International Council on Monuments and Sites



In celebration of more than 10 years of ICOMOS contribution to the promotion of Rights-Based Approaches and to building awareness of rights issues in World Heritage and heritage management, the ICOMOS Our Common Dignity – Rights Based Approaches Working Group (OCD-RBA WG) has assembled an e-publication with the goal of documenting the working group’s experiences and providing resources and tools for caretakers of cultural heritage.

The e-publication chronicles the history and milestones of the working group since its inception in 2011, documenting key takeaways and lessons learnt from an array of workshops, case studies, and training events. The e-publication will serve as a repository of relevant documents and reports that have emerged from the group’s activities and was launched at the 21st ICOMOS General Assembly in Sydney Australia in September 2023.

The E-publication is available in the ICOMOS Open Archive at, published with financial support from ICOMOS Norway.

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In 2017 the Our Common Dignity Initiative produced a comprehensive report entitled Taking stock and looking forward, edited by Amund Sinding-Larsen and Peter Bille Larsen. The report documents work carried out between 2011 and 2016 by the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention – ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN, and their cooperation through the Our Common Dignity Initiative.

This seminal report records key results of the Our Common Dignity Initiative on rights and World Heritage from the founding workshop in 2011, through six years of training efforts, debates, analysis, pilot studies, and numerous activities. It was launched during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Krakow, Poland, in July 2017, summarises the key events and lessons of the initiative and looks forward towards current and future challenges and opportunities.

The publication is available in ICOMOS Open Archive


Alerts on human rights violations within World Heritage sites have repeatedly caused global public attention.

In 2007 Amund Sinding-Larsen, then President of ICOMOS Norway, launched the idea of The Our Common Dignity Initiative. The objective of the initiative was to explore rights issues in World Heritage and general heritage management.

The following year a national conference World Heritage and Human Rights: Conflicts or Cooperation? was organised in Oslo, Norway, through the cooperation of four institutions – the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and with ICOMOS Norway as coordinator.

Follow-ups the coming years investigated ‘good practice’ approaches aiming at developing and promoting relevant tools and guidelines, in particular for World Heritage, from tentative lists and nominations through to the conservation and management of heritage resources.

In 2011, the Our Common Dignity Initiative expanded into a cooperation project between the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention – ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN.


Gazzola Prize awarded to Amund Sinding-Larsen

In 2022 Amund Sinding-Larsen received the highest honour of ICOMOS, when he was awarded the Gazzola Prize at the 20th ICOMOS General Assembly. He was awarded due to four decades of service and fieldwork in Africa, the Middle East and Asia which brought home to Amund the importance of the rights of people to heritage, and of the need to involve local communities from the recognition of heritage sites through to management and caretaking.

Sist oppdatert: 15/11/2023

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