Cultural Diversity for Development & Dialogue


Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity

The United Nations (UN) has promoted Cultural Diversity Day since launching in 2001 a new legal instrument: The UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity. It recognises cultural diversity as the "common heritage of humanity" with concrete and ethical imperative to safeguard.

"It isn't a matter of identifying and safeguarding every culture in isolation, but rather of revitalizing them in order to avoid segregation and cultural entrenchment and prevent conflict. This cultural dialogue has taken a new meaning in the context of globalization and current international climate in politics. Thus it is becoming a vital meaning of maintaining peace and world unity."

Do One Thing For Diversity & Inclusion 

Around the world people are invited to DO ONE THING FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION on May 21. OOFRAS is an official partner in the campaign run by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and United National Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). The Do One Thing For Diversity Facebook page is a hub of stories, media, and action ideas to celebrate diversity and dialogue. 

Do One Thing For Diversity & Inclusion 2013


Occupational therapists promote participation and social inclusion, thus helping to bride this gaps in dialogue between cultures. Considering that the UN cites cultural components in conflictin three quarters of the world major wars, the occupational therapy contribution can create opporutnities for dialogue and development that prevents the displacement experienced by refugees, and reduces the social exclusion experienced after displacement.

Ensuring occupational therapy services are accesible to people with diverse cultural backgrounds, and particularly those with displacement experiences, is a key committment of the profession. This comittment is reflected in the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Position Paper on Human Displacement (2012).  

Ensuring quality outcomes of occupational therapy service are equitable regardless of cultural diversity, is another key committmenet of the profession. This committment is reflected in the the Position Paper on Cultural Diveristy (2010). WFOT members can also log in for the Guiding Principles for Cultural Diversity (2009) under Resources on the WFOT site.

Join in our OOFRAS Diversi-TEA Party

Do "one thing" within your practice for diverity & inclusion

  1. Do a search for multilingual information relevant to your workplace
  2. Do something behind the scenes to include someone different as a guest speaker
  3. Do ask the question why some people are underrepresented in your service
  4. Do learn how to use an interpreter in your work setting
  5. Do some research about the diversity in the district your service cover
  6. Do take the time to find out how to say hello and goodbye in another language
  7. Do invite new arrivals to cater for workplace events to build experience
  8. Do ask how the problem would be described in their culture
  9. Do a survey at work for training requests around serving a diverse community
  10. Do look at the physical surrounds at work to see if it only reflects a monoculture

Do a local Diversi-Tea Party event

  1. Gather! (as citizens, as family, as work mates, as service users. . .you decide)
  2. Share tea! (one massive pot, a variety to try, another culture's tradition. . .you decide)
  3. Share in a cultural exchange! (invite a guest speaker, swap stories about recovering health, skills for working with diversity. . .you decide)

Do share your photo to the global Diversi-TEA photo album

  1. Prepare, share and enjoy drinking some tea
  2. Take a photo showing your flavour of diversity that you bring to this virtually universal occupation
  3. Post your photo to the Diversi-TEA Facebook Album

2013 Do One Thing For Diversity - World Day Cultural Diversity


More Resources

The 2nd World Report on Cultural Diversity takes stock of contemporary thought and action to engage diversity as a resource for development and peace. Read the executive summary of the report: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. Published by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in a range of languages. 

A little invitation to encourage OTs to download the 2009 Guiding Principals for Diversity & Culture from the WFOT site. 

A glimpse at the World Intercultural Dialogue Forum that marks World Cultural Diversity Day.

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