NGOs and Ethics

This working group takes the reflections on ethical principles or guidelines for ICH NGO activities further to concrete proposals.
Responsible: Antoine Gauthier (

The Working Group on Ethics was established in 2015 in Windhoek (Namibia) to work, inter alia, on the proposal of 12 ethical principles for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, which were endorsed by the Intergovernmental Committee and then by the General Assembly of the 2003 Convention. The working group then produced, notably, the “Declaration of the ICH NGO Forum in the Republic of Mauritius on Ethical Principles for the Safeguarding of ICH“, endorsed by the General Meeting of the Forum in 2018.

In view of the 14.COM session in Colombia, some members of the working group have collaborated to draft a proposal for the Code and Bylaws of a possible independent organization constituting the ICHNGO Forum (or of a collective of NGOs gathered around a society of good faith in the event that no new legal entity is created). This proposal will be discussed in plenary with all NGO members of the Forum.





Working Group – Thursday 7th of December 2017 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm 

The Ethics Working Group will meet Thursday 7th of December 1.30 pm-2.30 pm in the NGO Forum Room – Samda hall, and is open for everybody to participate.
Dr. Marc Jacobs from the NGO FARO and the UNESCO Chair on ICH at Free University Brussels (Belgium), will present on ICH and Ethics.
We will also work on an international code of ethics proposal for NGOs working in the ICH field. Those interested in joining the Working Group, making an intervention during the meeting, or receiving in advance the proposed text of the code of ethics of the Forum (actually being translated towards English) are welcome to contact Mr. Antoine Gauthier at


Meeting in Bogota (Colombia)

The meeting of the Ethics Working Group in Bogota will be held on Tuesday, December 10, from 18h to 19h30.

It is proposed to start thinking about policies, charters or regulations that can be used for the NGO Forum and/or serve as future tools for all accredited NGOs and Forum partners, for example:

  • Harassment Policy with Resolution Mechanism
  • Directors/Board members Integrity Policy (including some form to sign)
  • Free, prior, informed and sustainable consent forms
  • Environmental policy
  • Wage policy (?)


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