Cultural rights are becoming an increasingly important area of human rights discussion given the association between culture, identity and social equity. The subject is considered here in the context of how the absence of cultural rights influences both the recognition of the diversity of cultures and the capacity of some to access and practice art. Culture and arts practices are intertwined but certain arts practices are prioritised over others by funding bodies, governments and institutions. Recent examples from Australia are highlighted, in which changes to the cultural makeup of the country are occurring at a rapid rate without adequate responses from governments to address funding inequities. It is argued here that unless cultural rights are seen as a basic human right and embedded in the legal national framework, then sectors of the broader community are disenfranchised.