To Promote the Realization of Cultural Rights of Workers
October 14,2014   By:CSHRS

—Taking Beijing New Workers'Culture and Art Festival as an Example

Bu Wei   Sun Heng

Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights. Taking "Beijing New Workers' Culture and Art Festival" as an example, this article describes and analyzes how new workers strive to promote the realization of cultural rights through the framework of human rights, and further promote the realization of human rights. "New workers" are the name for their identities made by a social organization of floating population in Beijing named Beijing's "Home for Workers" Cultural Development Center (hereinafter referred as "Home for Workers"), in order to replace the title "migrant workers" presented in mass media and many other research papers. "Home for Workers" was founded in 2002. It held many festivals in its location-Pi Village in the suburbs of Beijing-where it is a gathering village of floating population. Those festivals includes "The 1st Working Culture and Art Festival" in January, 2009, "The 1st Floating Voice Culture and Art Festival for New Citizens and Children in Beijing" in June, 2009, "The 2nd New Workers' Culture and Art Festival" in October, 2009, and "The 2nd Floating Voice Culture and Art Festival for New Citizens and Children in Beijing" in May, 2010. All these festivals become a banner of new workers' culture in China.

1. Review of International Human Rights Framework: Cultural Rights are An Integral Part of Human Rights.
Talking from the development of human rights' framework, we have experienced the transformation from freedom of speech in media or personal level to cultural rights in citizens' or groups' level. This process marks the dynamic transfer of subjects of right.

In 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights laid the foundation of human rights in the international level. Article 19 points out: everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Article 27 states: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the culture life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

In 1966, the 2200A (XXI) Resolution made by the 21st UN General Assembly adopted International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which identified citizens' economic, social and cultural rights in legal form for the first time throughout the world: the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights. China signed this Covenant in October 1997. The Chinese government submitted the report on implementing this Covenant to the UN for the first time on 27 June 2003. The first article "people's right of self-determination" points out: "all people have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development". Article 15 of Part Ⅲ clearly states: the States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone: (1) to take part in cultural life; (2) to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. "The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status" (See Article 2 of Part Ⅱ of International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).