This chapter introduces the ethical principles for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, and how they relate to the ethical issues encountered in safeguarding. Common ethical issues are raised, as well as possible approaches to address these to ensure ethical safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. To illustrate the importance of ethics, cases of ICH safeguarding where these ethical principles were well observed are introduced and assessed. A hypothetical case with poor ethical standards is introduced, as well, for a clearer presentation. Some of the questions to reflect on will be: How and who decides on which living heritage needs to be safeguarded? How and by whom can it be safeguarded? Who may participate in the safeguarding process? Who should benefit from the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage? What should be done in cases of disagreement between different groups within a community or between different stakeholders?
How is intangible cultural heritage – or ‘living heritage’ – related to sustainable development? Why is it important to keep heritage alive? Learn about the relationship between intangible cultural heritage safeguarding and relevant development areas such as gender equality, cultural diversity and creativity, education, health, income generation and natural disasters and peacebuilding.
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