UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

The Declaration in the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities was adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1992/16, 21 February 1992 and by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/135 on 18 December 1992.

Article 1

    1. States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories, and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity. [...]

Article 2

    1. Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (hereinafter referred to as persons belonging to minorities) have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination. [...]
    5. Persons belonging to minorities have the right to establish and maintain, without any discimination, free and peaceful contacts with other members of their group, with persons belonging to other minorities, as well as contacts across frontiers with citizens of other States to whom they are related by national or ethnic, religious or linguistic ties.

Article 4

    2. States shall take measures to create favourable conditions to enable persons belonging to minorities to express their characteristics and to develop their culture, language, religion, traditions and customs, except where specific practices are in violation of national law and contrary to international standards.
    3. States should take appropriate measures so that, wherever possible, persons belonging to minorities have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue or to have instruction in their mother tongue.
    4. States should, where appropriate, take measures in the field of education, in order to encourage the knowledge of the history, traditions, language and culture of the minorities existing within their territory. Persons belonging to minorities should have adequate opportunities to gain knowledge of the society as a whole.

Source: UN Doc. E/CN.4/1992/48 & Corr. 1 (1992) at 16-19

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