Cultural Appropriation: Indigenous groups call on UN to make it illegal

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Cultural appropriation might be illegal in a a next few years.

Cultural appropriation has been one of the hot terms of 2017.

These days everyone is woke enough to differentiate between cultural appreciation and appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of a culture by a person or people from another culture. This is not a bad thing if you look at this way but it is more layered than this.

 

Indigenous groups tired of having their culture and tradition hijacked by outsiders, they have called on the United Nations to make cultural appropriation illegal.

These groups are asking the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a United Nations agency to bring "effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures" against people guilty of cultural appropriation.

 

189 delegates from the member countries are getting ready to form a committee to look into this. The committee will work on legislation to protect designs, dances, words and medicines of indigenous people.

The dean of law at the University of ColoradoJames Anaya, cited the example of Urban Outfitters which has designs such as  "Navajo hipster panties", "Navajo print flask" and "peace treaty feather necklaces" as some of its products.

 

Mr Anaya spoke to the committee on Monday, June 19, 2017. "He said the document should "obligate states to create effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures to recognise and prevent the non-consensual taking and illegitimate possession, sale and export of traditional cultural expressions."

In 2012, Native Outfitters reached a settlement with the Navajo Nation.



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