The Info List - Minority Rights

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Minority rights are the normal individual rights as applied to members of racial, ethnic, class, religious, linguistic or gender and sexual minorities; and also the collective rights accorded to minority groups. Minority rights may also apply simply to individual rights of anyone who is not part of a majority decision. Civil rights movements
Civil rights movements
often seek to ensure that individual rights are not denied on the basis of membership in a minority group, such as global women's rights and global LGBT
rights movements, or the various racial minority rights movements around the world (such as the Civil Rights
Movement in the United States).


1 History

1.1 Minority rights at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 1.2 International law

2 National minorities in the law of the EC/EU 3 See also 4 Bibliography

4.1 External links

5 References 6 External links

History[edit] The issue of minority rights was first raised in 1814, at the Congress of Vienna, which discussed the fate of German Jews and especially of the Poles
who were once again partitioned up. The Congress expressed hope that Prussia, Russia, and Austria
would grant tolerance and protection to their minorities, which ultimately they disregarded, engaging in organized discrimination. The 1856 Congress of Paris
Congress of Paris
paid special attention to the status of Jews and Christians in the Ottoman Empire. In Britain, William Gladstone made the massacres of Bulgarians
by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
a major campaign issue and demanded international attention. The Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
in 1878 dealt with the status of Jews in Romania, especially, and also Serbia, and Bulgaria. On the whole, the 19th century congresses failed to impose significant reforms. Russia
was especially active in protecting Orthodox Christians and Slavic peoples under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Persecution or discrimination against specific minorities was increasingly the subject of media attention, and the Jews began to organize to protest the pogroms in Russia. However, there was little international outrage regarding treatment of other minorities, such as black people in the southern United States. The first minority rights were proclaimed and enacted by the revolutionary Parliament of Hungary in July 1849.[1] Minority rights were codified in Austrian law in 1867.[2] Minority rights at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919[edit] For information about Minority rights at the Paris conference, see Minority Treaties. At the Versailles Peace Conference the Supreme Council established 'The Committee on New States and for The Protection of Minorities'. All the new successor states were compelled to sign minority rights treaties as a precondition of diplomatic recognition. It was agreed that although the new states had been recognized, they had not been 'created' before the signatures of the final peace treaties. The issue of German and Polish rights was a point of dispute as Polish rights in Germany remained unprotected, unlike the German minority in Poland. Like other principles adopted by the League, the Minorities Treaties were a part of the Wilsonian idealist approach to international relations; like the League itself, the Minority Treaties were increasingly ignored by the respective governments, with the entire system mostly collapsing in the late 1930s. Despite the political failure, they remained the basis of international law. After World War II, the legal principles were incorporated in the UN Charter and a host of international human rights treaties. International law[edit] Minority rights, as applying to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples, are an integral part of international human rights law. Like children's rights, women's rights and refugee rights, minority rights are a legal framework designed to ensure that a specific group which is in a vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalized position in society, is able to achieve equality and is protected from persecution. The first postwar international treaty to protect minorities, designed to protect them from the greatest threat to their existence, was the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Subsequent human rights standards that codify minority rights include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(Article 27), the United Nations
United Nations
Declaration on the Rights
of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, two Council of Europe treaties (the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Copenhagen Document of 1990. Minority rights cover protection of existence, protection from discrimination and persecution, protection and promotion of identity, and participation in political life. For the rights of LGBT
people, the Yogyakarta Principles
Yogyakarta Principles
have been approved by the United Nations Human Rights
Council. For the rights of persons with disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
has been adopted by United Nations
United Nations
General Assembly. To protect minority rights, many countries have specific laws and/or commissions or ombudsman institutions (for example the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for National and Ethnic
Minorities Rights).[3] While initially, the United Nations
United Nations
treated indigenous peoples as a sub-category of minorities, there is an expanding body of international law specifically devoted to them, in particular Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization
International Labour Organization
and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
(adopted 14 September 2007). In 2008, a declaration on LGBT
rights was presented in the UN General Assembly, and in 2011, a LGBT
rights resolution was passed in the United Nations
United Nations
Human Rights
Council (See LGBT
rights at the United Nations). There are many political bodies which also feature minority group rights, which might be seen in affirmative action quotas or in guaranteed minority representation in a consociational state. National minorities in the law of the EC/EU[edit] The direct role of the European Union
European Union
(and also the law of the EU/EC) in the area of protection of national minorities is still very limited (likewise the general protection of human rights). The EU has relied on general international law and a European regional system of international law (based on the Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, etc.) and in a case of necessity accepted their norms. But the “de-economisation of European integration”, which started in the 1990s, is changing this situation. The political relevance of national minorities' protection is very high. Now (2009), although protection of the national minorities has not become a generally accepted legally binding principle of the EU, in several legal acts issues of national minorities are mentioned. In external relations protection of national minorities became one of the main criteria for cooperation with the EU or accession.[4] See also[edit]


Theoretical distinctions

Claim rights and liberty rights Individual and group rights Natural and legal rights Negative and positive rights

Human rights

Civil and political Economic, social and cultural Three generations

by beneficiary

Animals Authors Children Consumers Creditors Elders Fathers Fetuses Gun owners Humans Natives Intersex Kings LGBT Men Minorities Mothers Patients Plants Prisoners Students Victims Women Workers Youth Disabled persons

Other groups of rights

Civil liberties Digital Linguistic Property Reproductive Self-determination
of people Water and sanitation

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Affirmative action Civil rights Cultural rights European Centre for Minority Issues Environmental racism Global Human Rights
Defence Human rights Intersex human rights Linguistic rights Autism rights movement LGBT
rights in the United States Marek Edelman Minority Rights
Group International Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Social vulnerability Tyranny of the majority The Yogyakarta Principles


Barzilai, G. 2003. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Fink, Carole. 2006. Defending the Rights
of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection, 1878-1938 excerpt and text search Henrard, K. 2000. Devising an Adequate System of Minority Protection: Individual Human Rights, Minority Rights, and the Right to Self-Determination Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers Jackson Preece, J. 2005. Minority Rights: Between Diversity and Community Cambridge: Polity Press Malloy, T.H. 2005. National Minority Rights
in Europe Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Pentassuglia, G. 2002. Minorities in international law: an introductory study Strasbourg: Council of Europe
Council of Europe
Publications Šmihula, D. 2008. "National Minorities in the Law of the EC/EU", Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 8 no. 3, pp. 2008, pp. 51–81. online Thornberry, P. 1991. International Law and the Rights
of Minorities. Oxford: Clarendon Press Weller, M. (ed.) 2006. The Rights
of Minorities in Europe: A Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Weller, M., Denika Blacklock and Katherine Nobbs (eds.) 2008. The Protection of Minorities in the Wider Europe Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

External links[edit]

Gabriel N. Toggenburg, Minority Protection and the European Union, OSI, Budapest 2004 Gabriel N. Toggenburg / Günther Rautz, Das ABC des Minderheitenschutz in Europa, Böhlau, Wien 2010 Gabriel N. Toggenburg, The Union's role vis-a-vis its minorities after the enlargement decade: a remaining share or a new part?, European University Institute, Florence 2006


^ Laszlo Peter, Martyn C. Rady, Peter A. Sherwood: Lajos Kossuth sas word...: papers delivered on the occasion of the bicentenary of Kossuth's birth (page 101) ^ Staatsgrundgesetz vom 21. Dezember 1867 (R.G.Bl. 142/1867), über die allgemeinen Rechte der Staatsbürger für die im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. — see Article 19 (in German) ^ Homepage of the Parliamentary Commissioner Archived 23 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Daniel Šmihula (2008). National Minorities in the Law of the EC/EU in Romanian Journal of European Affairs, Vol. 8 no. 3, Sep. 2008, pp.51-81. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

U.N. Declaration on the Rights
of Minorities

Commentary to the Declaration on the Rights
of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities[permanent dead link], United Nations
United Nations
Working Group on Minorities

U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues U.N. Forum on Minority Issues, its recommendations U.N. Special
Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Minority Rights
Group International Minority rights implemented at grassroot level OSCE Copenhagen Document 1990 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Hague recommendations regarding the education rights of national minorities & explanatory note Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Oslo recommendation regarding the linguistic rights of national minorities Congress of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
Recommendation 222 (2007) Language Education in Regional or Minority Languages Compilation of reports and opinions concerning the protection of national minorities Venice Commission Documents submitted to the Working Group on Minorities that was replaced by the Forum on Minority Issues, established by Human Rights Council resolution 6/15 "Protecting and promoting minorities" In: D+C, Vol.42.2015:5[1]

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Related concepts

Clan Ethnic

Ethnolinguistic group Ethnoreligious group

Indigenous peoples Ingroups and outgroups Meta-ethnicity Metroethnicity Minority group Monoethnicity Nation Nationality Panethnicity Polyethnicity Population Race Symbolic ethnicity Tribe


Anthropology Ethnic
studies Ethnoarchaeology Ethnobiology

Ethnobotany Ethnozoology Ethnoecology

Ethnocinema Ethnogeology Ethnography

Autoethnography Clinical Critical Cyber- Netnography Online Person-centered Salvage Transidioethnography Video

Ethnohistory Ethnolinguistics Ethnology Ethnomathematics Ethnomethodology Ethnomuseology Ethnomusicology Ethnophilosophy Ethnopoetics Ethnoscience Ethnosemiotics Ethnotaxonomy

Groups by region


Arab League


Indigenous Canada Mexico United States Central America South America


Central Asia East Asia Northern Asia South Asia Southeast Asia West Asia



Europe Oceania

Indigenous European

Identity and ethnogenesis

Cross-race effect Cultural assimilation Cultural identity Demonym Development Endonym Ethnic
flag Ethnic
option Ethnic
origin Ethnic
religion Ethnicity in census Ethnofiction Ethnonym Folk religion Historical Imagined community Kinship Legendary progenitor Lineage-bonded society Mythomoteur Mores Nation-building Nation state National language National myth Origin myth Pantribal sodality Tribal name Tribalism Urheimat

Multiethnic society

Consociationalism Diaspora politics Dominant minority Ethnic
democracy Ethnic
enclave Ethnic
interest group Ethnic
majority Ethnic
media Ethnic
pornography Ethnic
theme park Ethnoburb Ethnocracy Indigenous rights Middleman minority Minority rights Model minority Multinational state

Ideology and ethnic conflict

bioweapon Ethnic
cleansing Ethnic
hatred Ethnic
joke Ethnic
nationalism Ethnic
nepotism Ethnic
penalty Ethnic
slur Ethnic
stereotype Ethnic
violence Ethnocentrism Ethnocide Ethnosymbolism Indigenism Separatist movements Xenophobia

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Indigenous and minority rights


Ancestral domain Free, prior and informed consent Intellectual property Land rights Language Self-determination

in Australia in Canada in the United States

Traditional knowledge Treaty rights

Governmental organizations

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Arctic Council Bureau of Indian Affairs Council of Indigenous Peoples(Taiwan) Fundação Nacional do Índio Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (Philippines) United Nations
United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Non-governmental and political organizations

Amazon Watch Assembly of First Nations Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin Cultural Survival Indigenous Environmental Network Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs National Indigenous Organization of Colombia Native American Rights
Fund Survival International Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization Zapatista Army of National Liberation (more ...)


Civilizing mission Colonialism

Internal colonialism Settler colonialism

Cultural appropriation

Sports mascots Redface

Dakota Access Pipeline protests Discovery doctrine Homeland Lands inhabited by indigenous peoples

Bantustan American Indian reservation Indian reserve Ranchería

Manifest destiny Plastic shaman Rainbow Warriors Two-Spirit

Legal representation

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples, 2007

Historical cases

2009 Peruvian political crisis Alta controversy Chiapas conflict Depopulation of Diego Garcia High Arctic relocation Indian removal Mapuche conflict Oka Crisis Residential Schools

Canada New Zealand South Africa United States

Rubber boom San controversy Stolen Generations

Human Rights Indigenous rights
Indigenous rights
• Minority rights

^ ""Protecting and promoting minorities" German Institute for Human Rights
(DIMR)". In: D+C, Vo