Restoration of Hope: How the Preservation of Sacred Space in Areas of Conflict Protects Human Rights
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Exploring human rights violations in areas of conflict is a very challenging endeavor as the consequences of conflict wreak havoc on communities and the built environment. When sacred space, specifically, has been intentionally and maliciously damaged, a group's right to cultural heritage has been potentially violated. As laid out by numerous international covenants, this is a denial of basic human rights. Therefore, using international human rights laws to set precedents, definitions and guidelines, the preservation of a sacred space after intentional damage can help protect those rights and rectify a wrong committed against a group. Studying the racially motivated bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama as a case study and using human rights legislation to frame preservation work in general, the inherent yet complicated connection between historic preservation and human rights can be explored and understood.