Voice & Privacy

Operations affect cultural, spiritual or religious traditions of community


People have a right to practise and maintain their cultural, spiritual and religious traditions. A business’s operations, rules and policies may directly or indirectly impact the ability to undertake these cultural practices. Business operations may affect the practice of cultural, spiritual or religious traditions through the use or destruction of land, property or other sites or objects associated with cultural heritage. Businesses should promote and facilitate the exercise of cultural rights by workers. The destruction of cultural, spiritual or religious traditions can significantly affect the continuing survival of a community.


Businesses should consider conducting education and training modules (for example, on indigenous heritage) for its workforce, and identify possible areas for enhancement of local communities’ cultural rights (for example, construction of schools, theatres, museums, sporting arenas, etc). Companies should conduct regular cultural satisfaction surveys in local communities, with data captured and analysed, and reported if complaint thresholds are breached.


The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the world’s Indigenous Peoples, and elaborates on how existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms apply specifically to Indigenous Peoples. 

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Article 18, 27
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, Article 18, 27
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, Article 15
Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, 1981
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007

SDG 11


SDG 11.4

Preventing or mitigating the risk of affecting cultural, spiritual or religious community traditions assists in achieving SDG 11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.