIPRI’s international network of members who not only recognise CIPR in their actions and projects but prioritise, embody and respect CIPR in their practice. The passion, knowledge, collaboration and innovation demonstrated by the event hosts amplifies CIPR principles to a global audience and builds momentum for systemic change.

We also thank all of the online participants who interacted with the events and content delivered during Cultural IP Month. You are creating systemic change!

In the coming years, we hope to increase the content and projection of Cultural IP Month. We encourage participant engagement from a wide range of professional, personal, cultural and geographical backgrounds. Cultural IP Month is for everyone, from people passionate about cultural sustainability to those who are curious or nervous about starting their journey to learn more about respecting the rights of Indigenous people, ethnic groups and local communities, and contributing in a nourishing, multidisciplinary and dynamic way to making the global Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature a reality by 2050 (formally agreed at an international level under the Convention on Biological Diversity and part of many cultures' philosophies and belief systems).

To learn more and remain updated on upcoming events, follow us on Instagram @culturalintellectualproperty and on LinkedIn.

To commence networking with our thriving community and communicating your support for CIPR immediately, you can download and share our Cultural IP Month templates here:

To have your say about what you would be interested in seeing for Cultural IP Month 2023 and to receive updates, please connect with us and provide us with your feedback here. Whether you have been engaged in the Cultural IP Month or not yet, your input to this short survey will significantly help us bring in more relevant content and engagement opportunities for crafting change.

If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at office@culturalintellectualproperty.

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