Delegates from 189 countries are meeting in Geneva this week where Indigenous advocates from around the world have called on a United Nations committee to ban the appropriation of Indigenous cultures.
The meeting takes place as concern grows worldwide about the rights of cultures to control their own materials. In the U.S. this week, designer Tory Burch agreed to change the description of one of her coats for women after Romanians protested that it had been described as African-inspired when it actually appropriated a traditional Romanian garment.
On Monday, dean of law at the University of Colorado, James Anaya, said that the UN should “obligate states to create effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures to recognize and prevent the non-consensual taking and illegitimate possession, sale and export of traditional cultural expressions.”
For 16 years, the committee has been working on international legislation that would essentially prohibit the cultural appropriation of things like “Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines.”
So is the actual argument here don’t use medicine if it was not created by your people?
The report did not mention whether Indigenous people would be rejecting the appropriation of pharmaceutical medicines and other aspects of modern Western culture.
The UN continues their wonderful work in making the world a better place.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.