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Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities was adopted by Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 November 1994. On 1 February 1995, it was opened for signature by the member States and up until the date of entry into force by any other State so invited by the Committee of Ministers. It entered into force on 1 February 1998. As of 28 October 1998, the Framework Convention was ratified by 23 member states.

Article 5 

    1. The Parties undertake to promote the conditions necessary for persons belonging to national minorities to maintain and develop their culture, and to preserve the essential elements of their identity, namely their religion, language, traditions and cultural heritage.
Article 6 
1. The Parties shall encourage a spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and take effective measures to promote mutual respect and understanding and co-operation among all persons living on their territory, irrespective of those persons' ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, in particular in the fields of education, culture and the media. 
2. The Parties undertake to take appropriate measures to protect persons who may be subject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity.
Article 7  
The Parties shall ensure respect for the right of every person belonging to a national minority to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Article 8 
The Parties undertake to recognise that every person belonging to a national minority has the right to manifest his or her religion or belief and to establish religious institutions, organisations and associations.
Article 12 
1. The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the culture, history, language and religion of their national minorities and of the majority. 
Article 17 
1. The Parties undertake not to interfere with the right of persons belonging to national minorities to establish and maintain free and peaceful contacts across frontiers with persons lawfully staying in other States, in particular those with whom they share an ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, or a common cultural heritage. 
Source: ETS Nº 157. A full text version of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities can be found on the Council of Europe. 
 


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