Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001)
The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001. It entered into force internationally on 2 January 2009, 3 months after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification. As at 29 August 2017, the Convention had been ratified by 57 States. The genesis of the Convention was in 1988, and it was therefore the product of 13 years of drafting work and negotiations.
The Convention is an international treaty which is designed to create a comprehensive and uniform legal framework to regulate human interference with underwater cultural heritage (UCH) in order to ensure that such heritage is preserved for the benefit of humanity. For the most part, its provisions are aimed at regulating activities which are “directed at” UCH, in other words activities conducted with an intention to physically disturb UCH. Therefore, while the Convention is primarily aimed at...
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