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by Francesco Capotorti
Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission
on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities

fle-w York, 1979

Symbols of United Nations documents are composed of capital letters combined with
figures, Mention of such a symbol indicates a reference to a United Nations document.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not
imply the expression of any opinion whatsover on the part of the Secretariat of the United
Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities,
or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The opinions expressed in the present study are those of the Special Rapporteur.


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For quite a long time (at least 20 years) after the end of the Second World War, it was
thought-and stated in writing-that the question of international protection of minorities was
no longer topical. The system of protection built up under the League of Nations had collapsed
with the demise of that organization, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted
in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations did not mention the question of the
treatment of persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities. Moreover, the
emphasis placed in the international legal order on the imperative need to ensure respect for
basic human rights seemed to imply that it was no longer necessary to protect in any special
f way the interests of minority groups or, more specifically, of individuaIs belonging to such
Bring the last few years, however, that view has proved to be mistaken. The Insertion in
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of an article specifically concerning the
situation of persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities wasthe most obvious
f (although not the only) indication of a reversal of that tendency. It was realized that there
would be a serious gap in the list of internationally guaranteed human rights if the rights of
persons belonging to such minorities were not included. It was recognized that the experience
of the Leagueof Nations in the area of protection of minorities was one of that institutions
most important legacies, llle question now being asked is what means can be taken to put into
practice the principles set out in article 27 of the Covenant and to what extent it is desirable
and possible to develop them.
This is the justification for the present study, which demonstrates the attention which is
again being paid to the question of the international protection of minorities. Information
concerning the initial commissioning of the study and its nature and objectives is given in
annex I. It seems necessary, however, to stress at the outset one significant fact: this is the first
time during the 30 years of its existence that the Sub-Commission-a body which has been
engaged in intensive, continuing and successfuJ action aimed at preventing all kinds of
discrimination-has shown, by producing a special report, its desire to examine in depth the
! problem of the juridical treatment of minorities.
I The readers attention must be drawn to certain special features of the study, In the first
place, the study is limited by the Special Rapporteurs mandate from the SubXommission. In
accordance with this mandate, all the questions of law and of fact connected with the principles
enunciated in article 27 of the Covenant have been studied (this has included an analysis of the
concept of minority and of the situation of groups in multinational societies). The study does
not cover, however, anything that is not connected with those principles (e.g. the special
problems of minorities other than ethnic, religious of linguistic and the tragic question of
I majorities subject to oppression and discrimination-such as the black majority in South
Africa-for which article 27 cannot provide an effective remedy). It was furthermore necessary
to take account of the procedure followed in preparing studies undertaken by the
, Sub-Commission. TraditionalIy, in the preparation of such studies, very considerable use is
made of official information provided by Governments. The Special Rapporteur also took
account of the opinions expressed in the Sub-Commission during the discussion on the
preliminary and interim reports which he submitted, Consequently, although the Special
Rapporteur assumes responsibility for the statements and ideas contained in the study, it would
be inaccurate to regard his work as the result of individual scientific research. He would like to
mention here the vduable help provided by the Secretariats unfailing and most efficient
A third point which should be mentioned is that the Special Rapporteurs training and
mentality as a jurist naturally influenced his approach to the various aspects of the subject. As
defied in his mandate, the question is essentially a legal one; it concerns the scope an
application of principles of law enbnciated in an international convention, Their political and
social implications could obviously not be neglected and in fact have not been; but this has not
prevented the study from having an essentially legal character.
See article 27 of the Covenant, whichreads:
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to
such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of of their group,
to enjoy own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their ownlanguage.

It should bc emphasized finally that the present study will be all the more useful ifit leads
to I!&& work which aims to examine in detail tl;e many questions connected with the situation
of minorities, work which is obviously necessary. The study does not purport to be exhaustive.
Ihe Special Rapporteur is conscious of the fact that the large amount of data available would
justify an analysis in even greater depth. The analysis and comparison of the information was
sometimes rendered difficult by the heterogeneous nature of the documentation, which reflects
the diversity of the situations which prevail, and by the fact that the amount and accuracy of
the information received were not the same for all the countries studied. The study may,
however, serve to stimulate wider discussion, because of the views expressed in it and the
factual information which it contains.
Obviously, if practical results arc to be achieved, States must be sincere in their acceptance
of the idea of international protection of minorities and show a firm determination to observe
the principles enunciated in article 27 of the Covenant. Admittedly, there are several obstacles
to the genera1 adoption of such an attitude. Any international regime for the protection of
members of minority groups arouses distrust and fear. It is first seen as a pretext for
interference in the internal affairs of States (particularly where the minoritics have ethnic or
linguistic links with foreign States). Secondly, the very different situations of minorities in the
various countries make States sceptica of a juridical approach to the problem at the world level
and they wonder how uniform rules can be applied to profoundly different situations.
Moreover, certain States regard the preservation of the identify of minorities as posing a threat
to their unity and stability. Another argument put forward is that the special measures of
protection aimed at ensuring true equality as between the majority and the minority in each
country inevitably lead to differences in treatment; such a situation is thought to contain the
seeds of reverse discrimination. In short, Governments would prefer to have a free hand in their
treatment of minorities. Those which, on their own initiative, have devised effective protection
systems present them to other Governments as models, but the idea that every State must
conform to international standards-and possibly be subject to some form of international
control-still encounters great opposition.
This should not, however, discourage those who believe in the need for an international
system of protection for persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities. Most of
the objections to the establishment of such a system which have been expressed-risk of
interference in the internal affairs of States, the diversity of situations, the threat to the
stability of the State-are basically the same as those raised for many years in respect of
international protection of human rights in general. The latter has nevertheless progressed,
slowly perhaps, but irrevocably. The first step to be taken in order to ensure effective
protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities is therefore to become convinced
that such protection forms an integral part of the contemporary system of human rights. The
principles enunciated in article 27 are, from the legal standpoint, an established fact; they
should be similarly regarded from the political, social and psychological standpoints. All their
implications must also be understood: this will be a lengthy process and should be started at
once +
Simultaneously, other steps must be taken. Here we need only mention three useful
courses of practical research and action: consideration of the possibility of formulating other
principles to supplement those of article 27; development of new international methods of
implementation; encouragement of bilateral or regional requirements designed to adapt the
world-wide r&.me to the requirements of different countries. These are difficult and essentially
political tasks to which theoretical analysis can however contribute by defining the concepts on
which action may be based. It is hoped that the present study, also intended to have some
practical effect, will help substantially to further the international regime for the protection of
June I977
Paruflaplrs Page

Introduction: the historical background of the protection of minorities I . . . I , , . 1, l-19 1

I. ~econceptofaminority .,,.,..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20-8 1
A. Analysisoftheconceptofaminority..........., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20-58
1. Interpretation of the term minority by the Permanent Court of
International Justice . . , . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . , . , , . . . , . , , . . , . , , . . . 21
2. Definition proposed by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities at its third, fourth and
fifthsessions ,...,,,.....ll...,,.....l,.l................ 22-21 5
3. Provisional interpretation by the Special Rapporteur of the term
minority for the purposes of this study and the observations made
thereon ,....................,,,..,,......,...,......... 28-49 7
4. Comments made concerning the meaning of the term minority at
the seminar on the promotion and protection of the human rights of
national, ethnic and other minorities, held at Ohrid, Yugoslavia, from
25Juneto8July1974 .,,.,..............lll..,,..,.....,. SO 10
5. The Council of Europe and the question of defining the term
national minorities . . . . , . , , . , . . . , . , . . , . , +, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 11
6. Observations of the Special Rapporteur . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . 52-58 11
B. The question of official recognition by States of ethnic, religious or
linguistic minorities within their population . . , , . . . , , . . . . . . . . , . . . . , 59-81 12
1. Recognition in internal law of the right of ethnic and linguistic
minorities to maintain and preserve their own characteristics , . . . . . , 66-77 13
2. The question of an individuals membership of a given group . , , . . . , 78~81 15

II. The international protection of persons belonging to ethnic, religious and

linguistic minorities since 1919 . . . . , , , . . . . . . . , . . . , . . . , . . . , , , . . , , , . . . 82-242 I6
A. The system of protection established after the First World War . . . . . , . . . 82-l 34 16
1. Drafts discussed at the Peace Conference of 1919 . . . . . . q. . . . . , . . . 82-91 16
2. International instruments of the period 1919-1932 , , . . . . . . . . . . . . 92-96 17
3. The content of the rt$ime of protection . , . . . . , . . . , . . . , . . . . , , , . 97-I 02 18
4. The guarantees of the regime of protection . . . . . , , . . . . . . . , . . . . , . 103-105 19
5. The procedure for the implementation of the League of Nations
guarantee . . . , . . . . . . . . , . . . , . . . . , . . . . , . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . 106-l 22 20
6. The role of the Permanent Court of International Justice in the
system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..II....I.................. 123-127 24
7. Critical evaluation of the system . , . . , , . . . . . . . , +, . , . . . . . . +. . . . 128-134 25
B. The question of protection since the Second World War , . . . . . . , . , , . . . 135-164 26
1. The Charter of the United Nations , . . . . , . . . . . . . , , . . , . . , , , . . . , 135-137 26
2. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights . . , . , , q . . , . . . . . , . . , , 138-139 27
3. Juridical extinction of the minorities protection regime established in
1919.1920 ,.....,...........,.,,,...I....,,............ 140 27
4. Activities of United Nations organs . . , . . . . . . , , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141-148 27
5. General international conventions concluded under the auspices of the
United Nations and the specialised agencies . . . . . . . , . . . . . . , . . . . . 149-153 29
6. ActivitiesoftheCouncilofEurope . . . . . . . +... . . . . . . ..+....... 154 30
7. Other international instruments adopted since the Second World War . 155-164 30

Uiapter Paragraphs Page
C. Background to article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and
PoliticalRights .l,,..,.,...,,..,.,,..,.......,...I II.II,..I.. 165-194 31
1. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities, third session, 1950 . . . , . , . , . , . . . , . , , . , . , . . , , , , . . . 165-l 7 1 31
2. Commission on Human Bights, ninth session, 1953 . . , q , . , . . . . . , , 172.185 32
3. Third Committee of the General Assembly, sixteenth session,
1961-f 962 . . I. . ..+....l..I...,,*...,.*.....,*..,,,...*l 186-193 33
4. General Assembly, twenty-first session, 1966 . . . . . , . , , . . +, , . . . . , 194 34
D. Scope of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights . . . . . . . ..+........*... .I................,,..,....... 195-242 34
1. Observations concerning the term ethnic minorities , , , . .. .. , . ,, 196201 34
2. Interpretation of the expression In those States in which ethnic,
religious or linguistic minorities exist . . . , . . . ,,.......,.....I. 202-205 3s
3. Holders of the rights guaranteed by article 27: persons or groups? I , . 206210 35
4. Nature of the obligation imposed on Sates . ..*...*.3...4...... 21 I-217 36
5. Observations concerning the right of ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities to have their own culture .,,......,....#,.......I.. 218-224 37
6. Observations concerning tbe right of religious minorities to profess
and practise their own religion I..l.Il.......,.,.....l......l 225-227 38
7. Observations concerning the right of linguistic minorities to use their
own language , , . . . , . , . , , . . , , . , . , . . . . , . . . , . . . , , . . , . , . , . . . 228-233 39
8. The concept of protection of minorities and the concept of
equality and non-discrimination . . . ,I . . . .. , , . . . , . ,. ... . , . . . 234-242 40

III. The position of persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities
in the society in which they live . . , , . . . . . . . , , , . . , . , . . . . . , , , . , . , , . . , , 243-326 42
A. The sense of identity of minority groups .,,,.....,,...,........... 244-265 42
B. Inter-group relations: difficulties and remedies . . , , , . , . . . , , , . , , , , . . . , 266-292 45
C. The objectives pursued by governments in formulating their policies
towards persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities . . , 293.315 50
D. Non-discrimination as a pre-condition of special measures in favour of
persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities .. ., . . . . . 316-326 54

JY. Application of the principles set forth in article 27 of the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights e . . . . . , . , . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . 327-558 57
A. The right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities to enjoy their own
culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329-385 57
1. General policy .+.....:.*..........*..........44,....*,..* 330-340 57
2. Educational policy , , . . . , , , . . . . . . . , , . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . 341-355 60
3. Promotion of literature and the arts . . , , . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . , . . . I 356-370 63
4. Dissemination of culture , . , . . , . . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . , 371-378 65
5. Preservation of customs and legal traditions . . . . . . . . , . . . , . . , . . . , 379-385 66
B. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities to profess and
practise their own religion . , . . . , . . . . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . , 386-428 68 .
1. Juridical status of a religion professed by a minority . . . , ... . , . . .. 388410 68
2. Freedom of persons belonging to religious minorities to participate in
the worship and rites of their religion . , , , . . , . . . . . . . . , , , . . , . . . q 411-415 72
3, The right of persons belonging to religious minorities not to be
compelled to participate in the activities of other religions . . . . , . . . . 416-419 73
4. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities to administer
the affairs of their own religious communities . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. 420 73
5. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities to establish
educational institutions . , . , , . . , . . , . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . 421-428 74

Crurptet Page
Background to article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..*...... 165-194 31
1. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities, third session, 1950 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165-171 31
2. Commission on Human Rights, ninth session, 1953 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172-I 85 32
3. Third Committee of the General Assembly, sixteenth session,
1961.1962 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..*...... 186-193 33
4. General Assembly, twenty-fint session, 1966 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - 194 34
Scope of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights *................................................... 195-242 34
I. Observations concerning the term ethnic minorities . . . .. . . . . . . . 196-201 34
2. Interpretation of the expression In those States in which ethnic,
religious or linguistic minorities exist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202-205 35
3. Holders of the rights guaranteed by article 27: persons or groups? . . . 206-210 35
4. Nature of the obligation imposed on States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211-217 36
5. Observations concerning the right of ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities to have their own culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218.224 37
6. Observations concerning the right of religious minorities to profess
and practise their own religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225-227 38
7. Observations concerning the right of linguistic minorities to use their
own language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..a........ 228-233 39
8. The concept of protection of minorities and the concept of
equality and non-discrimination . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. 234-242 40

III. The position of persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities
in the society in which they live . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243-326 42
A. The sense of identity of minority groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244-265 42
B. Inter-group relations: difficulties and remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266-292 45
C. The objectives pursued by governments in formulating their policies
towards persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities . . . 293-3 15 50
D. Non-discrimination as a pretondition of special measures in favour of
persons belonging to ethnic; religious and linguistic minorities . . . .. . . . . 316-326 54

IV. Application of the principles set forth ,m article 27 of the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327-558 57
A. Ihe right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities to enjoy their own
culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..*......................... 329-385 57
1. General policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330-340 57
2. Educational policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341-355 60
3. Promotion of literature and the arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356-370 63
4. Dissemination of culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371378 65
5. Preservation of customs and legal traditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379-385 66
B. l%e right of persons belonging to religious minorities to profess and
practise their own religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I.................... 386428 68 +.
1. Juridical status of a religion professed by a minority . . . ,. . . . .. . .. 388-410 68
Freedom of persons belonging to religious minorities to participate in
the worship and rites of their religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411415 72
The right of persons belonging to religious minorities not to be
compelled to participate in the activities of other religions . . . . . . . . . 416419 73
4. Ibe right of persons belonging to religious minorities to administer
the affairs of their own religious communities . .. . .. . . .. . . . . . . .. 420 73
5. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities to establish
educational institutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..*.................. 421428 74
oaaptcr Paragraphs Page
C. Ihe right of persons belonging to linguistic minorities to use their own -4:
language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..~....... 429-52 1 7;
1. Status of minority languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430435 75
2. Use of minority languages in non-official matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 436438 76
3. Use of minority languages in offkiai matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .439479 77
4. Use of minority languages in communication media . . . ..*........ 480492 82
5. Use of minority languages in the school system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 493-521 84
D. Procedures provided in order to ensure the respect of the rights granted to
members of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . 522-558 89
1. General observations . . . . . . . . . . . . ......................... 522-523 89
2. Avenues of recourse open to members of minorities and penal rules
protecting their interests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524-531 89
3. Establishment at the national level of special organs of an
administrative or political nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 532-548 90
4. International machinery offering avenues of recourse to members of
minority groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 549-558 93

V. Conclusions and recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559623 95

i 1. Preliminary observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559 95
2. Ihe concept of a minority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . . . . .. 560-568 95
3. The recognition of minorities in the legal systems of States . . . . . . . . 569-570 96
4. Ihe sense of identity of minority groups and the freedom of choice of
their members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571-573 97
5. Intergroup relations: difficulties and remedies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 574-576 97
6. The policies followed by governments with respect to persons
belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities . . . . . . . . . .. . 577-581 97
7. Nondiscrimination as a precondition of special measures in favour of
persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities . . . . . . 582-586 98
8. Nature of the obligation imposed on States by article 27 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 587-588 98
9. Application of the principles set forth in article 27 of the Inter-
national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 589-616 99
10. Further measures to be taken at the intema tional level . . . . . . . . . . . . 617-623 102


I. How the study was prepared . . ........................................... 105

II. Plan for the collection of information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..*..i..................... 107
III. Summary of available information on the existence, size and proportion of ethnic, religious
and linguistic minorities within the population of some selected countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109


1. This study approaches the question of minorities Fatherhood of God. ... the logical conclusion of racism is the
from the standpoint of the contemporary world and in the abandonment of Christianity.
light of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil The unity of mankind is one of the fundamental precepts
and Political Rights, the fust internationally accepted rule of Islam. According to the Islamic doctrine,
for the protection of minorities. It would be inappropriate The creator is one, and the human soul is one ...
to try to review here the history of this protection and to
draw from it valid conclusions for solving the problems
with which the international community is. confronted The Korans account of the diversity of tongues and colours
among men is similar to its account of the variety of features to be
today. Nevertheless, it seems worth pointing out that the found in nature: they are all manifestations of Gods omnipotence.
desire to contribute towards improvement of the treatment Human beingsin his sight are sacredand worthy of respect...5
of minorities through international undertakings existed
4. Despite these teachings, there have been religious
already in the seventeenth century, with particular refer-
ence to religious minorities. persecutions on many different occasions and in different
parts of the world. In Europe in particular, since the
2. In order to understand the reasons for the priority Reformation, the lot of religious minorities had become a
given throughout history to the protection of religious very serious question, no longer of concern only to the
minorities, it is necessary to bear in mind the contrast States involved, but also profoundly affecting international
between the tenets of tolerance and nondiscrimination relations. In this connexion it should be remembered that
common to all religious faiths and the dramatic reality of the desire to protect religious minorities had served as a
persecution-the supreme expression of intolerance-of pretext for many interventions by foreign countries, for
which religious minorities have so often been the victims. example that of England in favour of the Waldensians in
France in 1655, the numerous interventions by Holland in
3. Despite the profound differences between them, all favour of the French Calvinists, and those of Sweden and
religions call for recognition of the notion of brotherhood, Prussia in 1707 in favour of the Protestants in Poland. This
without distinction as to race, colour or language. The situation encouraged many European States to stipulate in
Hindu religion teaches that the good man makes no their mutual relations, especially on the occasion of
distinction between friend and enemy, between brother and transfers of territory, the requirement that religious
stranger, but treats them all impartially. Buddhism minorities be allowed the right to profess their faith freely
condemns racism and racist doctrines and asks that all men without fear of persecution.
and all women, whatever their race or caste, be treated as 5. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a
members of the same family.l The ideal of tolerance number of treaties6 incorporating clauses relating to
contained in the message of Judaism is expressed in many religious minorities were concluded between various Euro-
passages of the Bible. It has been pointed out that, in pean countries. Examples of this were the treaty of Vienna,
Genesis v.1, signed in 1606 by the King of Hungary and the Prince of
The children of earth are envisaged as one family. ... There is by Transylvania, which accorded to the Protestant minority in
nature no such thing ascaste or differentiation by blood or the latter region free exercise of their religion, the Treaty
descent. Human equality is thus a primary fact ... of Westphalia, concluded in 1648 between France and the
l .. . The races and nations and peoples are all seen as clusters on
one genealogical tree. R P. Yves M.-J. Congas, The olthoffc Church and the Race
Question, The Race Question and Modem Thought, No. 1 (Paris,
Christianity holds equality and fraternity to be virtues UNESCO, 1953). p. 16.
inscribed in the mind of men by their divine creator:
Abd-al-Aria Abd-al Qadir Kamil, Islam and the Race Question.
It is becausethere is but one God, in whose image all have been Ihe Race Question and Modem Thought, No. 5 (Paris,
fashioned, one Father whose children we all likewise are, that ail UNESCO, 1970). pp. 26 and 28
men are brothers, in a way that no created power can destroy. The
only means of denying this brotherhood is to set oneself outside the 6 See Arthur de Balogh. Lu protection internationale des
wuirorirt% (Paris, Les dditions intemationdes. J930), pp. 23-25;
I. H. Bagley, GeneraI Principles and Problems in the Protection of
Minorities (Gen&e, lmprimeries populaires, 1950), pp. 65 and 66;
Jacques Fouques Duparc, Lu protection des minoritt% de race, de
S E. Frost Jr. (ea.), 77te Sacred Writings of the Worlds Great hngue et de religion (Faris, Jibrairie Dalloz, 1922), pp. 75-77;
Religions (New York, Garden City Books, 1951), p. 390. C A Macartney, hational States and National Minor&& (New
G. P. Malalasekera and K N. Jayatilleke, Buddhism and the York. Russel & Russel. 1968). DD. 157-160: M. Sibert. Trait6 de
Race Question, The Race Question and Modem Thought, No. 4 lioit. international public (I%&; Iibrairie Dalloz, 1951), vol. I,
(Pads. UNESCO, 1958), p. 37. p. 493; F:Branchu, Le probI8me des minorit& en droit inter-
~tional depuis lo seconde guerre mondiale (Lyon, Imprimerie Bose
Leon Roth, Jewish Thought as a Factor in Civihkation, The F&es, 1959). p. 23.
Race Question and Modem Thought, No. 2 (Paris, UNESCO. 1954).
p. 14. Balogh, op. cit., p. 23.

Holy Roman Empire and their respective allies, which there was a tendency for the rights so protected to increase
gr%ted religious freedom to the Protestants in Germany on in number since, in addition to freedom of worship, certain
terms of equality with Roman Catholics;* the 1660 Treaty nineteenth-century treaties also provide for equality of civil
of Oliva between Sweden and Poland which provided for and political rights.
free exercise of their religion by the Roman Catholics in 8. The Treaty of Vienna of 31 May 1815, concluded
the territory of Livonia ceded by Poland to Sweden;9 the between Austria and the Netherlands (Annex X, Final Act
Treaty of Nijmegen concluded in 1678 between France and - of the Congress of Vienna) which proclaimed the
Holland, which guaranteed freedom of worship to the reunification of Belgium and Holland, contained special
Roman Catholic minority. living in the territories ceded by guarantees for the Belgian Catholic minority. Article 2 of
France to Holland; the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, the Treaty provides that there shall be no change in those
concluded between the same parties, in which a similar
clause was inserted* * and the Treaty of Paris of 1763, articles of the Dutch Constitution which assure to all
religious cults equal protection and privileges and guarantee
concluded between France, Spain and Great Britain under
which the last-named country accorded freedom of worship the admissrbility of all citizens, whatever be their religious
to Roman Catholics in the Canadian territories ceded by creed, to public offices and dignities.
France. s 9 I3 9. The Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, signed on
6. As for the protection of religious minorities within 9 June 1815 by Austria, France, Great Britain, Portugal,
the framework of municipal law, it was achieved gradually Prussia, Russia and Sweden, was the first important
and fairly slowly from the eighteenth century onwards. It is international instrument to contain clausessafeguarding
true that, in France, the Edict of Names regulating the national minorities, and not only religious minorities.
status of Protestants was promulgated in 1598. It was Article 1 of the Final Act provides as follows:
however of limited scope and, furthermore, the concessions The Polish subjects of the High Contracting Parties shah be given
institutions which guarantee the preservation of their nationaiity
which is granted were revoked a few years later. It was the and which shah assume such political form as each ofethe
Revolution of 1789 which established in France the governments to which they are subject shall deem appropriate.
principle of freedom of religion and public worship. In 10. In the Protocol of 3 February 1830, drawn up at
England, the disabilities imposed on religious minorities the Conference of London and signed by the representa-
were gradually abolished, first by the Toleration Act of tives of France, Great Britain and Russia, freedom of.
1698 then by the Test and Corporation Acts of 1828, the worship for Muslims was stipulated as one of the conditions
Catholic Emancipation Acts of 1829 and 1832 and the for the recognition by the signatory Powers of Greek
Religious Disabilities Act of 1846. In the Near East and the independence.
Middle East, in the Muslim countries, the various Christian
churches and Jewish communities already enjoyed very 11. Article IX of the Treaty of Paris of 30 March 1856,
considerable tolerance under the Caliphs. Later, the Muslim concluded betweep Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia,
States adopted the Willet system, which granted to Sardinia and Turkey, * refers to a communication from the
non-Muslim religious communities complete independence Turkish Sultan to the other Contracting Parties concerning
in the management of their affairs. In India, the Criminal the legislation he had introduced to recognize-mainly for
Code promulgated in 1860 defined a certain number of the benefit of the Christian inhabitants of his empire-
offences relating to religion, without making any distinc- equality of treatment for his subjects, without distinction
tion as between the various religions. In the United States, of religion or race; the other parties commended the value
the 1787 Constitution was amended by the Federal Bill of of this communication.
Rights adopted in 1791. The first amendment provided that 12. The Treaty of Berlin of 13 July 1878, concluded
the Federal Congress could make no law respecting an between Germany; Austria, Hungary, France, Great Britain,
establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise Italy, Russia and Turkey, 9 abolished any difference of
thereof . treatment on religious grounds in the newly created Balkan
7. From the nineteenth century onwards, there was a States. It may be added that, in recognizing the indepen-
change in the approach adopted by States to imemational dence of the Balkan States, the Congress of Berlin linked
undertakings regarding the treatment of minorities. First of recognition of the independence of the new States to their
all, clauses designed to protect minorities began to appear
in certain multilateral instruments, whereas previously I4 British and Foreign State Pupers, 1814-1815, vol. II (London,
agreements containing such clauses had usually been bilat- James Ridgway, 1839). pp. 136140.
eral instruments. Secondly, measures of protection were * Ibid., pp. I-S&
extended to groups other than religious minorities. Thirdly, I6 It will be noted that this text does not precisely define the
national rights which are to be maintained. According to some
* Fred L Israel, Major Peace Denties of Modern History, authorities, the rights in question were political rights, whereas,
according to other authors, the above-mentioned article should be
16481967 (New York, Clreisea House, 1967), vol. I, pp. 7-49. interpreted as referring to the cultural identity of the minorities
9 Bagley, op. cit., p. 66; Balogh, op. c@., p. 24. ~. ; mentioned See Bagley, op. cit.. p. 66; and Tore Modeen, 77re
lo IsraeI, op. cit., pp. 129143. International Protection of N~tiod Minorities in Europe (Abo,
I IbM.,pp. 152-161. Finland, Abo Akademi, 1969), p. 47.
Ibid., pp. 305-328. I British end Foreign State Papers, 1829-1830, vol. XVII
(London, James Rldgway, 1832). p. 191.
It will be noted that the treaties instituting the capitulations
rkime have not been mentioned. The cauitulations r&me certainly -*-~Brirish arid Foreign State Pupers, 1855-1856, vol. XLVI
applied to Christians in the East, but w& concerned only with the (London, Wiiam Ridgway, 1865). pp. 8-18.
protection of foreigners and not of nationals. As is indicated In I9 British and Foreign Stare Papers, 1877-1878, vol. LXIX
para. 57. this study does not deal with the rights of foreigners. (London, William Ridgway, 1885), pp. 749-767.

adherence to the principle of nondiscrimination on Concert of Europe seldom functioned as an instrument for the
religious grounds. By the terms of articles 5 and 44 of collective protection of minorities.
the Treaty, the Contracting Parties declared that they The imperfection of the system Iay not only In the uncertainty
would recognize Romania and Bulgaria only if the that it wouid operate effectively when legitimate occasions arose,
following requirements were met: but also in the possibility that it might afford a pretext for arbitrary
and politically motivated intervention by great Powers In the affairs
The UIfferencc of rellglons, creeds and confessions shall not be of thetreaty-bound States, even when the latter were carrying out
dleged agahst any person as a ground for exdusion or incapacity in their obligations in good faith. 7his sort of abuse w restrlcted by
matters relating to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, the mutual jealousy of the great Powers, but it remained a danger to
admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the which the treaty-bound States were acutely sensitive.
exercise of the various professions and Industries In any locality The system of minority protection based upon special treaties
whatsoever. The freedom and outward exercise of all forms of guaranteed by the great Powers was condemned to failure by the
worship shall be assured to all persons belonging to the State, as well inadequacy of its scope, the vagueness of its substantive provisions,
as to foreigners, and no hindrance shall be offered either to the the rudimentary nature of its machinery and organization, and the
hlerarchicd orgmizatlon of the different communities, or to their ineffectiveness and susceptibility to abuse of its
rdations with their spIritu8l chiefs. ~;g$li
13. The position of ethnic minorities was also taken 17. Referring to the fact that the protection of
into consideration by the Congress of Berlin. Article 4 of minorities was originally concerned only with religious
the Treaty relating to Bulgaria provides as follows: minorities, and that the need to recognize the rights of
In the districts where Bu@lans are Intermixed with Turkish. ethnic and linguistic minorities was felt long after, one
Romanian. Creek and other populations, the rights and Interests of
these populations shall be taken into consideration as regards the author observed:
elections and the drawing up of the Organic Law. lhe stages ln the development of the protection of minorities
were similar to those in the development of the rights of the
14. The International Convention of Constantinople of individual Just as those rights stemmed from religious freedom, the
24. May 1881, concluded between Germany, Austria, protection of ethnic minorities was modeiled on that of religious
Hungary, France, Great Britain, Italy, Russia and minorities. People began by thinking that it was a natural right to
Iurkey,l contains stipulations relating to the equality of have religious beliefs and to practise forms of worship other than
those of the majority of the population of the State and by
and free exercise of their religion by Muslims living in the acknowledging that that right should be protected against the power
territories restored to Greece. Article VIII of the Con- of the State; later, the right was assimilated to that of maintaining
vention provides as follows: and developing the ethnic idiosyncrasies of inhabitants whose origin,
Freedom and the outward exercise of worship shall be assured to race, language or culture differed from the origin, race, language or
Mohammedans living &I the territories ceded to Greece. There shall culture of the majority.*
be no interference with the independence and hierarchical orgardz- 18. Ihe process of recognizing the rights of ethnic and
ation of the Mohammedan communities at present existing, or linguistic minorities in internal law developed in the
which may be formed, nor with the management of the funds and
buildings appertaining to them. No hindrance shall be offered to the nineteenth century, a period during which the nationalities
relations of such communities with their spiritual chiefs on religious question was a burning issue. Concern to protect such
matters. Thelocal ... (religious] courts shall continue to exercise minorities then became apparent in the legislation of
their functions on purely religious matters. certain countries. 24 Thus, under the terms of article 19 of
15. It should be noted that no.rights were accorded to the Austrian Constitutional Law of 21 December 1867,
members of linguistic minorities by the above-mentioned Ml the ethnic minorities of the States shall enjoy the same rights
treaties. There is, however, one exception: the Final Act of and, in particular, have an absolute right to maintain and develop
the Congress of Vienna, in which the participating Powers their nationality and their language. All the languages used in the
provinces are. recognized by the State as having equal rights with
granted to Poles in Poznan the right to use Polish for regard to education, administration and public life. In pravlnces
official business, jointly with German. Inhabited by several ethnic groups, the public educational ins&
tutions shall be organized in such a way as to enable all the ethnic
16. It has been generally maintained that the rudimen- groups to acquire the education they need in their own language,
tary system of international protection of minorities, without being obliged to learn another language of the province.
established in respect of some European countries in the
nineteenth century on the basis of treaties guaranteed by Hungarys Act XL.IV of I868 proclaimed the equality of
the great Powers, provided a spurious protection to citizens, irrespective of their nationality, and established
minorities living in States which were bound by the regulations governing the official use of the various
obligations stemming from those agreements. The system languages spoken in the country. Article 116 of the 1874
has been criticized for its inadequacy, its imprecision, and, Constitution of the Swiss Confederation stipulated that the
above all, the lack of supervisory machinery to verify three main languages of Switzerland, namely, German,
whether the treaty stipulations were really being observed. French and Italian, had equal rights in the civil service, in
It has also been pointed out that such a system was liable to legislation and before the Courts. In Belgium, two laws
relating to the use of the French and Flemish languages
threaten international peace and security, since it could
serve as a pretext for unilateral intervention in the internal were adopted on 22 May 1878 and 18 April 1898
affairs of States. On that point, one author has written: respectively. The first provided for the use of the Flemish
language in four provinces as the official language of the
The system could have worked satisfactorily only if the great
Powers had acted together; in practice, each Power concerned itself public authorities in their dealings with those under their
primarily with its own material or political interests, and the
22 his L. Claude Jr., National Minorities, An International
Problem (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 195S), pp. 8
* See Macartney, op. cr&p. 166; Fouques Duparc, op. cit., and 9.
p. 105.
23 Balogh,op. cit., p. 28.
21 British and Foreign State Papers, 1880-1881, vol. LXX11
(London, William Rigdway, 1885), pp. 382-387. 24 Ibid.. pp. 30-39.
administration. The second stipulated that laws shoul&be undertaken by the United Nations and the specialized
promulgated in the two languages. agencies. In addition, after the end of the Second World
War, bilateral agreements relating to the rights of minorities
19. During the twentieth century, major developments were concluded between a number of States. At the
with regard to the protection of minorities took place, both national level, a growing number of States in all parts of the
at the international and the national IevcI. At the inter- worId have taken measures to estabfish, within the frame-
national level, there was, first of all, the League of Nations, work of their internal legislation, a legal system which takes
an experiment of great historical significance and account of the interests and needs of their ethnic, religious
completely innovative with regard to the provision of or linguistic minorities. This evolution will be described and
guarantees to minorities. Ibis was followed by the work analysed in the various chapters of the present study.
* Ir

Chapter I


A. Analysis of the concept of a minority The question whether ... a particular community does or does
not conform to the conception described above is a question of
20. Despite the many references to minorities to be fact ...
found in international legal instruments of all kinds ...
(multilateral conventions, bilateral treaties and resolutions The existence of communities is a question of fact; it is not a
of international organizations), there is no generally accepted question of law.
definition of the term minority. The preparation of a ...
definition capable of being universally accepted has always
Tbe Court is unanimously of opinion that the answers to the
proved a task of, such difficulty and complexity that questions submitted to it are as follows:
neither the experts in this field nor the organs of the inter-
national agencies have been able to accomplish it to date.
The reason for this is the number of different aspects to be lo. The criterion to be. applied to determine what is a
communitv within the meanine of the articles of the Convention ...
considered. Should the concept of a minority be based on is the existence of a group orpersons living in a given country or
the numerical ratio of the Yninority group to the popu- locality, having a race. religion, Language and traditions of their own,
lation as a whole or is this quantitative aspect secondary and united by the identity of such race, religion, language and I
or even unimportant? Is it necessary to limit the concept traditions in a sentiment of solidarity. with a view to preserving
by introducing the idea of a minimum size? Should only their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, securing the
instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the
objective criteria be taken into account or should it be spirit and traditions of their race and mutually assisting one another.
assumed that subjective factors also have a part to From the point of view of the Convention, the question whether,
play? Does the origin of the minorities matter for the according to local law, a community is or is not recognized as a
purposes of a deftition? Should we understand by juridical person need not be considered ...I
minorities groups of nationals only, excluding groups of
foreigners? These- the major issues that arise-must now 2. Definition proposed by the Sub-&mmission on Preven-
be analysed. tion of Discrimination and Protectioi of Minorities at its
third, fourth and fifth sessions
22. Three times-at its third, fourth and fifth
1. Interpretation
of the term minority by the sessions2-the Sub-Commission has recommended that the
Permanent Court of International Justice Commission on Human Rights adopt a draft resolution
defining minorities for purposes of protection by the
21. The Permanent Court of International Justice gave United Nati0ns.j The draft resolution adopted by the
its interpretation of the concept of a minority in an Sub-Commission at the third session and amended at the
advisory opinion of 31 July 1930 in connexion with the fourth session indicated, as follows, the factors which it felt
emigration of the Greco-Bulgarian communities. Referring should be taken into account in establishing a definition of
to the Convention of 27 November 1919 between Bulgaria minorities*:
and Greece, the Court made the following statement:
(a) The existence among the nationals of many States
The Greco-Bulgarian Convention concerning emigration consti-
tutes, according to its Preamble, the execution of Article 56, of separate population groups habitually known as
paragraph 2, of the Peace Treaty concluded the same day between minorities and having ethnic, religious or linguistic tra-
the Allied and Associated Powers and Bulgaria. This article forms ditions or characteristics which differ from those of the rest
part of the provisions relating to the protection of minorities. of the population and which should be protected by special
This shows the close relationship existing between the Conven- measures at the national and international levels so that
tion and the general body of the measures designed to secure peace they may preserve and develop such traditions or character-
by means of the protection of minorities. istics;
It was in this spirit, as stated in the Preamble, that the Principal
Ahied and Associated Powers considered it opportune that the (b) The existence of a special factor, namely, that
reoiprocal and voluntary emigration of minorities in Greece and certain minority groups do not need protection. Such
Bulgaria should be regulated by the Convention. It follows that this groups include, above all, those which, while numerically
Convention cannot appiy to persons other than those who formed smaller than the rest of the population, Constitute the
minorities in either one country or the other.
dominant element in it and those who seek to be treated in
By tradition ... the community is a group of persons living in a exactly the same way as the rest of the population;
given country or locality, having a race, religion, language and
traditions of their own and united by this identity of race, religion,
language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to * I! CL/., SeriesB, No. 17, pp. 19, 21, 22 and 33.
preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, E/CN.4/Sub.2/119, para. 32; E/CN.4/Sub.2/140, annex I,
ensuring the instruction and upbringing of their children in draft resolution 11; E]CN.4/Sub.2/149, para. 26.
accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering 3 On each of the occasions, the Commission, after considering
mutual assistance to each other. the draft resolution, referred it back to the Sub-Commission for
further study.


W (c) The undesirability of interfering with the spon- dealing with every minority in need of special measures of
taneous developments which take place in a society when protection, could be made, particularly -in the absence of
impacts such as that of a new environment, or that of any criterion by which to judge which minorities needed
. modern means of communication, produce a state of rapid special protection and which did not need it.
racial, social, cultural, or linguistic evolution; 25. At its seventh session, in 1954, the Sub-Commission
(d) The risk of taking measures that might lend them- decided to concentrate its attention on the various aspects
selves to misuse amongst a minority whose members of the problem of discrimination and to defer work on a
spontaneous desires might be disturbed by parties in- further study of the whole problem of the special protec-
terested in fomenting amongst them a disloyalty to the tion of minorities, including the definition of the term
State in which they live; minority, pending the issue by the Commission on
(e) The undesirability of affording protection to prac- Human Rights of a specific directive on the subject.
tices which are inconsistent with the rights proclaimed in 26. A memorandum prepared by the Secretary-General
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in 1950, entitled &jidtion and clnssification of Minorities
V, The difficulties raised by claims to the status of and submitted to the third session of the Sub-Commission,
minorities by groups so small that special treatment could, contains the following statement:
for instance, place a disproportionate burden upon the It follows from the analysis [of the concept of the community,
resources of the State. the nation and the State) . .. that the term ?minorityeannot for
practical purposes be defined simply by interpreting the word in its
23. Taking account of the above-mentioned factors, the literal sense. If this were the case, nearly ah the communities
Sub-Commission at its fifth session recommended that the existing within a State would be styled minorities, including
families, social cksses. cultural groups, speakers of dialects, etc.
Commission adopt a draft resolution concerning the de% Such a definition wodd be useless.
nition of the term minority, according to which the
As a matter of fact, the term minority is frequently used at
definition would be based on the following elements: present in a more restricted sense;it has come to refer mainly to a
(i) the term minority includes only those non-dominant particular kind of community, and especially to a national or similar
groups in a population which possess and wish to preserve community, which differs from the predominant group in the State.
stable ethnic, religious or linguistic traditions or character- Such a minority may have originated in any of the following ways:
istics markedly different from those of the rest of the (0) It may formerly have constituted an independent nation
population; (ii) such minorities should properly include a with its own State (or a more or less independent tribal organiz-
number of persons sufficient by themselves to preserve such ation);
traditions or characteristics; (iii) such minorities must be (b) It may formerly have been part of a nation living under its
loyal to the State of which they are nationals. own State, which was later segregated from this jurisdiction and
annexed to another State; or
24. At its sixth session, the Sub-Commission resolved, (c) It may have been, or may still be, a regional or scattered
in its resolution F, to initiate a study of the position as group which, although bound to the predominant group by certain
regards minorities throughout the world and to apply for feeling of solidarity, has not reached even a minimum degree of real
the purposes of that study a modified version of the assimilation with the predominant grou~.~
definition contained in the draft resolution referred to in 27. Both in the Sub-Commission and in the Commission
the preceding paragraph. However, that decision was not on Human Rights it was generally recognized, therefore,
implemented since, at its ninth session, the Commission on that it was difficult, if not impossible, to group together
Human Rights, having noted resolution F of the Sub- under a generally satisfactory defmition every minority
Commission, invited the latter to give further study to the group in need of special measures of protection. In an
whole question, including the deftition of the term attempt to describe the reasons for that difficulty, an
rninority.s During the debates in the Commission on the author writes:
question, several members criticized the definition of When the General Assembly of the United Nations expressed the
minorities contained in resolution F of the Sub- consideration that the United Nations cannot remain indifferent to
Commission. Some felt that it contained provisions that the fate of minorities*, it thrust itself directly into one of the most
might result in eliminating from the definition certain complex and perplexing problems in the entire realm of inter-
national groups which should be given special protection. national relations. lhe problem of minorities, with all its
manifold implications, has troubled world peace and international
They stated that the inclusion of only such groups as might goodwill for centuries.It has constituted P constant irritating
wish to preserve ethnic, religious or linguistic traditions friction between states, an instrument of political design and
or characteristics was subjective, since dominant groups aggression. a means of toppling state structures and a direct and
which did not wish to extend equal rights to certain indirect cause of local and general wars. Its vast international
significance has been matched by- its awing perplexity. The
minorities could justify their action by claiming that those problem of minorities is in reality a multitude of particular
minorities did not wish to maintain their individual problems, each one hinging on a whole network of complex
character. Others considered that the definition rec- economic, social, historical, ethnic and political factors.
ommended by the Sub-Commission did not make it Never. before has an international organization concerned itself
sufficiently clear that minorities did not include foreigners with the fate of minorities us such The United Nations, without
residing in the territory of the State or groups which had reference to any specific manifestations of a minority problem
took upon itself the task of protection of minorities, thereby
come into existence as the result of immigration. It was ah0 establishing minorities as a general universal conception whose
pointed out that it was hard to see how such a study, primary characteristics are its imprecision and vagueness and

.- .\
See E/CN.4/703, para. ZOO. See E/CN.4/Sub.2/170, para. 171. resolution F.
See E/CN.4/705, para. 438. * United Nations pubtication, Sales No. 1950.XIV.3, paras.
6 See E/CN.4/705. paras. 422-437. 37-38.

breadth of scope. When the League of Nations referred to the provided that only the numerical proportions of various
minority problem, it was not concerning itself with a gcncral groups are taken into consideration. Any ethnic, religious
conccpl: its minority problem consisted of the particular prob- or linguistic group different from the majority of a given
Icms of certain minorities in a few specified states in a given region,
problems which arose from the territorial settlements at the Peace society constitutes a minority. The Italian Government
Conference of Paris. The justification for international minority stated that it is able to agree with the definition proposed
protection and the minorities for which it was devised being shatply by the Rapportcur which refers to an objective numerical
outlined and delimited, therewas no necessity to make the concepts representation but that does not neglect the subjective
involved9morc precise, nor to define them beyond certain broad factor. The Government of the Federal Republic of
ou llines. Germany stated that it shared in principle the view
expressed by the Special Rapporteur on the interpretation
3. Provisional interpretation by the Special Rapportcur of of the term minority, and the Swedish Government
the term minonty for the purposesof this study and expressed the view that there is no reason to object to the
rhe observations madethereon Rapportcurs proposal concerning the interpretation of the
term minority .
(a) Provisional interpretation by the SpecialRapportrw
31. Some Governments expressed the view that the
28. In the plan for the collection of information definition proposed by the Special Rapporteur was incom-
relating to the study (see annex II) the Special Rapporteur plete and too vague. The Greek Government made the
stated that he envisaged for the study the following following remarks:
interpretation of the term minority: An ethnic, religious or linguistic minority group of persons
for the purposes of the study, an ethnic, religious or linguistic should be clearly rccognizable as such. The following criteria, among
minority is a group numerically smaller than the rest of the others, should be applicable to a group of persons for it to qualify as
population of the State to which it belongs and possessing cultural, a minority: the characteristic features should be sufficiently
physical or historical characteristics, a religion or a language distinctive for the group concerned to be clearly distinguishable as
different from those of the rest of the population. separate from the majority . ..
29. At that time he requested Governments, specialized Another fact to be considered in that (the group] is recognized as
agencies and a number of regional governmental organiz- such by an international treaty or agreement.
ations and non-governlnental organizations to transmit to Article 27 of the Covenant covers only persons [belonging to]
him their observations and opinions on the following separate or distinct groups, well-defined and long established on the
points: territory of a State.

(a) The interpretation he envisaged; According to the Government of the Netherlands,

The definition used in the questionnaire is rather wide. The term
@) The extent of the subjective factor involved irl the minority would seem to include more constitutive elements than
desire, whether expressed or not, of the ethnic, religious or are expressed in the definition. To be regarded as an ethnic, religious
linguistic group to preserve its own characteristics, and or linguistic minority a group should bc clearly recop~izable as such.
particularly whether or not the desire of the ethnic, The characteristic features should be sufficiently distinctive for the
minority concerned to be clearly distinguishable as a separate group.
religious or linguistic group to preserve its own character- Such features may be visual but this is not essential. Even though
istics constituted a factor relevant to the definition of the there are no visible differences, a group may differ from the rest of
term minority; the population due to such factors as organizational contacts in
particular areas, choice of school or occupation, and housing.
(c) Whether the number of persons belonging to the
The difference between a minority and the rest of the population
ethnic, religious or linguistic group was or was not a should not only be sufficiently distinct but also sufficiently big. All
relevant factor for the definition of the term minority; sorts of gradual transitions and minor gradations, which are found
(d) The relationships between the concept of an ethnic, everywhere and in large countries in particular, would seem to have
little relevance, since otherwise every country would be composed
religious or linguistic minority and the concept of an of minorities within the meaning of article 27 of the Covenant.
ethnic, religious or Linguistic group in a multinational
society; 32. Other Governments indicated that, in their opinion,
the Special Rapporteur should adopt a different approach.
(e) The applicability, in favour of the members of Thus, the Bulgarian Government stated that:
ethnic, religious or linguistic- groups in multinational When conducting a study on this issue on a world scale, it should
societies, of the principles enunciated in article 27 of the be taken into account that no generally accepted definition of
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. minority exists. The use of the definition proposed by the Special
Rapporteur on a world-wide basis might create vague or misguiding
(b) Observationsreceivedfrom GovernmenTs interpretation, because of specific conditions in the individual
30. A relatively small number of the Governments According to the Yugoslav Government,
which have furnished information for the study have made
it is difficult to give an answer as to what criterion should be applied
observations on these points. Some Governments expressed in formulating a legal definition of the term minority. The
their approval of the provisional interpretation of the term definition given by the Special Rapporteur is not the most suitable
minority envisaged by the Special Rapporteur. According because, among otller things, it lists language after cultural, physical,
to the Spanish Government, the interpretation of the term historical and religious characteristics. The definition gives too great
minority envisaged by the Rapporteut was correct. a prominence to the classical thesis of minorities versus
The Finnish Government observed that the interpretation
of the Special Rapporteur of the term minority is correct However, the Yugoslav Government considers that
although there does not exist a universally accepted
T. N. Bagley, General Frimiples and Problems in the Inter- defmition of the term minority, this should not be an
notional Protection of Mitzorities (Geneva, Imprimeries obstacle to a consistent implementation of article 27 of the
Populaires, 1950), p. 9. Covenant,

33. The Austrian Government stated that it preferred to 35. Some of the comments and observationsreceived
make no observations on the substance of the question. In related to taking specific factors into consider&cm in
that connexion it stated: defining the term minority, in particular the subjective
With respect to the theorcticnl question raised, it may bc factor and the numerical factor.
remarked that these problems have been under discussion in the 36. According to replies received from severalGovem-
relevant titeraturo ever since scholars started fo examine minority
prablcms. They have not so far succeeded in formulating a gcncrally ments, the subjective factor, that is to say, the desire
accepted definition of the concept of minority-whether ethnic, expressed by the minority group to preserve its own
rcii~ous or linguistic. In view of these unsuccessful efforts, It may traditions and characteristics, should be an essentialel-
bc doubted whether a satisfactory solution of this problem is ement of any definition of the term minority. In this
possible, Similarly, all efforts made in this field within tho
framework of the Unjtcd Nations have failed .. . Austria therefore connexion the Finnish Government stated that the term
prefers not to comment on these questions. minority has relevance only and in so far as an ethnic,
religious or linguistic group has indicated its desire to
34. Some Governments even challenged the useof the preserveits own characteristics. The Italian Government
term minority and emphasizedthat it had been replaced observed that it is, in fact, in the consciousness of the
by other terms in the legal systems of their respective minority of its diversity and by its willingnessto maintain
countries. According to the Government of the Philippines: its own characteristics that a concept of minority can
the official concept of the term minority in the Philippines has a materialize which would be politically relevant ... The
legalistic base and recently to obliterate the presence of a numerical important fact is that it is a question of a vital and active
division UJC term Cultural Communities Ihas been used when]
referring to National Minorities. The term National Cultural group aware of itself. In the view of the Netherlands
Communities appeared in the Constitution of the Philippines. Government:
Hence, in referring to minority in the Philippines presently, The existence of a certain degree of coherence would also seem
the term must be taken in the context of the existence of several to be important. The members of a group should exhibit the
cultural groups in a cultural plural national society whcrc there is a distinctive features sufficiently, if they are to be regarded as a
distinct culture which is predominantly in thcmajority vi&vis all separate group or minority ..I The extent to which-a minority
others taken together. actually feels itself to bc a separate section of the community, or is
felt to be and is perhaps treated as such by the others, may also be
The RomanianGovernment commented that: important .., Enally thereshouldbe specificties,prcrerablygoing
back to earlier generations, with the country in question. For a
ITIC term minority-a category too broad and indeterminate- group to be a minority within the meaning of article 27 it should be
is no longer used to describe differences of race, sex, religion or more or less permanently established in the country concerned.
nationality among citizens. The term used is co4nhabiting national-
ity, a term enshrined in the Constitu Lion, the fundamental law of The SwedishGovernment stated that in Sweden
the State. We have started, as far as the problem has been discussed, from
In the past, the term minority in general and the term the same sulrjecfive concept of a minority as the Rapportcur seems
national minority* in particular were debased and became almost to advocate. Tne statements made in the Government bill 1962:Sl
synonymous with the various forms of inequality bctweon the concerning the organization of the nomad schools, in the report
majority and the minority. The term national minority Goina to school away from home or at home (Official Govern-
signified a category of citizens whose political, economic and social ment Report, SOU 196655) and in the dircctivcs for the Govcrn-
status was inferior to thnt of citizens belonging to the majority. In mcnt Commission on Immigrantsare basedon a conceptof a
order to indicate in a striking manner the principle of absolute minority involving the desire of the minority group in question to
equality characterizing relations between the Romanjan nation and preserve its own characteristics.
the national groups existing in the territory of the country,
Romania has adopted the term co-inhabiting nationality to However, the Spanish Government believes tflat A
describe a separate social and ethnic group, numerically smaller than strongly expresseddesireof this kind should certainly be
the group represented by the Romanian nation, having its own taken into account, but in any event there should exist
cultural, linguistic, historical and religious characteristics. some objective elements which can be evaluated easily.
Ihe Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics The Greek Government statesthat
stated that in the Soviet Union, there are no population the subjective factor, that is to say the desire expressed by the
groups which could be regarded as ethnic, religious or minority group to preserve its own traditions and characteristics,
should be an essential element of any interpretation of the term
linguistic minorities whoserights require specialprotection minority.
in the senseindicated in the plan for the study prepared by
IlIe extent to which a minority actually feels itself to be a
the Special Rapporteur. The Soviet Constitution refersto separate section of the community or is felt to be and is perhaps
nations and nationalities. The Yugaslav Government treated as such by others should also be taken into consideration for
pointed out that, in Yugoslavia, the term nationalities is any interpretation of the term minority.
usedto designateminority groups. In this connexion, it has
beennoted that: 37. However, the Yugoslav Government expressedsome
reservationswith regardto the importance of this factor, In
The term nationalities is used in the Yugoslav constitutions for
national groups usuaIly referred to abroad as national minorities. this connexion, it statedthat:
This more current term is avoided because the status of a minority The Yugoslav Government wishes to underscore its convictjon
can never be the status of full equality with the majority, and the that the so-called subjective factor is in many respects dependent
Yugoslav Constitution guarantees the full equality, free of even the on the political almosphere and the cultural and social circum-
least discrimination, of all the working people and citizens regardless stances prevailing in the individual social communities in which the
of the nation, nationality or ethnicgroup to whicheachbelongs, members of minorities live and work. Historical experiences have
While state decentrallzation and self-management secure for the shown that the indifference of the members of minorities towards
nationalitiesand their members an active role in realizing their their national origin, position and rights are, as a rule, the
positionand equal social relations. lo consequence of the social and other circumstances in which they
In societies with a prevailing negative attitude of the majority
lo Nada Drag%, ed,, Nations and Nationalities of Ylcgorlavia towards the minority the members of the minorities are fearful
Politika, 1974),p. 85. that any declaration of ones national, ethnic, cultural and other

characteristics might be intcrproted as a so-called civil disloyalty Important on the whole is the fact that the number of
on his part as citizen of the country concerned, peopleb&longingto a particular minority group is not taken
Therefore, it would be inappropriate to ascribe too much asthe basiccriteria for establishingtheir rights,
importance to the need of a declaration of desire by the members
of any minority in order to preserve their own national, ethnic, 41. The Creek Government holds the opposing view
cultural and other features and to manifest their awareness of their that, for a group to qualify asa minority, it shouldbe
afftliation to a particular minority, especially in the case of a sizabjc and (form) a substantially compact element in the com-
minority which has for decades been subjected to the pressures of munity. It is doubtful that the words a group numerically smaller
systematic assimilation and dcnationalization. than the rest of the population* constitute a sufficiently
38. With regard to the numerical factor, the Govern- adcquatc criterion for an interpretation of the term minority,
ments which have commented on this point held that the There should bc taken into account not only the number of
number of persons belonging to ethnic, religious or persons belonging to a particular group but also the relation
between [that] number and the size of the geographical area in
linguistic groups does not constitute a very important which the group lives.
element for the purposeof defining the term minority. It
should be noted, too, that their observationscontain few 42. Several Governments commented on the relation-
submissionson whether the number should reach a speci- ship between the concept of an ethnic, religious or
fied proportion of the total population for the purposesof linguistic minority and the concept of an ethnic, religious
according special treatment to the members of the said or linguistic group in a multinational society. According to
minorities. The Government of Finland observedthat The the SpanishGovernment:
number of personsbelonging to a minority group is not, as Since the legal regime of protection of minorities is founded on
the protection of human rights, the relationship between the
such, a relevant factor for the definition of the term concept of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and the concept
minority, but it is obvious that the group must consistof a of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a multinational
noteworthy number of persons before it constitutes a society does not in itself presuppose a substantive distinction of any
factor of any significance in a society, According to the special relevance. The essential concern should be to secure general
Italian Government, the numerical factor is of very little respect and, consequently, legal protection for all races, religions
and languages, subject to the limitations universally accepted in
importance. The NetherlandsGovernment observedthat matters of human rights, but in such a way that the protection
The definition of the term minority .., rightly states that it granted by virtue of the provisions in question does not differ
should refer only to a group numerically smaller than the rest of the according to whether or not the specific person protected is part of
population of the State to which it belongs. However, a bottom a multinational society.
limit can also be assumed in the sense that there would have to be a
group, so that an individual could not constitute a minority within The Italian Government held that
the meaning of article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and in a multinational society, one should not speak, in a strict sense, of
Political Rights. Within these limits the size of the group would not minorities, in that the various groups of which they are composed,
seem to be relevant to the question of whether there was a minority with their own ethnic, religious and linguistic characteristics, should
within the meaning of that article or not. find themselves on a level of equal representation. Moreover, it
could occur that one of the groups, even if not numerically superior,
The Swedish Government stated that the concept of an could achieve a predominant position, with tendencies to oppress
ethnic or national minority in Sweden would presumethat others and to make them conform to itself.
the group in question consists of at least one hundred
Moreover, all Governments which have submitted obser-
individuals q
vations on this point stated that in their view the principles
39. In India, the Kerala High Court, after observingthat enunciated in article 27 of the International Covenant on
the Constitution granted specific rights to minorities, Civil and Political Rights were applicableto the membersof
declared that in the absenceof any specialdefinition we ethnic, religious or linguistic groups in multinational
must hold that any community, religious or linguistic, societies.
which is numerically lessthan 50 per cent of the population
of the State is entitled to the rights guaranteed by the (c) Observationsof the United Nations Educational,Scien-
Constitution. t tific and Cultural Organization (UAGWCO)
40. According to the Romanian Government, on the 43. According to UNESCO, it is doubtful that group
other hand, the number of personsbelongingto anethnic, numerically smaller than the rest of the popttlation is an
religious or linguistic group cannot, from the political and adequatedefinition. In somecases,the majority population
legal standpoint, constitute a pertinent factor in the is in fact a sociological minority, and it may be useful to
definition. The fact that citizens are perfectly equal take into account the power distribution and who can
excludes the possibility of establishing any numerical or dispensewhat in decidingon minority rights.
quantitative criterion concerning minority groups. Accord-
ing to the Yugoslav Government, a social group or (d) Obselvntionsof membersof the Sub-Commission
community termed minority comprisesthe inhabitants 44. During the discussions on the various interim
of a specific area who, as distinct from the population reports submitted to the Sub-Commissionby the Special
constituting the majority in that particular area, possess Rapporteur, many membersof the Sub-Commission made
their own specific ethnic, linguistic and religiouscharacter-
suggestions concerningthe provisional interpretation by the
istics. With respect to the number of the population of a Special Rapporteur of the term m.inority.t3 It was
particular locality, the minority concept is relative sincein generally recognized that it wasextremely difficult to state
some localities the population termed a minority can be precisely what the term covered and, in the view of some
greater in number than the rest of the population.
t2 See para. 28.
l1 R, C. Hingorani, Minorities in India and their rights, Revue 3 See ~lCN.4/Sub.2/SR.64?-648, 613-611, 693-696 and
des droits de Illotnme, vol. V, 2-3, 1972, p. 480. 719-722.
members, it would be an impossible task lo try and define a
concept that embraced a very dynamic reality varying *%ihority at rhe semin& on the prokotioll and
considerably from one country to another. Consequently, protection of rlre human rights of national, ethnic and
the attempt should not be made. It was also maintained, other minorities, held at Ohrid, Yugoslavia, from 25
however, that the abscncc of a generally accepted definition June to 8 July 1974
should not constitute an obstacle to the application of 50, The discussion on the meaning of the word min-
article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and ority at the Ohrid seminar was summarized in the report
Political Rights. as follows:
45. According to several members, the numerical The diversity of historical, economic and social conditions all
factor was of particular importance in any definition of the over the world was considered an obstacIc to the clabotatjon of a
general concept or definition of the term minority, as its content
term minority. Not only the number of persons belong varied from region to region and from country to country as~41as
in6 to the group but also the relationskip between that from one historical period to another. Some minority groupswere
number and the size of the geographical area in which the widely scattered, while others were conccnttatcd, forming a
group Ijved should be taken into account. Referring to the majority in certain regions of a country. It was pointed out that the
complex problem of the existence of many dialects in some term minority applied in certain casesto nationaL ethnic or racial
groups and in others to linguistic or religious groups, the latter not
countries, several members maintained that it was essential necessarily coinciding with the former groups.
to establish numerical criteria according to which a group
could claim the right to have its language or dialect It was contended that it was inappropriate to apply the term
minority to the tribes of Africa or to religious groups and castes
protected, Others took the contrary view that all States had in certain parts of Asia. It was therefore suggested that the term
a duty to preserve the characteristics of all minorities, minority should be used only for certain continents or regions of
whatever their numerical size. the world, including Europe, where it was already in current usage.
The existence in southern Africa of white minorities havinga
46. Emphasis was also laid on the need to include in the monopoly of power further complicated the question of the
definition the subjective element, i.e. the desire of the identification and defhlition of minorities.
groups to preserve their traditions or characteristics. In It was stated that in certain countries the term minority,
addition, each minority should constituie a social and which was felt to have a negative connotation, had been replaced by
cultural entity which, in the view of some members, was the term nationality to designate national, ethnic, linguistic and
the minimum precondition for recognition as a minority. other groups that were different from the rest of the population.
According to one participant, the term minority should be
fhe comment was also made that the definition should abandoned because it lacked a universal meaning and had become
refer to another important element, namely, a sense of outmoded. He suggested that it be replaced by the expression
community among the members of the minority group national, ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic and tribal groups.
indicating the existence of permanent bonds between them. Several participants attempted to classify or enumerate various
minority groups. A distinction was thus drawn between historical,
47. In the opinion of some members, the interpretation classical or involuntary minorities, resulting from cvcnts of a
envisaged by the Special Rapporteur was too wide and historical or geographical character (for example, changes in the
could not be applied to certain countries, notably the borders, transfer of population, and slavery) and minorities by
countries of Africa. A definition should take account of the election, voluntary minorities or new minorities, composed of
persons who had recently and voluntarily left their country of origin
sociological factors. In that connetion, it was stated that and moved to other countries (such as immigrants and foreign
special problems arose in developing countries and that the migrant workers).
case of tribes should not be confused with that of Some participants believed that migrant workers should not be
minorities in the industrialized countries. According to considered minorities because they did not usually acquire the
other members, groups consisting of immigrants or their citizenshio of the State where they temporarily established them-
descendants should not be included in the definition of the selves and consequently they did not enjoi the political rights of the
citizens, which were granted to im4untary minorities. Several
term minority, because of their voluntary assimilation. participants thought, however, that migrant workers represented a
48. It will be recalled in this connexion that similar new and special category of minority, possibly a social minority,
and that they presented a new set of problems. They stressed that,
comments were expressed in the United Nations General in the field of human rights, emphasis should not bc placed on
Assembly in 1948 during discussions on the question of citizenshio. On the other hand, many migrant workers had settled
including an article relating to minorities in the draft down in the State to which tl;ey had emigrated and acquired its
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, On that occasion, citizenship, thus forming new minority groups. Reference was also
made to the presence in certain countries of refugees, who also
several representatives of Latin American countries main- presented a separate set of problems.
tained that the problem of minorities did not arise in the
Some indigenous populations were described by certain speakers
American continent in the same way as in Europe and as a special category of minority, in the sense that their charac-
recalled that the Eighth International Conference of terization as minorities resulted mainly from the clash between
American States had approved a resolution providing that nooulations with distinctive social values and those who benefited
immigrants were not entitled to demand special treatment tdtn modern scientific and technological developments.
as a community. Similar points of view were expressed in One participant proposed, however, the following general defi-
the Third Committee of the General Assembly during the nition of the term minority: a group of citizens, sufficient in
deliberations on article 27 of the Covenant. number to pursue the aims of the group, but numerically smaller
than the rest of the people, linked together by historical, ethnic,
49. Lastly, several members of the Sub-Commission cultural, religious or linguistic bonds and wishing to preserve such
held that the term minority should not be interpreted bonds, which are different from those of the test of the people.14
solely in its etymological sense. They stated that there were
situations, as in southern Africa for instance, where a group
which constituted a numerical majority was a sociological
minority because of the fact that it was an oppressed group. I4 ST/TAO/HR/49, patas.29-36.

5. 77~ Council of Europe and the question of defining considering also the position of ethnic, religious or hnguis.
the tct-r?~nationaI minoyitie$ tic groups in multinational societies.
51. In 1973, the Committee of Government Experts of 53. Examination of the available documentation reveals
the Council of Europe considered a draft additional the existence of different ethnic, religious or linguistic
protocol, relating to the rights of persons belonging to groups in almost all the countries studied. The numerical
national minorities, to the European Convention on importance of these various groups varies, however, from
Human l7Qht.s. Referring to the question of the definition country to country and, in general, three types of situations
of the term national minorities the Committee noted can be distinguished. In some countries these groups are
that: roughly equal in size. In others, besides an ethnic, religious
whilst article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights or linguistic group, constituting a numerical majority, there
referred to mtional minorities, article 27 of the Covenant referred are one or more other groups forming, in some cases, a
to ethnic, rcligiour or linguistic minorities. The first question, small and, in others, an appreciable percentage of the total
therefore, WBS whether these two terms covered the same thing; population of the country. Elsewhere, there may be a group
some of the experts felt that they did, whilst others did not. This
difficulty of interpretation led the Committee to consider the which is numerically large, but not a majority, together
definition of national minorities, since its tcrrns of reference were with a number of other groups which individually con-
concerned with the rights of national minorities. stitute communities smaller in size but in conjunction form
The Committee observed that: a majority of the population.
it appears Ihat the term national minority does not appear in the 54. The examination of the documentation also con-
minority treaties concluded after the First World War, nor in any firms the observations concerning the classification of
UnitedNationshumanrightstext. Theexpertsnoted,however,that numerically non-majority groups contained in a mem-
the term national minority had subsequently been used in the
Convention against Discrimination in Education, adopted by the orandum submitted by the Secretary-General to the Sub.
Ccncral Conference of UNESCO on 14 December 1960, article Commission in 1950: I
5.1 (c) of which reads (in part): Jt is essential to recognize the
rights of members of national minorities to carry on their Own (a) Measured by the criterion of contiguity, the fol-
education activities .,.I, The term has been used by writers on lowing types of minotities may be distinguished:
international law, but no clear agreement as to its signikance
emerges Urerefrom. (i) Groups which constitute nearly the only population of
a section of the country;
Consideration of the possible bases for a definition of national
minorities that might be deduced from a comparison between article (ii) Groups which constitute the largest part of a section of
14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and article 27 of the country;
the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as from the
various international instruments and national laws, clearly did not (hi) Groups, settled in a section of the country; which
yield any unequivocal answer. constitute only a small part of the population of that
It then became relevant to consider if there were any ethnic, section;
religiousor linyistic minoritieswhich did not constitutenational (iv) A group, the members of which live partly in a section
minorities, as this term is used in the Assemblys proposal-l 5 In
most cases a national minority would also constitute an ethnic, of the country and partly scattered throughout the
linguistic or religious minority. On the other hand, there are clearly remainder of the territory;
certain ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities which do not
constitute national minorities. An additional consideration is that (v) Groups which are scattered throughout the whole
there are also certain linguistic minorities whose languages are country;
recognized as national languages. These different factors illustrate
further the difficulty of fmding any generally-accepted definition of (vi) Groups which live partly within the country and partly
the term national minority. For this reason, indeed, tlte experts in one or more other countries.
found it difficult to provide any satisfactory definition of nationaJ (b) Measured against the criterion of the origin of
groups and their situation in relation to the State, the
Some experts considered that if the term national minority following types of minorities can be distinguished:
were to be used in an additional protocol, it should bc interpreted as
broadly as possible so as to include all ethnic, religious and linguistic (i) Groups which existed in the country before the
minorities, as well as specifkslly national minorities.16 establishment of the State;
(ii) Groups which formerly belonged to another State, but
6. Observationsof the SpecialRapporteur which afterwards came under the jurisdiction of the
52. The Special Rapporteur wishes in the frost place to State through annexation or transfer of territory;
recall that the present study has been carried out pursuant (iii) Groups formed by persons having a common origin,
to Sub-Commission resolution 9 (XX) under which the religion, language etc. who have become nationals of
study is to analyse the concept of minority taking into the State.
account the ethnic, religious and linguistic factors and
55. It is on the basis of these considerations and bearing
ls The Consultative Assemblys proposal was as foJJows: in mind the observations of Governments and the surges-
Persons belonging to a national minority shall not be denied tions made by members of the Sub-Commission that the
the right, in community with the other members of their group, Special Rapporteur has prepared this study and has
and as far as compatible with public order, to enjoy their own indicated in the chapter containing his conclusions and
culture, to use their own language, to establish their own schools recommendations the elements which, in his view, should
and receive teaching in the language of their choice or to profess be included in a definition of the term minority. The
and practise their own religion.
l6 Report of the Committee of Experts on Human Rights to the
Committee of Ministers, adopted on 9 November 1973 (Councilof I7 Definition and Classification of Minorities(United Nations
Europe, DH/Exo (73) 47). publication, Sales No. 19S0.XIV.3).

groups whose situat@:p. has been examined with a view to 58. Lastly, with regard to the undoubted influence
determining to what extent the principles enunciated in exercised by the factor of the origin of a minority, the
article 27 of the Covenant have been applied in respect of Special Rapportcur is of the opinion that this influence
their members are those which constitute communities manifests itself in connexion with the groups reefing of
possessing, from an ethnic, religious or linguistic stand- identity (which largely depends on its origin) but that the
point, their own characteristics which differ from those of concept of minority is, in itself, independent of this factor.
the rest of the population. This objectively recognizable Persons of the same origin who have their own particular
fact is obviously the starting-point for any definition. It characteristics which differ from those of the remainder of
should be emphasized, however, that as soon as one speaks the population of a State (e.g. immigrants) are not
of communities having their own identity, the objective automatically bound to form a minority group. There carp
differences are clearly linked with the subjective factor be no doubt regarding the freedom of each individual to
(desire to preserve the characteristics of the goup). A help to form a minority group or to integrate himself into
group as such cannot have an identity throughout history if the remainder of the population.
its members have no wish to help in preserving it. On the
other hand, the numerical factor (numerical inferiority as B. The question of official recognition by States of ethnic,
compared with the rest of the population of the State) is of religious or linguistic minorities within their population
an undeniable importance in view of the fact that the need 59. The official attitude of States towards minority
to protect minorities derives essentially from the weakness groups forming part of their population can and does vary
of their position even within the context of a democratic considerably. It might be said that the two extremes are
State, i.e. one conforming to the model which emerges represented by the case of recognition in the Constitution
from the human rights instruments of the United Nations. of the existence of a minority and the absence of any
In such a State, it is the will of the majority which makes recognition at all. Between these two extremes, however,
the laws and determines the countrys general attitude. The there are some middle positions: recognition of the basis of
object of every international system for the protection Of special legislation or administrative measures or the simple
minorities has always been to ensure that the majority does recognition of private institutions representing the interests
not ignore the special requirements of minority groups. AS of minority groups,
for the situation caused by dominant minority groups
which establish (as in southern Africa) a hateful r&me of 60. The word recognition itself does not by any
oppression and racial discrimination in disregard of the means always have the same meaning, It could mean that
elementary principles of respect for the dignity of human the State grants to one or more minorities the status of
beings, it is the application of the principle of the right of legal persons, subjects of law, but this is very rareIy
peoples to self-determination which is challenged in this encountered. It may mean that a coherent set of rights-
case, It is obvious that the dominant minority groups do connected with the principle of protecting the identity of
not need protective measures, while the oppressed ma- minorities-is granted to members of such minorities.
jorities have rights which far exceed the very limited Sometimes, however, the only measure is the granting of
contents of article 27 of the Covenant, some specific rights to the minorities without there being
any over-all plan. In this last case, the recognition of the
56. There are, of course, countries in which groups of minority benefiting from the rights is usually implicit and
almost equal numerical size coexist. In such cases, the partial.
situation of all the groups has been taken into account since 61. In any case, what must be emphasized-before the
each of them is numerically in a minority position in attitudes of a number of States are examined more
respect of the population as a whole. As for the minimum closely-is the fact that international protection of min-
size that a minority should have in order to be recognized orities does depend on official recognition of their exist-
as such, the problem is a practical one rather than a ence. In the preceding pages, reference has been made to
theoretical one. In principle, even quite a small group has the difficulties of finding a defdtion of the term min-
the right to claim the protection provided for in article 27, ority. Nevertheless, the presence of sufficient elements to
to the extent to which it seems reasonable to expect the indicate that a minority exists is sufficient to make
State to introduce special measures of protection. applicable the pertinent international rules, and particularly
article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and
57. The interpretation adopted excludes foreigners Political Rights.
residing in a country. The Special Rapporteur is not
unaware of the problems encountered nowadays as a result 62. It is, of course, acknowledged that, in practice, the
of phenomena such as the migration of workers and the recognition of a minority by the State in which it lives
establishment of sometimes quite substantial groups of improves this situation, facilitates the application of the
foreign workers in certain industrialized countries, The case principles enunciated in article 27 of the Covenant and
of foreigners is different, however, from that of persons gives the members of the minority a solid basis for effective
who possess the nationality of the country in which they protection of the rights guaranteed them at the inter-
live. AS long as a person retains his status as a foreigner, he national level.
has the right to benefit from the protection granted by 63. The problem involved can be examined from two
customary international law to persons who are in countries angles. In the first place, the precise legal meaning of the
other than their own, as well as from any other special official recognition of certain population groups as min-
rights which may be conferred upon him by treaties or orities must be determined. In the second place, we must
other special agreements. Article 27 of the Covenant should examine the procedure by which the fact, that an individual
thus be interpreted as relating solely to nationals of the belongs to a group is established, with a view to applying a
State. particular status to the individual concerned,

64. The question of the recognition of religious min- inferior group having cultural characteristics different from
oritics as such has lost much of its urgency as a result of the those of the remainder of the population, The Govern.
almost universal acceptance of the principle of freedom of ment of the Philippines commented that a single category
conscience and religion which is now incorporated into the of minorities-national cultural minorities-benefited
domestic law of almost all States, The situation with from legal recognition. it noted in this connexion that the
regard to recognition of ethnic and linguistic minorities is national cultural minorities consisted in fact of the in.
not the same, however, The approach adopted by Stales to digcnous populations and that population groups other
this question differs not only from country to country but than these national cultural minorities did not have any
also, very frequently, within countries according to the legal standing as members of national minorities and were
groups involved. In some cases, certain ethnic and linguistic not included in the countrys concept of minority, The
groups have been officially recognized as distinct groups Government of Thailand states that the concept of min-
entitled to special rights, while others have not been SO ority is unknown in the country: Although this word has a
recognized. Moreover, the terminology used to designate Thai translation from English for the purpose of com-
the groups which are oMicially recognized is not the same munication with the outside world, it has no social and
everywhere. cultural connotation whatsoever.
65. As for the question of implicit recognition, it 69. Another situation is that where the State, while
should be pointed out that general constitutional provisions admitting the existence of minority groups within its
forbidding discrimination based on race, national or ethnic population, has nevertheless adopted a pragmatic attitude
origin, religion or language cannot be interpreted as regarding their legal status in domestic law. Thus, the
constituting a recognition of ethnic, religious or linguistic Government of the United Kingdom has stated that there
minorities. The same applies to official statistics concerning is no general procedure for granting official recognition of
the composition of the population of various countries. minority groups in the United Kingdom as a means of
Official statistics frequently classify the population by safeguarding their rights since they exist without such
ethnic, religious or linguistic groups and it may be asked recognition. It is unnecessary for an ethnic, religious or
whether this presentation has any legal significance. linguistic minority to be formally recognized by law to
Although such statistics prove the existence of such groups, exist. As regards Finland, even though there is no law on
it does not appear that, in themselves, they enable one to the matter, the Government states that the minority
conclude that the State has granted such groups a recog groups in the country are officially recognized. They have
nition with legal significance. the right to develop their own culture and to maintain their
linguistic traditions.
1. Recognition in internal law of tlte right of ethnic and 70. On the other hand, a very large number of countries
linguistic minorities to maintain and preserve their own have expressly recognized certain ethnic and linguistic
chnracteris tics groups as minorities, i.e. as groups which must be granted
66. In some countries, the existence of an ethnic or a special treatment in respect of their culture and their
Linguistic minority is not recognized at all in the internal language. In some countries, the recognition of these groups
Iaw. This is particularly the case in most Latin American has been introduced into the internal law as a result of
countries which maintain that immigrants and their international treaties or bilateral agreements. This is the
descendants do not constitute minorities. The Brazilian case in such countries as Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, the
Government, for example, has stated that in practice there Federal RTgublic of Germany, India, Italy, Pakistan and
are no ethnic or linguistic minorities in Brazil since Singapore.
immigrants are treated in the same manner as Brazilians. 71. In several countries, the express recognition of the
67. On this question, the French Government has stated right of ethnic and linguistic groups to preserve their
as follows: culture and their language (and this obviously implies
[France] cannot rgognize the existenceof ethnic groups, recognition of these groups) is incorporated in the consti-
whetherminorities or not As regards religions and languages-other tution or in legislation. It will be noted, however, that the
than the national language-the French Government points out that groups whose rights are defined are not always described as
these two areas form part, not of public law, but of the private being minorities. The groups in question are sometimes
exercise of public freedoms of citizens. The role of the Government
is limited to guaranteeing citizensfull andfree exerciseof these called national minorities sometimes nationalities,
freedomswithin the frameworkdefined by the law and respect for sometimes cultural communities and sometimes quite
the ri&ts of the individual. The French Government also draws simply linguistic groups.
attention to the fact that the use of local languages cannot in any
way constitute a criterion for the identification of a group for other 72. In Belgium, the Constitution provides that the
than scientific purposes. Quite apart from the fact that such use is country comprises three cultural communities (Dutch,
an individual matter, the very great diversity of local dialects-even French and German) and recognizes that all three of these
inside a linguistic group-the varying degrees of interest shown in communities are placed on the same footing and have the
such dialects by the inhabitants of a given area by reason, inter aI&
of the difficulties of adapting them to the development of ideas and right to maintain and develop their own culture. According
techniques and their incapacity to serve beyond their limited to the Government, recent developments in constitutional
framework, prevent them from being considered a necessary and law give wide recognition to the existence of cultural
sufficient element to define a community as opposed to theFrench communities and regions. In Italy, the Constitution men-
tions among the duties of the State that of safeguarding the
68. According to the Government of Niger it is not rights of linguistic minorities by the adoption of special
possible to distinguish within the country a numerically measures. In Switzerland, the Federal Constitution ret-

la Seeparas.413-415. 9 Seeparas.156-162.
ognizes that the country comprises four linguistic groups; 75. In the countries in which indigenous populations
furthermore, the principle of communal autonomy plays an exist, these populations are generally expressly recognized
important part in protecting linguistic minorities in the as constituting distinct groups which should have the
multilingual cantons. The Indian Constitution provides that benefit of a special rCgime. This is, inter ah, the case of the
any section of all the citizens residing in the territories of Indians of Latin America, the United States of America,
India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script Canada and Guyana, the Lapps in Finland, Norway and
or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the Sweden, the Aboriginals of Australia, Malaysia and New
same . O It further refers to rights of all minorities Zealand and the Ainus of Japan. The United States
whether based on religion or language. The constitution of Government, for example, has legally recognised Indians as
Singapore provides that it shall be the responsibility of the separate groups by signing treaties with them or by defining
Government constantly to care for the interests and special their legal status in federal legislation.
positions of the racial minorities. The Government shall 76. In many countries,2 Iaws and administrative
exercise its functions in such a manner as to recognize the measures concerning the use of the languages of various
special position of the Malays. Under the terms of the linguistic groups or questions specifically concerning par-
constitution of Iraq, the nation consists of two main ticular groups have been adopted, although these groups
ethnic groups, The constitution also recognizes the right have not been officially recognized as minorities or as
of the Kurdish nationals as well as the rights of other communities having the right to a special rt?gime. It would
minorities on an equal footing within a united Iraq. In the seem that in cases of this kind it might be concluded that
Philippines, the constitution provides that the State shall there is implicit recognition by the State, even if according
consider the customs, the traditions, beliefs and interests of to official doctrine the internal legal order does not provide
the national cultural communities in the formulation of for or does not recognize the existence of minorities or
State policies. of communities which deserve special treatment by reason
73. In Sri Lanka, the constitution provides that the of their ethnic or linguistic peculiarities, In this connexion,
State shall endeavour to strengthen national unity by certain comments made by the Spanish and Swedish
promoting co-operation and mutual confidence between all Governments appear significant, According to the Spanish
sections of the people, including racial, religious and other Government:
groups. The State shall assist in the development of the The Spanish State starts from the principle, enshrined in its
cultures and the languages of the people, It further Fundamental Laws, of the unity of the people and lands of Spain,
explicity states that every citizen has the right by himself without prejudice to recognition of the special characteristics of the
various regions forming the nation, including, of course, those which
or in association with others to enjoy and promote his own present special cultural and linguistic characteristics.
culture. Under the Burmese constitution, no minority,
whether racial or linguistic, shall be discriminated against in The Swedish Government has observed that:
regard to admission into State educational Institutions. Official recognition of the minority groups has not been made.
74. In other countries, including in particular the During the last years it has, nevertheless,been emphasized,,, how
impor&nt it id that society create-by different supporting
socialist countries of Eastern Europe, the term national- measures-meater oossibilities for the linguistic, ethnic and religious
ity is generally used to indicate the ethnic and linguistic minorities jo ma&ta& and develop the6 own language, traditions
groups whose right to preserve their own characteristics is and culture. Those measures are reflected in the new system of
expressly recognized in the constitution or in the laws. The teaching minority languages in the compulsory school, the ap
pointmint of the GovErn6ent Commission on Immigrants and of
constitution and laws of the Soviet Union and those of the the Government Commission on Lspp Affairs, the proposition of
Ukrainian SSR recognize the right of the various national- the Committee on the Relations bet&en the State and the Church
ities to pursue their cultural development and guarantee the concerningthe equalityof statusamongall religiouscommunities,
equality of all the nationalities. According to the Romanian as well as declarations made by politicians of all the political parties.
Government, the rights of the co-inhabiting national- It should also be mentioned that, in a very large number of
ities-a term which has been used to replace the expression African countries, the customs peculiar to the different
national minority to designate a distinct ethnic social ethnic groups have been maintained in force in the field of
group, numerically inferior to that of the Romanian nation, private law. Furthermore, In many developing countries,
having its own religious, linguistic and cultural charac- the use of the languages of the various groups has been the
teristics-are embodied in the constitution and the laws. subject of a series of legislative or administrative measures.
The Government of the German Democratic Republic In Sierra Leone, for example, the question of the establish-
states that the rights of the Wends, the only group ment or maintenance of separate educational systems or
considered in that country to constitute a national min- institutions for linguistic groups is dealt with by a law. In
ority, are officially recognized. Under the terms of the Lao~,~ an education order of 30 July 1972 stipulates that
constitution of Czechoslovakia, the state shall secure to a particular effort shall be made to ensure for the ethnic
citizens of Hungarian, German, Polish and Ukrainian groups genuine freedom of access to education. In Malawi,
national origin the possibility and the facilities for their the Constitution empowers the president to nominate to
all-round development. In Yugoslavia, the right of the the National Assembly persons to represent particular
national minorities to autonomous cultural development is minority interests.
recognized in the federal constitution, in the constitutions
of the various republics and in the statutes of the
municipalities in which they reside. The Hungarian consti- al Bangladesh, Canada, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Israel, Ma-
tution contains provisions Intended to ensure to alI laysia, Poland, SenegaI, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United States of
nationalities the possibility to develop their own culture. America, Zaire.
* In December 1975 the official name of the country was
* TheConstitution of Pakistan contains a similar provision. changed to Lao Peoples DemocraticRepublic.
77. It is important to bear in mind that in most cases language not of their own people but of the peoplk;mong
the groups recognized as minorities or as communities whom they Jive, though at the same time preserving
which are to benefit from special treatment are well-defined awareness of their own national identity. Accordingly Jn
groups, Certain groups, including those which are scattered Soviet censuses nationality and mother tongue are separate
throughout the territory of a country, seldom appear indicators.
among those forming the subject of recognition by the 79. In several countrJes,23 membership of a group is
State with legal effect. Such is the situation, for instance, of determined, not according to a law or on the basis of
the groups described as Gypsies in a large number of precise criteria, but on the basis of the formally expressed
European countries. wish of the individual. In Romania, for example, the law on
the status of the nationalities provides that each citizen is
2. lie question of an individuals membership authorized to establish his own nationality. Any inter-
of a given group ference by any authority in this matter is prohibited and
the official organs are obliged to accept the citizens
78. A question closely linked with the official rec- declaration, In addition, the Government has stated on
ognition of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities con- this subject that the essential element in the definition of
cerns the procedure followed for determining whether an nationality, mother tongue or religion is simply the free
individual is a member of a given group. The available declaration by the person concerned: Each citizen es-
documentation provides littIe information on this point. It tablishes by his free consent his membership of a national-
is not always easy in practice to decide whether or not an ity, his mother tongue and his religion. This decision is not
individual belongs to a minority. When such a determi- subject to any administrative control. In Czechoslovakia,
nation must be made in order to apply a particular status to the constitution provides that each citizen decides his
the individual concerned, it can, in theory, be done on the nationality freely.
basis of a definition provided by the law, of the categ
orically expressed desire of the individual, or of objective 80. In Austria it is the courts which have had to decide
criteria. Problems arise whatever the criterion applied. In this matter and for this purpose they have adopted neither
the opinjon of some, to rely wholly on the subjective of the two criteria exclusively, They have made use of them
criterion is not without danger, inasmuch as an individual both, while giving priority to the subjective criterion in case
who declares that he belongs to a minority may be acting of doubt.
under the influence of external pressure or solely for 81. In countries in which there are indigenous popu-
political reasons, The objective criterion requires member- lations, an individuals membership of an indigenous group
ship of a minority to be determined by the presence of is generally determined on the basis of a law. In Venezuela,
certain traits or characteristics which can be evaluated the national census classifies a person as indigenous if he
without reference to a statement by the individual con- habitually speaks a native language of his own or if his way
cerned, One of the most important traits is undoubtedly of life is so obviously original that he could not be classified
the language generally used by the individual. Other such with the peasant population. In Norway, tJle use of Lappish
traits or characteristics include the individuals name and is the usual criterion in national censusesof Lapps. In the
origin. But, as has frequently been pointed out, the use of Philippines, the determination whether an individual
objective criteria does not always lead to satisfactory belongs to a cultural minority is made by a government
results. It has been observed that the criterion of the name agency which makes the certification on the basis of the
is, to say the least, questionable and that the value of the laws defining minority groups. In the United States of
criterion of origin is very limited. As for the criterion of America, while no special legislative or judicial definition is
language, it has been pointed out in many cases that applied, certain conditions must be made by a person to
members of a linguistic minority generally use not only qualify as an Indian: To be designated as an Indian eligible
their own language but also the language of the majority. It for basic Bureau of Indian Affairs services, an individual
has been said, for example, that in the Soviet Union must live on or near a reservation and must be a member of
ethnographers and demographers consider it incorrect to a tribe or group of Indians recognized by the Federal
assign national ethnic affiliation on the basis of mother Government.
tongue, since the people inhabiting the Soviet Union have
drawn so much together socially that there are frequent 23 Czechoslovakia,Iraq, Italy, Romania, Spain, USSR, Yu~o-
cases of individuals making their basic everyday tongue the slavia.
Chapter II



A. The system of protection established after same treatment and security, both in law and in fact, that is
the First World War accorded Ihc racial or nationalmajodty of their pcopl~.~
86. In a third draft Covenant submitted subsequently,
1. Drafts discussed at the Peace Cortference of 1919 PresidentWilsonchangedand expanded the above clauseby
82. During the First World War many efforts were made adding a stipulation under which all States seeking ad-
to establishan effeclive system of protection of minorities missionto the Leagueof Nations would bind themselvesto
at the international level. In this connexion it will be accord equal treatment to their minorities. The text of
recalled first of all that on the initiative of a number of article VI of the draft, asrevised, read as follows:
private organizations, various congressesand conferences The League of Na!ions shall require all new States to bind
themselves, as a condition precedent to their recognition as
were held during the years 191.S-1919 with a view to independent or autonomous States, and the Executive Council shall
formulating draft solutions to the problem on the basisof exact of all Statesseeking admission to the Len@% of Nationsthe
the right of minorities to the preservation of their culture promise, to accord to all racial or national minoritieswithin their
and their ethnic character, to equality before the law and to scvcral jurisdictions exactly the same treatment and security, both
freedom of worship and religion. In addition, the setting up in law and in fact, that is accorded the racial or national majority of
their people.4
of international supervisory commissions to safeguard
minority rights and the establishment of a minorities 87. However, theseproposalsof PresidentWilsons were
tribunal were recommendedby one of these organizations not retained in the joint American-British draft which
as guarantees of the application of the r6gime to be ultimately served as the basisfor the formulation of the
instituted. Drafts of this sort were submitted to the Peace Covenant of the League of Nations. Thus, the Covenant
Conferencein 1919. does not include any provision concerning the rights of
ethnic minorities. This was in conformity with the British
83. In addition to the private drafts, the Conference
view that the question of minorities should be settled in
also had before it official drafts concerning the protection
treaties relating to territorial situations, having regard to the
of minorities. That submitted by Switzerland advocated,
inter alia, affirmation at the international level of the fact that some minorities claimed special treatment while
otherssought only the guaranteeof non-discrimjnation.
principle of equality before the law, freedom of conscience
and the right of minorities to use their own Ianguage.2 88. The efforts to include in the Covenant a clause
relating to freedom of belief and religion likewise had their
84. The question of the protection of minorities was origin in the draft Covenants submitted by President
debated when the Covenant of the League of Nations was Wilson. His third draft contained the following clause:
being drawn up, in the course of discussionson certain
Recognizingreligiouspersecutionand intoleranceas fertile
proposals aimed at including in the Covenant clauses sources of wary the Powers signatory hereto agree, and the League of
relating to equality of treatment for racial and national Nations shall cxact from all new States and all States seeking
minorities and freedom of worship and religion. admission to it the promise, that they will make no law prohibiting
or interfering with the free exercise of religion, and that they will in
85. The second of the draft Covenants submitted by no way discriminate, either in law or in fact, againstthosewho
Woodrow Wilson, Presidentof the United States, included a practise any particular creed, religion or bcllef whose practices are
not inconsistent with public order or publicmorals.6
clausein accordancewith which new States, asa condition
of the recognition of their independence, would bind 89. The British representative subsequently proposed
themselves to guarantee equality of treatment for their the insertion of the following provision:
racial or national minorities. The clause was worded as
The Leagueof Nationsshall require all new States to bind 3 David Hunter Miller, The Drafting ofthe Covenant (New York,
themselves, as a condition precedent to their recognition as G. P. Putnams Sons, 1928), vol. II, p. 91.
independentor autonomousStates,to accord to all racial or 4 Ibid., p. 105.
national minorities within their scvcral jurisdictions exactly the 5 It hasbeenthe intention of the British Draft to leave the
question of racial or national minorities to bc settled in the
territorial treatjes which arc generally guaranteed by the League.
This decision is based upon the fact that in some cases such
See C. A. Macartney, National Sfates and National Minorities minorities will demand a guarantee of distinct treatment in such
(New York, Russel and Russel, 1968), pp, 212-218; Arthur de matters as linguistic schools, while in others they wiil demand the
Balogh,La protection internatiolrale des minoritks (Paris, Les equal treatment guaranteed to them by thisArticle VI ,.. It seems
iditions internationales, 1930),pp.37-39;Jacques FouqucsDuparc, better therefore to omit Article Vi unless and until it becomes
La protection des minoritds de race, de langue et de religion (Paris, evident that it is impossible to deal with these questions adequately
LibrairieDalloz,1922),pp. 141-171. in the territorial treaties. (Miller, op. cit., vol. II, p. 129).
2 SeeBalagh,op. cit., p. 40. Miller, op. cit., vol. II, p. 105.

R~~agnising tcligio~s persecution and intolcrancc ns fertile: minorities within the new frontiers would jeopardize the
sources of war, the HCP agree that political unrest arising thcrcfrom stability of the States of whose populations they would
is a matter of concern to the Lcaguc and authorise the Executive henceforth be a part, creating within them a state of
Council wherever it Is of opinion that the peace of the world is
thrcatcrred by the illiberal nction of the Govcmmcnt of any State continuous tension and perhaps seeking outside help from
towards the adhcrcnts af any particular creed, religion or belief to peoples who had the same language and ethnic background
make such reprcscntations or take such other steps as will put an as theirs. Thus arbitrary treatment of minorities on the part
end to the evil in question.7 of the States with whose populations they had been joined
90. In the light of the discussions which took place in would have endangered world peace. Nothing .., is more
the Commission on the League of Nations that was set up likely to disturb the peace of the world than the treatment
by the Peace Conference,s the Committee whose task it which might in certain circumstances be meted out to
was to prepare a new text of the Covenant expressed the minorities ...I 3 affirmed President Wilson in his statement
view that it would be preferable not to include a provision of 31 May 1919 at a plenary meeting of the Peace
on freedom of worship and religion. If, however, there was Conference.
a strong feeling in the Commissjon that some such clause 93. Basing itself on the relevant precedents, but also
should be inserted, the Committee would suggest the taking into account the lacunae in the system of protection
following drafting:9 provided for in the treaties of the nineteenth century, the
The High Contracting Partics agree that they will make no law Peace Conference decided to set up and to place under the
prohibiting or interfering with the free exercise of religion, and that
they will in no way discriminate, either in law or in fact, against guarantee of the League of Nations a system of protection
those who practise any particular creed, religion, or belief whose of minorities taking the form of five special treaties, called
practices arc not inconsistent with public order or public morals. Minorities Treaties, concluded between the Allied and
Associated Powers on the one hand and the newly
91. However, the insertion of this clause in the established or enlarged States mentioned in the preceding
Covenant was rejected by the Commission by a very large paragraph on the other. Concurrently, and with a view to
majority. As noted later by the Committee set up by the ensuring a certain degree of reciprocity, similar obligations
Council of the League of Nations in its resolution of were imposed by the peace treaties on four of the
7 March 1929 to consider the application of the system of vanquished States (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey).
protection of minorities established by the international
instruments concluded after the First World War, the 94. The legal foundation of this system of protection of
suggestion that the principles of religious toleration and minorities is found in identical clauses in the Treaties of
racial equality should be included in the Covenant of the Versailles, Saint-Germain, Neuilly and Trianon, in which
League itself was found impossible, or at any rate Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State,
undesirable. r This shows clearly that the authors of the Romania and Greece declare that they accept and agree to
Covenant were not disposed to treat these principles, which embody in a Treaty with the Principal Allied and Associ-
had until then been considered valid only in respect of ated Powers such provisions as may be deemed necessary by
certain States and a small number of minority groups, as the said Powers to protect [in each of the above-mentioned
general obligations applicable to all Members of the League countries] the interests of the inhabitants who differ from
of Nations.

2. blternational instruments of the period 1919-1932 racial minorities, and thus to minimize this fruitful source of
international friction. The recognition of [the new States of Central
92. Although the Peace Conference of 1919 had re- Europe which arose on the break-up of the old Austro-Hungarian
jected efforts to include in the Covenant general clauses monarchy] was an attempt to make state lines and ethnic lines more
concerning the protection of minorities, it had nevertheless nearly coincide, as was the setting up of a Greater Serbia. It is
felt that the maintenance of a lasting peace required the estimated that the total number constituting the ethnic minorities
of Europe was reduced from over 50 million to less than 20 million.
adoption of certain measures relating to that subject. As a In some few cases the policy of eliminating minorities was sacrificed
result of the territorial changes which had taken place-in to political expediency; the transfer of the Trentino, or South Tyrol
particular the establishment-of the States of Poland and ... is an illustration. But it was inevitable that minorities should
Czechoslovakia and the enlargement of the Serbian, Ro- remain; in fact, many new minorities were created by the Peace
manian and Greek Kingdoms-the inhabitants of the terri- treaties. Former Germans of Germany are found in Poland, Danzig,
Schleswig, Alsace-Lorraine, the Saar Valley, and Upper Silesfa
tories of several States included large numbers who differed (Poland). So also former Germans of Austria are now in the Italian
ethnically or linguistically from the people with whom they Tyrol and Trentino, Jugs-Slavia and Czechoslovakia, and former
had been joined. r This situation justified the fear that the Germans of Hungary in Roumania and Jugo-Slavia. New Hungarian
(Magyar) minorities were created in Roumania, Czechoslovakia, and
Jugo-Slavia, and new Bulgarian minorities in Roumania, Thrace
Ibid., p. 555. (under Greece), and Jugo-Slavia. Buell points ont that about one
fourth of the population of Jugo-Slavia, one third of that of Rouma-
* A Commission, called the Commission on the League of nia, two fifths of that of Czechoslovakia, and well towards one half
Nations, had been set up by the Peace Conference to fonnulate the of that of Poland, consist of ethnic minorities. The peace treaties set
draft Covenant (see Miller, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 76-85). off to Italy 400,000 Slavs and 220,000 Germans. Nows living as
See Miller, op. cit., vol. II, p. 307. newly created minorities in Europe are over 7 million Germans and
nearly 3 million Magyars, and over 1 million Bulgars. Thus the new
lo Ibid., p. 231. frontiers of Europe reduced the number of minority peoples and at
Protection of Linguistic, Racinl or Religious Minorities by the the same time accentuated the difficult problem of their protec-
Leame of Notions. Series of Leaaue of Nations Publications. LB. tion. (Edmund C. Mower. International Government (Boston,
Minorities, 1931 LB.1 (C.8.M.5.19~1.1), p. 160. D. C. Heath and Company, 1931), p. 455.)
I2 As one writer has stated, In redrafting the map of Central I3 Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minonties by the
Europe, the Peace Conference undertook to reduce the numberof League of Nations, Q. 159.

the majority of the population in race, language or 98. With regard to the content of the regime established
religion. 4 after the First World War, it is interesting to recall the
95. The minorities rt?gime which resulted took four advisory opinion of the Permanent Court of International
different forms and was embodied in a series of inter- Justice of 6 April 1935 on the question of minority schools
in Albania. In that opinion, the Court stated that the
national instruments, as follow: (a) the five Minorities instruments drawn up for the protection of minorities had
Treaties concluded in 1919-1920 in conformity with the
two main objectives, namely to ensure that individuals
provisions of the peace treaties mentioned in the preceding belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities should
paragraph; (b) four special chapters of the peace treaties of
1919-1923 imposed on the vanquished States; (c) four be placed on a footing of perfect equality with the other
nationals of the State and, secondly, to ensure for the
subsequent treaties 6 and (d) five unilateral declarations, minority element suitable means for the preservation of
signed by various States between 1921 and 1932 upon their
their racial peculiarities, their traditions and their national
admission to the League of Nations, of which the Council
of the League of Nations took note in ad 1roc resolutions. characteristics. The Court rightly emphasized that those
two requirements were closely interlocked, for there would
96. The racial, religious and linguistic minorities which be no true equaljty between a majority and a minority if
which were thus brought within the scope of the regime of the latter were deprived of its own institutions and were
protection that and been established were those of Austria, consequently compelled to renounce that which constitutes
Poland (including Upper Silesia), the SerbCroat-Slovene the very essenceof its being as a minority.
State, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Greece,
the Free City of Danzig, the &and Islands, Albania, 99. The commitments assumed by States under special
Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, Memel and Iraq. Minorities Treaties may be classified as follows:
(a) In the first place, the Treaties contain stipulations
3. Tlte conternt of the rPgime of protection regarding the acquisition of nationality. These stipulations
97. It is noteworthy in the first place that the features provide, in principle, &at the nationality of the newly
common to the international instruments mentioned in created or enlarged country shall be acquired: (i) by
subsection 2 above far outnumber the differences, particu- persons habitually resident in the transferred territory or
lady as the treaty concluded with Poland-which preceded possessing rights of citizenship there when the Treaty
the others chronologically-served as a model for the comes into force; (ii) by persons born in the territory of
formulation of most of the subsequent instruments. parents domiciled there at the time of their birth, even if
they are not themselves habitually resident there at the
l4 The Stateswhich assumed obligations i,r respectof minorities coming into force of the Treaty. The Treaties also provide
under these Treaties were the following: Poland (Treaty between that nationality shall be ipso facto acquired by any person
the Principal Alljcd and Associated Powers and Poland, Versailles,
28 June 1919); Czechoslovakia (Treaty between the Principal Allied born in the territory of the State, if he cannot prove
and Associated Powers and Czechoslovakia, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, another nationality, The Treaties further contain certain
10 September 1919); the Serb-Croat-Slovene State (Treaty between stipulations concerning the right of option.
the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the Serb-Croat-
Slovene State, Saint-Gennain-en-Laye, 10 Septcmbcr 1919); Ro- (b) The States which have signed the Minorities Treaties
mania (Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers have undertaken to grant all their Inhabitants full and
and Romania, Paris, 9 December 1919); Greece (Treaty concerning complete protection of life and liberty, and recognize that
the Protection of Minorities in Greece, S&vres, 10 August 1920). they are entitled to the free exercise, whether in public or
Austria (Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated in private, of any creed, religion or belief whose practices
Powers and Austria. Saint-Germain-en-Lave. 10 September 1919); are not inconsistent with public order or public morals.
Bulgaria (Treaty between the Allied and Associated Powers and
Bulgaria, Neuiily-sur-Seine, 27 November 1919); Hungary (Treaty of (c) As regards the right to equality of treatment, the
Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary, Minorities Treaties lay down the following general
Trianon, 4 June 1920); Turkey (Treaty of Peace between the British principles: (i) equality of all nationals of the country
Empire,France,Italy, Japan,Greece, Romania, the Serb-Croat-
SloveneStateand Turkey,Lausanne, 24July 1923). before the law; (ii) equality of civil and political rights; and
(iii) equality oft reat ment and security in law and in fact,
l6 The Polish-Danzig Convention of 9 November 1920; agree-
ment between Sweden and Finland concerning the population of (d) Moreover, the Treaties expressly stipulate that
the Aland Islands placed on record and approved by a resolution of differences of race, language or religion shall not prejudice
the Council of the League of Nations on 27 June 1921; German-
Polish Convention relating to Upper Silesia of 15 May 1922; any national of the country as regards admission to public
Conventionof 8 May 1924 concerningthe Territory of Memel, employment, functions and honours, or to the exercise of
between the Allied and Associated Powers and Lithuania. professions and industries. It is also provided that nationals
Albania (2 October 1921); Lithuania (12 May 1922); Latvia belonging to minorities shall have an equal right to
(7 July 1923); Estonia (17 November 1923); Iraq (30 May 1932). It establish, manage and control, at their own expense,
will be recalled that in an advisory opinion dated 6 April 1935 charitable, religious or social institutions, schools and other
concerning minority Greek schools in Albania the Permanent Court educational establishments, with the right to use their own
of International Justice expressed the opinion that those unilateral
declarations had the same binding force as conventional under- language and to exercise their religion freely therein.
takings (Permanent Court of International Justice, Series A/B, (e) As regards the use of the minority language, States
64-69). It should likewise be recalled that those declarations were
generally signed pursuant to recommendations by the Assembly to which have signed the Treaties have undertaken to place no
the States concerned to the effect that they should, if admitted to restriction in the way of the free use by any national of the
the League of Nations, take the necessary measures to ensure the country of any language, in private intercourse, in com-
application of the general principles laid down in the Minorities
Treaties. 19 fiotection of Linguistic, Racial or Reliflous Minorities by the
I* See Protection of Minorities (United Nations publication, League of Notions, pp. 162-l 63; see also Protection of Minorities
Sales No. 67.XIV.4), pp. 7-8. (Unlted Nations publication, Sales No. 67,XIV.4), pp. 47-58.
,.,amerce, in religion, in the press or in publications of any entities in the above-mentioned instruments. The protec-
q*kind, or at public meetings. Those States have also agreed tion provided is directed to minorities in terms of t.he
to grant adequate facilities to enable their nationals whose individual as opposed to the group. According to some
mother tongue is not the official language to use their own writers, such an approach was adopted to cater to the
language, either orally or in writing, before the courts. sensitivity of the States concerned and to protect them
They have further agreed, in towns and districts where a against the risk of dismemberment. It is noteworthy
considerableproportion of nationals of the country whose neverthelessthat associationsformed by minoritieswere on
mother tongue is not the official languageof the country is many occasionsdeclared capable of exercising the right of
resident, to make provision for adequate facilities for petition.22
ensuring that, in the primary schools (the Czechoslovak 102. It will also be noted that the instrumentsdo not
Treaty refers to instruction in general), instruction shall contain any provision imposingobligationson minorities in
be given to the children of such nationals through the exchange for the measuresadopted in their favour. This
medium of their own language,it being understood that aspect of the question was debated within the Leagueof
this provision does not prevent the teaching of the official Nations and, in a resolution adopted on 21 September
languagebeing madeobligatory in those schools. 1922, the Assemblyof the Leagueof Nationsdeclaredthat:
cr) The Treaties provide that, in towns or districts 3. While the Assembly recognises the primary right of the
where there is a considerableproportion of nationalsof the minorities to be protected by the League from oppression, it also
emphasises the duty incumbent upon persons belonging to racial,
country belongjng to racial, religious or linguistic min. religious or linguistic minorities to co-operate as loyal fellow-citizens
orities 2D theseminorities will be assuredan equitableshare with the nations to which they now belong.
in theenjoyment and application of sumswhich may be
provided out of public funds under the State, municipal or
5. The Secretariat-General, which has the duty of collecting
other budgets for educational, religious or charitable information concerning the manner in which the Minorities Treaties
purposes. arc carried out, should not only assist the Council in the study of
@) In addition to these general engagements,the complaints concerning infractions of these treaties, but should also
assist the Council in ascertaining in what manner the persons
Minorities Treaties establisha number of special rights in belonging to racial, linguistic or religious minorities fulfd their
favour of certain minorities, viz., the Jewish minority duties towards tfleir States. 771einformation thus collected might be
(Greece, Poland and Romania), the Valachs of Pindus placed at the disposal of the States Members of the League of
(Greece), the non-Greek monastic communities of Mount Nations if they so desire.
Athos (Greece), the Moslem minorities in Albania, Greece
and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes,the 4. Theguaranteesof the rkgirneof protection
Czecklers and Saxons in Transylvania (Romania), and the 103. Apart from the provisions defining the rights
people of the Ruthene territory south of the Carpathians accorded to minorities-described in subsection3 above-
(Czechoslovakia). the various instruments contained a twofold guarantee: a
100, It is clear from this account that the rigime guaranteeunder municipal law and an international guaran-
establishedcontained two types of provision: one contain- tee.23 Under the terms of the guaranteeunder municipal
ing clausesensuring equality of treatment to membersof law, the State concerned undertook that the provisions
minority groups and the other containing specialmeasures relating to minorities shall be recognizedas fundamental
for the protection of such groups. The objective of laws, and that no law, regulation or official action shall
protecting members of minority groups was pursued by conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any
imposing on the State a standard of conduct with regardto law, regulation or official action prevail over them.24
the treatment of individuals whereby any discrimination
basedon race, languageor religion wasprohibited in certain
specific domains, Furthermore, provision was made for
specialmeasuresderiving from the idea of safeguardingthe the sums which may be provided out of public funds for
values peculiar to each minority group, namely, language, educational, religious or charitable purposes (article 9 of the
religion and culture. The clausesrelating to nationality were MinoritiesTreaty with Poland and the corresponding articles of
clearly aimed at protecting personswho becamemembers other Treaties). Under the terms of article 10 of the Minorities
of a minority group as a result of a territorial transfer Treaty with Poland. educational committees appointed by the
Jewish communitie; provide for the distribution of the pro-
against the danger of losing their nationality of origin Dortional share of funds allocated to Jewish schools. Article 2 of the
without acquiring that of the new State. Minorities Treaty with Romania accords local autonomy, in regard
to scholastic and reljgious matters, to the communities of the
101. It will be noted that, with the exception of certain Czecklers and Saxons. Article 13 of the Minorities Treaty with
special cases,2 minorities were not regardedas collective Greece accords local autonomy to the communities of the
Valachs of Pindus in regard to religious, charitable or scholastic
2o With regard to the application of the stipulations of the 22 See paras. 112 and 114; see also Ralogh, op. cit., p. 93;
Treaties providing for adequate facilities for ensuring that instruc- M. Sibert, Troit6 de droit international public (Paris, Librairie
tion shallbe given in the minority language in districts where a Dalloz, 1951), Vol. 1, p. 498.
considerable proportion of the membersof a linguisticminority
reside, one writer held that the expression considerable pro- See Charles Rousseau, Droit international public (Paris,
Dortion has been interpreted in practice as meaning at least one Recueil Sirey, 1953), pp. 218, 219.
hfth of the population of a country. (Frederick L. Schuman, 24 Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the
International Politics. An Introduction to the Western State System, League of Nations: Provisions contained in the Various Inter-
lstkd. (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1933),p. 3 16 J national Instruments at present in Force, Series of League of
2 Reference may be made, inter a/ta, to the provision whereby Nations Publications, LB. Minorities, 1927, LB.2 (CL.1 10.1927.1,
minoritiesareto beassured
anequitablesharein theenjoymentof annex), p. 42.
104. Under the terms of the international guarantee, (u) The Council of the League of Nations assumed
each State concerned agreed that: exclusive power to agree to any changes in the regulatory
(1) ..I the stipulntions in the foregoing Articles, so far as they provisions established for the benefit of mtnorities. The
affect persons belonging to racial, religious or linguistic States preparing such provisions were thus precluded from
minoritics, constitute obligations of intcrnationnl concern and curtailing, by means of subsequent legislation, the protec-
shall be placed under the guarantee of the League of Nations. tion afforded to minorities;
They shall not be modified without the assent of a majority of
the Council of the League of Nations. The United States, the (b) The Council further assumed the power to intervene
British Empire, France, Italy and Japan hereby agree not to in the event of any Infraction, or any danger of infraction,
withhold their assent from any modification in these Articles of any of the rules established, taking such action as was
which is in due form assented to by a majority of the Council
of the. League of Nations. appropriate to each case. Although this power was con-
difianed by the fact that any infraction was to be brought
(ii) ..I any Member of the Council of the League of Nations shall
have the right to bring to the attention of the Council any to the attention of the Council by one of its members, it
infraction, or any dangor of infraction, of any of these was the essential feature of the supervisory function, which
obligations, and that the Council may thereupon take such waslater developed by the Council;
action and give such direction as it may deem proper and
effective in the circumstances. (c) In the settlement of differences between a State in
(iii) ... any difference of opinion as to questions of law or fact which there was a minority and a State Member of the
arising out of these Articles between the Polish Government Council, the way was open for the exercise of the judicial
and any one of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and function of the Permanent Court of International Justice,
any other Power, a Member of the Council of the League of which had compulsory jurisdiction in matters relating to
Nations, shall be held to be a dispute of an international
character under Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of the protection of minorities.
Nations. The . .. Government (of the State concerned j hereby
consents that any such dispute shall, if the other party thereto 5, l%eprocedurefor the implementation o.f the League
demands, be referred to the Permanent Court of International of Nationsguarantee
Justice. The decision of the Permanent Court shall be final and
shall have the same force and effect as an award under Article 106. It should be noted in the first place that the
13 of the Covenant. treaties relating to the minorities regime were negotiated
105. To summarize the three aspects of the inter- outside the League of Nations and that the Council was
national guarantee which have just been described, it may consequently obliged to adopt a resolution in each case,
be said that: under the terms of which the provisions of the treaties in
question were placed under the guarantee of the League of
25 Ibid,, pp. 44-45, (Article 12 of the Treaty with Poland served Nations so far as they affect persons belonging to racial,
as the basis for the corresponding articles in the other instruments.) linguistic or religious minorities.
Articles 13 and 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations read as
follows: 107. Furthermore, the elaboration of the procedure
whereby this guarantee was rendered effective was princi-
pally the work of the Council. The procedure relied
1. The Members of the League agree that whenever any essentially on two measures, for which no provision was
dispute shall arise between them which they recognize to be made in the treaties, namely, the institution of the right of
suitable for submission to arbitration or judiciul setilement, and petition for the benefit of minorities and the establishment
which cannot be satisfactorily settled by diplomacy, they will
submit the whole subject-matter to arbitration or judiciuJ of Minorities Committees.26 This procedure may be sum-
settlement. marized as follows: as a first step, the Secretariat of the
2. Disputes as to the interpretation of a treaty as to any League of Nations examined the petition to determine
question of international law, as to the existence of any fact whether it was receivable. Once declared to be so, the
which, if established, would constitute a breach of any inter- petition was transmitted to the State concerned for
national obligation, or as to the extent and nature of the comment, and then to the members of the Council and, if
reparation to be made for any such breach, are declared to be
among those which are generally suitable for submission to the conditions laid down by the Council were fulfilled, to
arbitration or judicial settlement. the other Members of the League of Nations. In the
3. For the consideration of any such dispute, the court to Council, the examination of the substance of the petition
wJzich tJte case is referred shall be the Permanent Court of was carried out by a committee of three or four members,
International Justice, established in accordance with Article 14, according to circumstances, known as a Minorities Com-
or any tribunal agreed on by the parties to the dispute or mittee. A committee was set up to deal with each petition.
stipulated in any convention existing between them. At the conclusion of its examination, the Committee could
4. The Members of the League agree that they will carry out
in full good faith any award or decision that may be rendered, 26 It should be noted also that a special section entitled
and that they will not resort to war against a Member of the Minorities Section was established in the Secretariat of the
League which complies therewith. In the event of any failure to League of Nations to serve as the administrative organ of the
carry out such an award or decision, the Council shall propose hfinoritios Committees. Ibis section was gradually enlarged, notably
what steps should be taken to give effect thereto. by the establishment of a press information service to deaJ with
minorities questions and the publication of a weekly bulletin
ARTICLE 14 containing a summary of newspaper articles from the various
countries which had entered into commitments with regard to
The Council shall formulate and submit to the Members of minorities and which were of direct or indirect interest from the
the League for adoption plans for the establishment of a point of view of the protection of minorities (see P. de Azdrate,
Permanent Court of Jntemational Justice. The Court shal.l be League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment
competent to hear and determine any dispute of an international (Washington, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945)
characterwhich the parties thereto submit to it. The Court may pp. 123-130; PIatection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities
aho give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question by the League of Notions, Series of League of Nations Publications,
referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly. LB. Minorities, 1931.LB.l (C.8.M.5.1931.f), pp. 170-172.
either reject the petition, attempt to find a solution to the Should the State concerned announcethat it wishesto subtdt
problem through itself negotiating with the Government comments, a poriod of two months, dating from the day & which
its rcprcsentativc accredited to the Secretariat of the League icccives
concerned, or request that the question should be placed on the text of the petition, shall be granted to it for this purpose, The
the agenda of the Council. It was understood that any Secretary-General, on receipt of the comments, shall communicate
member of the Council had the right to bring the matter the petition, together with the comments, to the Members of the
before the Council, whatever the decision by the Com- League of NaLions.
mittee. Once submitted to the Council, the question was In exceptional and extremely urgent casts, the Secretary-General
examined according to the Councilsusua1procedure. shall, before communicating the petition to the Members of the
Leagueof Nations,inform the representative
accreditedto the
Secretariat of the League of Nations by the State concerned.
(a) 77zenghr of pcritiorr
lhis decision shall come into immediate effect for all matters
108. The right of petition was granted to minorities affecting Poland and Czechofovnkja.28
following the Councils adoption on 22 October 1920 of a
111. Under the terms of another Council resolution,
report concerning the limits and nature of the guarantees
adopted on 5 September1923:
established under the various treaties, prepared by
The extension of the period of two months fixed by the
Mr. Tittoni, Rapporieur of the Council. The relevant resolution of 27 June 1921 for observations by the Government
passages of the report read asfollows: concerned on the subject of the petitions may be authorized by the
The right of calling attention to any infraction OI danger of President of the Council if the State concerned so requests and if
infraction is reserved to the Mcmbors of the Council. This is, in a the circumstances appear to make such a course necessary and
way, a right and a duty of the Powers represented on the Council. feasible.
By this right they are, in fact, asked to take a special interest in the The communication, in accordance with the resolution of 27
protection of minorities. June 1921, to the Members of the League of petitions and of
Evidently, this right does not in any way exclude the right of the observations (should there be any) by the Government concerned
minorities themselves, or even of Statesnot rcprescntedon the shall bc restricted to the Members of the Council. Communications
Council, to call the attention of the League of Nations of any may be made to other Members of the League or to the general
infraction or dangerof infraction. But this act must retain tile public at the request of the State concerned, or by virtue of a
nature of a petition, or a report pure and simple; it cannot have the resolution to this effect passed by the Council after the matter has
legal effect of puttin the matter before the Council and calling been duly submitted to it.
upon it to intervene.+
112. The question of the receivability of a petition was
109. The same report laid down the procedure for the also a subject of discussion. In the same resolution of
examination of petitions, which wasa follows: all petitions 5 September 1923, the Council laid down the following
were to be communicated, without comment, to the conditions for petitions to be receivable:
membersof the Council for information. Such communi- In order that they may bc submitted to the procedure established
cation, however, did not of itself constitute a judicial act of by the Council resolutions &ted 22 and 25 October 1920 and 27
the League or its organs. According to the report, the June 1921, petitions addressed to the League of Nations concerning
competence of the Council to deal with the question arises the protection of minorities:
only when one of its Members draws its attention to the (a) Must have in view the protection of minorities in accordance
infraction or danger of infraction which is the subject of with the Treaties;
the petition or report, The report added further that the (b) In particular, must not be submitted in the form of a request
State concerned, if it wasa memberof the League, wasto for the severance of political relations between the minority in
be informed at the sametime as the Council of the subject question and the State of which it forms a part;
of the petition in accordancewith the procedure generally (c) Must not emanate from an anonymous or unauthenticated
foIlowed whereby any document forwarded for the infor- source;
mation of members of the Council was, in principle, (d) Must abstain from violent language;
forwarded to all membersof the League. (e) Must contain information or refer to facts which have not
recently been the subject of a petition submitted to the ordinary
110. On the initiative of Poland and Czechoslovakia, procedure.
this procedure was eventually revised by a resolution
If the interested State raises for any reason an objection against
adopted by the Council on 27 June 1921. In this the acceptance of a petition, the Secretary-General shall submit the
resolution, the Council, referring to Mr. Tittonis report, question of acceptance to the President of the Council, who may
decided that: invite two other members of the Council to assist him in the
consideration of this question. If the State concerned so requests,
Ail petitionsconcerning the protection of minorities under the this question of procedure shall be included in the agenda of the
provisionsof the Treatiesfrom petitionersotherthan Membersof Council.
the League of Nations shall be immediately communicated to the
Stateconcerned. 113. It will be noted that the exhaustion of internal
The State concerned shall be bound to inform the Secretary- remedieswas not included among the conditions for the
General, within three weeks of the date upon which its representa- receivability of petitions, It will be recalled in this
tive accredited to the Secretariat of the League of Nations received connexion that this particular condition is currently
the text of the petition in question, whether it intends to make any
comments on the subject. regarded as of fundamental importance to any system of
communicationsor individual recourseto an international
Should the State concerned not reply within the period of three
weeks, or should it state that it does not propose to make any organization in the area of humanrights. (The provisionsof
comments, the petition in question shall be communicated to the the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Members of the League of Nations in accardance with the procedure Forms of Racial Discrimination and the EuropeanConven-
laid down in M. Tittonis report. tion for the Protection of Human Rightsand Fundamental
Freedomsare relevant in this context.)
Froreciion of linguistic, Racial or Re&ious Minorities by the
Leugue of Nations, p. 7. This
document also contains the text of the a This procedure was subsequently accepted by all States which
resolutions mentioned in this section. had entered into commitments with regard to minorities.

114. As to the manner in which the conditions for to the League of Nations.32 fhc relevant paramph of the
receivability mentioned in paragraph 112 were applied in rcsoiu tion reads as follows:
practice, the Committee responsible for examining the
procedure whereby the international guarantee was applied 6. Regular Attnuol Alhlications cortccrnity of tire Lea@e
the Work
had the following views: in connexion o/Minorities
with the Protection
The Secretary-General will publish annually in the Official
As regards the origln of petitions, it should first be observed that, Joun~ol of the League statistics of: (1) the number of pelitions
in order to bc accepted, they need not necessarily emanate from the received by the S&relariat during the year; (2) the number of
minority concerned. Petitions from persons or organizations which netitions declared to be non-receivable; (3) the number of petitions
not only did not belong to the minority concerned but did not even declared to bc receivable and referred to Comrnitlecs of Three;
belong to the country referred to in the petition have often been (4) the number of Committees and the number of meetings hold by
declared acceptable, provided the source was not anonymous or them to consider these petitions; (5) the number of peti!ions whose
unauthcnticatcd. As to the question under what circumstances the examination by a Committece of Three has been finished In the
source may bc regarded as anonymous or unauthenticated, in course of the year.
orincinlc. any signed petition is regarded as cmanatina from an
authenticated source. In certain casts, petitions sent b; telegram 117. The essential features of the procedure for the
have also been regarded as acceptable before being confirmed by examination of petitions as established in the
letter. aforementianed Council resolutions merit particular
As regards the form of petitions, the rule laid down by the atlcntion. In the first place, petitions were not regarded as
Council on this point is also given a very broad interpretation. actual requests but as sources of information pure and
Petitions containing abusive language or terms incompatible with
the dignity of the Governments concerned are alone rcjectcd as not simple, l%e procedure adopted thus avoided the
fulfilling this condition of acceptability. The Secretary-General petitioners being considered as a party to a judicial
takes into account the fact that petitions may come from persons procedure between himself and the Government concerned.
belonging to populations of primitive culture, in which case Nor did a petition have any judicial status; petitioners did
obviously their wording cannot be judged according to the strictest not participate in the Councils proceedings, even as
witnesses.3 3 In this connexion, the following observations
As regards the three conditions relating to the contents of were made:
petitions; the Secretary-General has merely to carry out a cursory
examination of the facts and information submitted by the *..petitions from minorities are in the nature of information pure
petitioner. He cannot verify any of the facts or even undertake to and simole. In accordance with this principle and with the intention
examine the substance of the question raised in the petition. In underlying the establishment of the procedure, care has always been
principle, when ~JIOstatement of facts in a petition is prirrra ficie in taken to avoid making its application a kind of proc6dure
accordance with the three conditions required, it is declared confradictoire or judicial procedure In which the petitioner and the
acceptable. Government concerned appear as two parties to be heard by the
If a petition is declared unacceptable, no action is taken in regard League of Nations. The Council has established for minorities
to it, The petitioner is not informed of the decision, for the reason petitions a sui gcneris procedure adapted to the nature of the right
already indicated, that he is regarded not as an applicant but purely of petition established by M. Tittonis report. The object of this
and simolv as a source of information for the Members of the procedure is, not to enable the Council as it were to settle a lawsuit
Council.Pror this reason, a petition is regarded as unacceptable only between two parties, but to ensure that reliable information as to
if it obviou;l$ does not fulfil one of the conditions laid down by the the manner in which the signatory States to the Minorities Treaties
Council. ,.. are carrying those treaties into effect is laid before the Members of
the Council.34
The fact that, in the procedure as established, petitions are not
regarded as actual requests but as sources of information pure and @) 7he Mihvities Committees
simple means that the conditior$i governing acceptance must be
given a very broad interpretation. 118. During the debates which preceded the Councils
acceptance of the obligations placed upon it by the
115. It is noteworthy that under the procedure applied socalled Minorities Treaties, several representatives stressed
until 1929, documentation relating to the examination of that a member of the Council who accused a State of
petitions remained confidential where a question was not having violated the terms of a treaty guaranteeing the rights
placed on the Councils agenda. No communication was of minorities would be in a difficult position. Moreover, the
made to the petitioner or to the Council. The documen- introduction of the petition machinery did not alter the
tation became public only if the question was placed on the provisions of the Minorities Treaties, according to which
Councils agenda. 3 r It will also be noted, as pointed out in only States members of the Council could take the
the previous paragraph, that where a petition was declared initiative of informing the Council of an infraction or the
non-receivable, the petitioner was not informed of the danger of an infraction. On the basis of a proposal by one
decision taken, whereas in cases where a petition was of its members, and with a view to solving that problem,
declared receivable, the Government concerned invariably the Council adopted on 25 October 1920 a resolution
had an opportunity to challenge the soundness of that providing that aU petitions would be considered by a
decision. To remedy these shortcomings, the Council three-member committee before being discussed by the
decided in a resolution of 13 June 1929 that the Secretary- Council itself.35 This resolution reads as follows:
General should inform the petitioner where a peti.tion was
declared non-receivable, 3 2 See also para. 120.
116. In this same resolution, the Council also decided 33 See Balogh, op. cit., pp. 233-237.
to establish procedures for publicizing petitions transmitted 34 Protection of Lityristic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the
League of Nations, p* 115.
35 In the light of the recommendations made in the report of
29 Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities bu the the Committee established in March I929 to evaluate the procedure
League ofNations, p. 176. used until that time, the Council decided in its resolution of I3 June
1929 that the President of the Council could, in exceptional cases,
JO Ibid., p. 115. invite four members of the Council instead of two to meet as a
31 Ibid., p. 179. committee.
For IL de!inition of the conditions under which the Council shall Gq@aJly speaking, the object of the examination of a petition
excrcisc the powers granted IO it by the Covenant and by various by thcthree Members of fhe Council appointed for the purpose is to
Trcatics for the protection of minorities, the Council approved a consider whether one or more Members of the Council should
resolution which will be inserted In its Rules of hocedurc: cxcrcisc their right to bring the question to the Councils notice.
This right may also be exercised by any individual member of the
With a view to assisting Members of the Council in the exercjsc Commit!ec, whatever view his colleagues may take. When once the
of their rights and duties as regards the protection of minorities, it question has been brought before the Council, it is dealt with in
Is desirable the t !he President and ! wo mcmbcts appointed by him accordance with the normal procedure, that is to say, the Council
in each case should proceed !a consider any petition or communi- considers it on !hc basis of a rtport submitted to it by its
ca tiorr addressed to the League of Nations Hi th regard to an Rapporteur for minorities questions.
infraction or danger of infraction of the clauses of the Treaties for
the protection of minori!icr. This inquiry would be held as soon BS In most cases, the members of !he Committees of Three have
the petition or communication in question had been brought to found that, although the circumstances do not in their opinion
the no&e of the Members of the Council. justify the placing of !he question on the Councils agenda, they do
not permjt of its being dropped altogether. The members of the
119. In order to ensure that the Minorities Committees Committee may consider, for example, that the information at their
performed their functions with the requisite objectivity, the disposal does not enable them to decide whether there has or has
Council adopted on 10 June 1925 the following resolution, not been an infractjon or danger of infraction of the treaty; or they
setting out the conditions for the appointment of the may feel that they could obtain favourable consideration of the
minoritjes wjshes by approaching the Government concerned in an
members of these commit tees: informal and friendly manner. The Committee then, acting through
TYle Cound .,, the Minorjtjcs Sectjon, enters into informal negotiations with that
Decides Government with a view either to obtaining further information or
to securing a satisfactory settlement of the matter. The elasticity of
I. If the Acting President of the Council is: this system enables the various Committees to adapt their methods
The representative of the State of which the persons be- to the special circumstances of each case. A system of genuine and
longing to the minority in question arc subjects, or friendly cooperation has thus grown up between the League, acting
The representative of a neighbouring State of the State to through the Committees of Three, and the Governments concerned,
with a view to the equitable and satisfactory settlement of such
which the persons belonging to the minority in question are
subject, or cases. This explains, too, why far fewer questions are submitted to
the Council by the Minorities Committees than are the subject of
The representative of a State the majority of whose popu- informal nego!iations between these Committees and the Govern-
lntion belong from the ethnical point of view to the aamc people ments concerned.
as the persons belongjng to the minority in question,
The policy of the Committees of Three of settling the various
that the duty which falls upon the President of the Council in questions submitted to them by direct and informal negotiations
accordance with the terms of the resolution of 25 October 1920, with Governments is based on a consideration which all who have
shaJl be performed by the member of the Council who exercised the had occasion to sit on those Committees will doubtless recognize as
duties of President immediately before the Acting President, and wholly justifiable, namely, that, for the purpose of settling the
who is not in the same position. majority of the questions raised in petitions, informal and friendly
IT, The President of the Council, in appointing two of his negotiations between a Committee of Three and the Government
colleagues in conformity with the resolution of 25 October 1920, concerned constitute a much more effective method than public
shall not appoint either the representative of the State to which the discussion by the CounciL3
persons belonging to the minority in question are subject or the
representative of a State neighbouring the State to which these 122. A former Director of the Minorities Section of the
persons are subject, or the representative of a State a majority of League of Nations secretariat has made the following
whose population belong from the e$hzicaJ point of view to the comments on the efficacity of the procedures used by these
same people as the persons in question. Committee:
120. Furthermore, on the basis of the recommendations Generally speaking, the committees found themselves faced with
of the Committee set up in 1929 to evaluate the application the following alternatives: (a) that of putting an immediate end to
of the procedure used until that time, the Council, in its their examination, if they considered that the observations of the
resolution of 13 June 1929, decided that in the case of government satisfactorily explained all the allegations of the
petition; (b) that of asking that the question be placed promptly
petitions whose inclusion in the Councils agenda was not on the agenda of the Council, if they felt that the explanations of
requested, the Committees should communicate the result the government did not remove the suspicion of an infraction or
of their examination to the other members of the Council. danger of infraction, but rather confirmed it; (c) that of entering
In the same resolution the Council also proposed that the into negotiations wjth the government concerned in order to
obtain supplementary expJanations, Sometimes the latter were
Committees should consider carefully the possibility of genuinely desired, but more often the real object of the nego-
publishing, with the consent of the Government concerned, tiations was to arrive at certain reforms or modifications which
the result of the examination of the petitions submitted to would make it possible for the committee to sanction a legal or
them. The Council also expressed the earnest hope that factual situation which originally had been considered contrary to
the provisions of the Minorities Treaty. Alternatives (a) and (b)
the Governments will, whenever possible, give their consent were very rarely adopted; there were but few cases of the first, and
to such publication. of the second I have no recollection at ah. Alternative (c) was the
121. The functioning of these Committees has been general rule. In the vast majority of cases, the committees, whether
in a sincere desire to complete their information, or as a means of
described as follows: negotiating concessions, brought to the notice of the government
The meetings of the various Minorities Committees which are in concerned the points on which they considered its observations
existence simultaneously are generally held during sessions of the unsatisfactory, and asked for supplementary information.
Council, though they are also held between those sessions. . . .
II. 37 According to article III, paragraph 4, of the rules of
procedure of the Council of the League of Nations, At the last
The Committees meet privately, no formal Minutes being taken, ordinary session of each year the Council shah draw up a list of
and each is free to adopt its own procedure. ... rapporteurs for the various matters with which it is habitually called
upon to deal (League of Nations, Official Journal, July 1933,
p. 900).
3 6 Protection of Lingvistic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the 3a Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities b.y the
League ofNations, p. 10. League ofNations, p, 178.

ne minorities, and the governments which encourogeband rovlded for by the Covenant may always be
supported them in their claims ,., alwaysdisplayedgreatanimosity
and distrust of this method of negotiation between commjttccs
andthe accusedgovernments.
And their attitude wassharedby 124. !n addition to jurisdictional supervision, the
not a few men and women of standing,representinga body of PermanentCourt was empowered to perform an advisory
neutral opinion interested in all matters relating to national function with regard to minorities questions. It will be
minorities. I very much doubt whetherthis attitude wasjustified, recalledthat the generalbasisfor the advisory competence
and still more do I question the opinion that it would have been
preferable for these questions to be examined and resolved by the of the Court wascontained in Article 14 of the Covenanl of
Council rather than negotiated by the committecr. My own feeling the Leagueof Nations,4Z and that moreover the Council,
... is that it wouldhavebeennot only not beneficial,but actually having the power to take any appropriate measureon the
prcjudjcial, to the cause of the minorities or of international basisof the instruments concerning minorities, could in a
collaboration to have submitted to the Council all those minority given case consider jt an appropriate step to request an
questions which were examined and resolved by the committees.
fl~osc who arc of a different opinion have not Perhaps reflected on advisory opinion of the Court.
a point which may or may not seem right, and which we may 125. In a number of advisory opinions given at the
praise or condemn, but which the League of Nations had to accept
as a general postulate in many spheres of activity [and in particular requestof the Council, the Court defined principles relating
that of minority protection). This is that in view of the limited to various aspects of the problem of protection of
importance, in general, of each of the questions examined, one minorities,43 including the definition of the term min-
could not count on the applicationof thecoercivemethods at the orities and the nature of the rights accordedto minorities,
disposal of the League in order to force the guilty State to
adopt the necessary measures for the fulfilment of the Minorities 126. A writer has made the following commentson the
Treaties (particularly since such measures concerning minority scopeof theseadvisory opinions:
questions were specifica/lJ~ internal ones); in consequence the only
weapons at the disposal of the League were those of moral WC shall simply confine ourselves to observing that although the
pressure and wise negotiation, and the only Possible outcome a opinion is in theory only advisory, that is to say the expression of a
formula accepted by the government concerned. Upon reference view having no binding force and lacking the authority of res
to the Council, therefore, of any given case, the Council, like the judicata, it is nevertheless equally true that, in practice, the opinions
committees, had no choice but to open negotiations with the of the Court have acquired the same authority as judicial decisions. I
government; negotiations which were carried out by the Rappor- This is fully proved by all the practice of the Council to date, And
teur, accompanied in certain cases by two other members of the the Court itself has, from the outset, regarded its task in the
Council, who formed a new committee (this time a committee of advisory field not as that of a simple legal adviser to the Council,
the Council, properly speaking). This new committee did exactly but as part of its judicial functions. That is the reason why it has
the same as the committee of minorities, that is to say, it sought a sought -to ensure that the advisory procedure resembles the
formula which, in agreement with the government concerned, contentious procedure as closely as possible. The Committee
should as far as possible respect the terms of the treaty. instructed by the Court to consider the constitutionality of the
participation of judges ad hoc in the preparation of advisory
opinions stated in its report that The Court, in the exercise of this
6. The role of the Permanent Court of hilernational Justice power, deliberately and advisedly assimilated its advisory procedure
in tfze system to its contentious procedure; and the results have abundantty
justified its action. Such prestige as the Court to-day enjoys as a
123. The introduction of jurisdictional supervision has judicial tribune is largely due to the amount of its advisory business
been consideredone of the important innovations in the and the judicial way in which it has dealt with such business.
system for the protection of minorities establishedafter the But although an advisory opinion does in fact have considerable
First World War. As already noted, the instruments on the weight, and the Council has no alternative but to abide by it, it
protection of minorities provided for the intervention of would be an error to believe that a request for such an opinion is
the PermanentCourt of International Justice in caseswhere tantamount to the Council abandoning the case completely to
another body. In such circumstances everything will depend on the
differences of opinion arose between the Government way in which the request is worded, since the Council is bound only
concerned and any of the Allied or Associated Powersor by the limits of the question it has put. But even in cases where the
any other Power which wasa Member of the Council of the opinion requested covers not one aspect of the problem, but the
League of Nations relating to the interpretation and problem as a whole-and this will generally be the case in minority
questions-the Council, after having endorsed the Courts con-
application of the provisions concerning minorities, The clusions, will always retain a measure of freedom with regard to
States which had assumed obligations with regard to their application. As a body which is first and foremost political in
minorities were obliged to refer the dispute to the Court if nature, it will not consider itself bound by strictly juridical criteria
the other parties requestedit, Furthermore, the decisionof and considerations. Of course, this freedom will be relative and the
the Court wasfinal. 4o Disputeswould thus be submitted to
a judicial institution independent of the parties concerned,
whereaspreviously such questions had usually been settled 4 1 Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the
by the party which had the most political power. It will be League of Nations, p. 173.
recalled that in a resolution adopted on 21 September 42 The text of this article is reproduced in para. 104, note 25,
1922, the Assembly of the League of Nations had rec- above.
ommendedthat: 43 Advisory opinion of 10 September 1923 on German settlers
In cases of difference of opinion as to questions of law or fact in Poland (P.CI.J., Series B, No. 6); advisory opinion of 15
arising out of the provisions of the Minorities Treaties, between the September 1923 on the acquisition of Polish nationality (P CXJ.,
Government concerned and one of the States Members of the Series B, No. 7); advisory opinion of 21 February 1925 on the
Council of the League of Nations, .,. the Members of the Council exchange of Greek and Turkish populations (P.C.f.J., Series B,
appeal without unnecessary delay to the Permanent Court of No. 10): advisory opinion of 28 August 1928 on the interpretation
International Justice for a decision in accordance with the Min- of tbe..Creco-?ur<ish agreement of 1 December 1926 ~(P.C.I.J.,
orities Treaties, it being understood that the other methods of Series B, No. 16); advisory opinion of 31 July 1930 on the
Greco-Bulgarian community (P CIJ, Series B, No. 17); advisory .
opinion of 15 May 1931 on access to German minority schools in
Upper Silesia (P.CI.J., Series A-B, No. 40); advisory opinion of
39 Azdrate, op. cit., pp. 117, 118, 6 April 1935 on minority schools in Albania (I. CXJ., Series A-B,
4o See para. 104. No. 64).

Council Wcr go so far as to depart $1 essential points from the guarantee for the CxeCUtiOfl of Simih provisions was vested in the
juridical position adoptedby theCourt. Great Powers. Experience has shown that this was in practice
., ineffective, and it was also open to the criticism that it might give to
127, It therefore seemsjustified to state that the role the Great Powers, either individually or in combination, a right to
entrusted to the JermanentCourt of International Justice intcrfcre in the internal constitution of the States affected which
in the system of protection of minorities constituted a very could be used for political purposes. Under the new system the
important aspect of the supervision machinery. The guarantee is entrusted to the League of Nations. The clauses dealing
with this guarantee have been carefully drafted so as to make it clear
essentially political competence of the Council was sup- that Poland will not be in any way under the tutelage of those
plemented and strengthened by the jurisdictional and Powers which arc signatories to the Treaty.
advisory competence of the Court. If a parallel with the f should desire, moreover, to point out to you that provision
current machinery for the protection of human rights is has been inserted in the Treaty by which disputes arising out of its
sought, it rnay be recalled that tic Convention on the provisioass may be brought before the Court of the League Of
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well Nations. In this way differences which might arise will be
removed from the political sphere and placed in tho hands of a
as the provisions of the Constitution of the International judicial Court, and it is hoped that thcroby an impartial decision ill
Labour Organisation (ILO) concerning the conventions be facilitated, while at the same time any danger of political
prepared by that organization, assignmandatory jurisdic- interferenct6by the Powers in the internal affairs of Poland will be
tional competence to the International Court of Justice, as avoided. ,,,
well asproviding for the possibility of submitting appeals or 130. It should be stressedonce again that the rigime
communicationsto ad hoc organs, establishedin 1919 neverthelesshas a limited sphere of
application; in that regard it resembledthe system created
7. Critical evaluation of the system by the previous treaties.The following commentshave been
128. The rigime for the international protection of madein this connexion:
minorities established after the First World War UIV ... it was no part of the purpose of the authors of the Treaties to
doubtedly representsan advance over the situation which set out principles of government which should be of universal
had existed previously, not only as regardsthe content of obligation, They never considered or professed to considered or
professed to consider the general principles of religious toleration as
the obligations imposedon a number or Stateswith respect applicable to all States of the world, nor did they lay down any
to the treatment of their respective minorities, but also, and general principles of universal application for the government of
most important, because of the introduction of the &en pebples -who might be included within the t&tory or the
guarantee of the League of Nations. In fact, the former colonial dominions of all States. Anything of the kind would have
system, basedon a very limited number of treaty commit- been quite outside the scope and powers of the Peace Conference; if
anything of this kind had been done, it could only have been in
ments, contained no provisions relating to the implemen- connexion with the drafting of the Covenant of the League of
tation of the obligations imposed therein. Clearly, the Nations, and as we have seen, it was there deliberately rojectod.47
establishment of the League of Nations represented the What the Conference had to deal with was a number of problems
essential condition for the development of international which were purely local, which arose only in certain specified
districts of Europe, but which at the same time, in view of the
supervisionmachinery. political conditions of the moment, wore serious, urgent and could
129. The system establishedin 1919 reflects a measure not be neglectedP a
of continuity with respectto the previous treaty provisions, 131. The territorial limits envisagedfor the application
and also new aspectslinked to the existence of the League of the systemwere, of course,directly linked to the reason
of Nations. This fact was very effectively highlighted in a
for that systemsexistence, which was political and not
communication addressedby the President of the Peace
humanitarian. A writer has stressed this point in the
Conference to the President of the Council of the Polish
following terms:
Republic, referring to the treaty submitted for signatureby
Poland: That the organ chosen for the supervision of these agreements was
universal in nature does not in any way change the fact that the
1. In the first place,I wouldpoint out that this Treaty does not problems themselves were limited to the particular area of their
constitute any fresh departure. It has for long been the established historical persistence. It is for these problems alone that the League
procedure of the public law of Europe that when a State is created, system was devised, as a new step in the progressive handling of the
or evenwhenlargeaccessions of territory are made to an established problem.
State, the joint and formal recognition by the Great Powers should
be accompanied by the requirement that such State should, in the That the system was neither conceived nor intended for
form of a binding international convention, undertake to comply application on a universal or more general basis was clearly indicated
with certain principles of government. This principle, for which at the Peace Conference, where a universal approach was specifically
there are numerous other precedents, received the most explicit rejected in the drafting of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
sanction when, at the last great assembly of European Powers-the
Congress of Berlin-the sovereignty and independence of Serbia,
Montenegro, and Roumania were recognized. .., 45 See paras. 123-127.
2. The Principal Allied and Associated Powers are of opinion 46 Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the
that they would be false to the responsibility which rests upon them League offfations, pp. 158-159.
if on this occasion they departed from what has became an 47 It should, howover, be noted that in a resolution adopted on
established tradition. (.. 21 September 1922, the Assembly of the League of Nations
3. It is indeed true that the new Treaty differs in form from expressed the hope that the States which are not bound by any
earlier Conventions dealing with similar matters. The change of form legal obligations to the League with respect to minorities will
is a necessary consequence and an essential part of the new system nevertheless observe in the treatment of their own racial, religious or
of international relations which is now being built up by the linguistic minorities at least as high a standard of justice and
establishment of the League of Nations. Under the older system the toleration as is required by any of the treaties and by the regular
action of the Council. (Protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious
Minorities by the League of Nations,p. 173.)
44 Nathan Feinberg, La juridiction de la Cour Permanente de
Justice dam le g&me de la protection internationale des 48 protection of Linguistic, Racial or Religious Minorities by the
minoritt?s (Paris, Rousseau, 1931), pp. 185-l 87, Lmgue of Nations, p. 161.
nlc drait 7I$ of the Covenant offers concrctc evidence thst it was 134. Without any doubt, the failure of the system was
not humanitarian principle, but political nccCssity in cettnin fCgiOnS, due to complex and varied causes; it should not be
that ~$5~ the bnsis and origin of the League minority protection forgotten, however, that its effectiveness was closely linked
system+ to the general international situation, In this connexion, a
132. The systems lack of generality has been con- writer has observed:
sidered one of its most serious defects, According to this It is unjust to view the failure of the minority system of the
point of view, so long as the obligation to pr~tcct League of Nations indcpcndently of the general international
minorities is not general, the States which have assumed it conditions of its time. llw minorities protection system was bnt a
will find it unacceptable that this additional obligation part of the world structure established at Paris, adopted to meet
particular conditions arising from the territorial settlements there.
shouid be imposed upon them. For such States, the Inevitably the minorities system depended on the general state of
principle of protection of minorities can be effective only if international order and relations, and inevitably when that order
it is a universal rule. If it is limited to a number of States it disin tcgrated the system collapsed with it, like one floor of a
is regarded as a degradation and limitation of sovereignty. toppling building. To judge it separately is like trying to estimate
For those who hold this view, the attitude of the States the performance of a given cylinder when the whole engine blows
up, The between-war world was witness to an appalling
which had subscribed to the various instruments concerning phenomenon of rc trogrcssion, a backsliding of morals and politics.
the protection of minorities was one of the factors which Dictatorships replaced democracies, hate and intolerance flourished,
led to the failure of the system. On this point, a writer power overrode reason, and passionato nationalism crushedthe
has observed: growing bloom of international cooperation. That minorities should
sufferin such a climate was inevitable; in fact, it was quite natural
I% confinement of the application of the system to the small that they should bc the fast to suffer therefrom, As respect for
states of Eastctn and Central Europe was one of the most striking of international obligations declined and the authority of the League
its defects. The failure of the Peace Conference to impose general of Nations wilted to oblivion, the ability of the organizntion to
minority provisions upon Germany, and to insist that Belgium, carry out effectively its minorities responsibilities declined accord-
Denmark, France and Italy undertake similar obligations at least in ingly, and the t&timate failure of the system accotnpanjcd the failure
respect of the populations of their newly acquired tcrri tories, of the League.
dcmonstratcd conclusively that the international protection of
national minorities was not accepted as a fundamental principle of
international law, applicable to great as well as to small powers, and B. The question of protection since the Second World War
to Wcstcrn as well as to Eastern and Central European countries. It
was treated as a mere expedient, to bc adopted with discriminatory
effect, not as an cxprossion of a universally valid, normative 1. 2%~ Charter of the United Nations
approach 60 problems of human relations. 135. During the Second World War, the question
It is true that the generalization of minority obligations was not whether the new international organization which was to
politically feasible, either in 1919 or subsequently; the alternative to replace the League of Nations should continue the task
a system of limited scope was not a universal system, but rather no
system at all. It is also true that external supervision of the assumed by the latter with regard to racial, religibus and
treatment of minorities was not everywhere equally necessary, and linguistic minorities was debated both in official circles and
that no standard set of provisions would have been universally in private organizations and associations, According to an
appropriate. It may even be that generaJization would have important school of thought, the system established under
compromised the effectiveness of the Lcague system by making all
states reluctant to support the vigorous application of its provisions, the guarantee of the League of Nations had too many gaps
for fear of setting precedents which might be used to their own to be resurrected without a radical change in its
embarrassment. structure.54 At the end of the war, it seemed obvious in
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the restriction of the League any event that the political basis for this system no longer
system stimulated the acute resentment of those states which were existed. Whereas the birth and functioning of the League of
within its compass, left many minority groups unprotected, Nations had been strictly bound up with European balances
diminished its moral authority, and gave5jt the appearance of
tentativeness and the prospect of instability. and with the solution of the territorial problems arising
from the Peace Treaties of 1919-1920, the United Nations
133. These considerations may help us to understand wasestablished before any peace treaty and was in no way
why the protection rdgime set up after the First World War involved in the settlement of European territorial questions.
did not have the expected results. As Mr. AZ&rate has Consequently, the future approach to the problem of
observed, minorities could not fail to be entirely different. The
AI who consider the matter dispassionately must recognize that universal character of the principles of the Charter of the
the guarantee of minority rights established by the League of United Nations was bound to be reflected in the approach
Nations on the basis of the Minorities Treaties did not give
satisfaction to the governments of the minoritv countries. to the to any question relating to the protection of human rights.
minorities themsel$es or-and this was the most serious factor of 136. The Charter of the United Nations, Iike the
all-to that world public opinion which was interested in minority
questions. Covenant of the League of Nations, contains no specific
provision relating to the question of protection of min-
orities. Unlike the Covenant, however, the Charter of the
4g T. H. Bagley, General Principles and Problems in the United Nations solemnly proclaims, in a series of pro-
Protection of Mittorities (Geneva, Imprimeries populaires, 19.50), visions, the principles of universal respect for human rights
p. 68. and fundamental freedoms, equality and non-
See Balogh, op. cit., p. 251; Tore Modeen, Tile Znternarional
fiotection of National Minorities in Europe (Abo, Finland, Abo s3 Bagley, op. cit., p. 126.
Akademi, 1969), p. 63.
s4 See P. de Azctiate, Protection of National Minorities,
st Inis L. Claude, Jr., National Minorities: An International Occasional Paper No. 5 (New York, Carnegie Endowment for
Problem (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1955), International Peace, 1967), pp. 71-72, 75-77; see also Inis
pp. 35-36. L Claude, Jr., Natiorlal Minorities: An International Problem
52 Azciirate, op. cit., p. 130. (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1955), pp. 51-78.

discrimination Thus, in the preamble, the Charter states Every peopleand every nationality within a State shall enjoy
We the peoples of the United Nations determined .,, to cqtral rights. State laws shall not permit any discrimination
whatsocvcr in this regard. National minorities shall bc guaranteed
reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity the right to use their native language and to possess their own
and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men national schools, libraries, muscums and other cultural and edu-
and women and of nations large and small, .,, have resoivcd cational institutions.
to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims .,.I. 139. In its resolution 217 C (III) of 10 December1948,
Article 1, paragraph 3, provides that one of the purposes of entitled Fate of Minorities, the General Assemblystated
the new Organization is To achieve international co-oper- that the United Nations could not remainindifferent to the
ation .., in promoting and encouraging respect for human fate of minoritlcs, but added that it wasdifficult to adopt a
rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without uniform solution of this complex and delicate question,
distinction to race, sex, language, or religion. According to which has specialaspectsin each State in which it arises,It
Article 13 the General Assembly, in the exercise of its seemsthat this difficulty was one of the principal reasons
functions, may initiate studies and make recommendations for the decisionnot to mention the problem of minorities
for the purpose of assisting in the realization of human in the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights.
rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction
as to race, sex, language, or religion. According to Article 3. Juridical extinctiotl of the minorities protection
55, the United Nations is to promote universal respect for, rkgime establishedin 1919-1920
and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms
for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or 140. A study prepared by the Secretary-General in
religion. Article 56 provides that all Members pledge 1950, at the request of the Economic and Social Council,
themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation set forth the reasons why the engagementsregarding
minorities assumedafter the First World War should be
with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes
set forth in Article 55. According to Article 62, the consideredto have ceasedto exist. The following comments
Economic and Social Council may make recommendations weremadein that study:
for the purpose of promoting respect for, and observance *.. If the problem is regarded as a whole, there can be no doubt
of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Lastly, that the whole minorities protection regime was in 1919 an integral
part of the system established to regulate the outcome of the First
Article 76 provides that one of the basic objectives of the World War and create an international organization, the League of
trusteeship system is to encourage respect for human rights Nations. One principle of that system was that certain States and
and for fundamental freedoms for ah. certain States only (chiefly States that had heen newly reconstituted
or considerably enlarged) should be subject to obligations and
137. The provisions just mentioned show clearly that international control in the matter of minorities.
one of the traditional aspects of any international system But this whole system was overthrown by the Second World War.
for the protection of minorities-that is, the principle of All the international decisions reached since 1944 have been
non-discrimination-was included among the basic prin- inspired by a different philosophy. The idea of a general and
universal protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms is
ciples of the Charter of the United Nations. There is, emerging, It is therefore no longer only the minorities in certain
however, a very important change in approach in compari- countries which receive protection, but all human beings in aII
son with the past; since 1945, this principle has been countries who receive a certain measure of international protection.
included in the context of the protection of the human Within this system special provisions in favour of certain minorities
rights and fundamental freedoms of al.I human beings, and are still conceivable, but the point of view from which the problem
is approached is essentially different from that of 1919. This new
not the context of measures designed especially to protect conception is clearly apparent in the San Francisco Charter, the
minorities. It should be added that, in the view of one of Potsdam decisions, and the treaties of peace already concluded or
the Governments which participated in the drawing up of in course of preparation. From the strictly legal point of view, the
the Charter of the United Nations, the fact that the result seems clear in the cases in which the formal liquidation of the
war has been completed by the conclusion of peace treaties; the
principle of the protection of human rights and fundamen- provisions
of the treatiesand the opinionsexpressed
by theauthors
tal freedoms for all was included in the Charter might have of the treaties imply that the former minorities protection regime
made it unnecessary to adopt rules designed especially for has ceased to exist so far as concerns the ex-enemy countries with
minorities. which those treaties have been concluded. It would be difficult to
maintain that the authors of the peace treaties would have adopted
that attitude if they had supposed that the engagements assumed in
2. 117?eUniversal Declaration of Human Rights 1919 respecting the treatment of minorities would remain in force
for the States which do not fall within the category of ex-enemy
138. Like the Charter, the Universal Declaration of States,
Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly on 10 Reviewing the situation as a whole, therefore, one is led to
December 1948 does not contain any reference to the conclude that between 1939 and 1947 circumstances as a whole
rights of persons belonging to ethnic, linguistic or religious changed to such an extent that, generally s eaking, the system
should be considered as having ceased to exist. 59
minorities. The question of including in the Declaration an
article relating to the rights of national minorities was
4. Activities of United Nations organs
nevertheless discussed, both in the Third Committee of the
Assembly and in plenary session. In the opinion of some 141. In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that since
representatives, the omission of such a reference would the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations, the
considerably reduce the scope of the Declaration. Others protection of minorities should no longer be consideredasa
took the view that, consideringits complexity, the question
warranted further study. The Assembly finally rejected a Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session,
proposal by the representative of the Soviet Union that the Part I, Annexes, agenda item 58, document A/784.
following paragraph, relating to minorities, should be 56 Study of the legal validity of the undertakings concerning
included in the Declaration: minorities (E/CN.4/367 and Add, l), chap. XIV.

political problem concerning certain areas of the world, but authorized by Economic and Social Council resolution
a question concerning all States whose solution must be 9 (II) to establish sub-commissions on the protection of
sought in the wider context of the problem of respect for minorities and on the prevention of discrimination. Since
human rights and fundamental freedoms, without excluding their establishment, the Commission on Human Rights and
the possible conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agree- the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and
ments, It should also bc noted that in the United Nations Protection of Minorities have been concerned with the
General Assembly the discussions concerning the general protection of minorities, on the basis of the new approach
question of the protection of minorities have always been adopted in the Charter of the United Nations.
held in the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, 146. It should, however, be noted that it was only in
and not the Political Committee, as was the case in the the period 1947-1954 and again after 1971, following the
Assembly of the League of Nations. adoption of the decision to undertake this study, that the
142. Some years after the adoption of resolution 217 C problem of minorities was included among the subjects
(III), referred to in paragraph 139 above, the General dealt with in depth by the Sub-Commission. From 1955 to
Assembly made a new general reference to the problem of 1971, the Sub-Commission concentrated its activities
minorities in its resolution 532 B (VI) of 4 February 1952, almost entirely on questions of discrimination. Its efforts
by stating that the prevention of discrimination and the between 1947 and 1954 to define the notion of minority
protection of minorities were two of the most important and to specify what measures the General Assembly should
branches of the work undertaken by the United Nations. recommend to Member States for the protection of
143. For its part, the Economic and Social Council, in minorities yielded no tangible result, for the Commission
on Human Rights confined itself to taking note of the work
its resolution SO2 F (XVI) of 3 August 1953, recommended
that in the preparation of any international treaties, of the Sub-Commission and inviting it to pursueits efforts.
The only positive result of the work accomplished between
decisions of international organs or other acts which
establish new States or new boundary lines between States, 1947 and 1954 wastherefore the preparation of the draft
special attention should be paid to the protection of any text of article 27 of the Covenant.
minority which might be created thereby. This recommen- 147. Several documents dealing with the protection of
dation seems to reflect a tendency to deal with the problem minoritieshave been prepared by the Secretary-General at
of minorities in relation to specific territorial situations. In
this sense it stems in a way to return to the approach 1946,asamended
by Councilresolution9 (II) of 21June 1946, are
adopted after the First World War. as follows:
The work of the Commission shallbe directedtowards
144. The decisions of principal organs of the United submitting proposals,recommendations and reports to the
Nations which have dealt with special protective measures Councilregarding:
for ethnic, religious or linguistic groups include three (a) aninternationalbill of rights;
General Assembly resolutions: resolution 181 (II), on the (b) international declarationsor conventionson Ml
future government of Palestine; resolution 289 (IV), on the liberties,the statusof women,freedomof informationand
question of the disposal of the former Italian colonies; and similar matters;
resolution 390 (V), on the question of Eritrea. The Statute (C) the protectionof minorities;
of the City of Jerusalem, approved by the Trusteeship (4 the preventionof discrimination on groundsof race,sex,
Council on 4 April 1950, also provides for special protec- language or religion;
tive measures for ethnic, religious or linguistic groups in (e) any other matter concerning human rights not covered
articles dealing with human rights and fundamental free- by items(a), (b), (c) and (4.
doms (article 9), the Legislative Council (article 21), the IY~e Commission shall make studies and recommendations
judicial system (article 28), official and working languages and provide information and other services at the request of the
(article 31), the educational system and cultural and Economic and Social Council.
benevolent institutions (article 32) and broadcasting and The Commission may propose to the Council any changes in
television (article 33). 5 its terms of reference.
145. A special organ, the Commission on Human The Commission may make recommendations to the
Rights, was established to develop and implement the Council concerning any subcommission which it considers
should be established.
provisions of the Charter relating to human rights and
fundamental freedoms, This Commission was the only 59 The Commission, at its fist session, heId from 27 January to
10 February 1947. decided to establish one SubCommission on
functional commission of the Economic and Social Council Prevention bf Discrimination and Protection of Minorities instead of
specifically provided for in the Charter of the United creating separate sub-commissions, as empowered to do by the
Nations itself. Article 68 of the Charter states that the Council. Ihe SulKommissions initial terms of reference were
Council shalI set up commissions in economic and social clarified and extended in scope at the fifth session of the
Commission on Human IWIts. in 1949 (see Official Records of the
fields and for the promotion of human rights, and such Economic and Social Council, Ninth Session, T$rpplement No. IO,
other commissions as may be required for the performance para. 13). They arc as Follows:
of its functions. The Commissions tasks include the (0) To undertake studies, particularly in the light of the
protection of minorities. 58 The Commission itself was Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to make recommen-
dations to the Commission of Human Rights concerning the
prevention of discrimination of any kind relating to human
s7 l%t.racts from these resolutions appear in the document rights and fundamental freedoms and the protection of racial,
entitled frotection ofhfinorfties (United Nations publication, Sales national, retigious and linguistic minorities; and
No. 67.XIV.4), pp. 4@46. (6) To perform any other functions which may be
s The terms of reference of the Commission, approved by the entrusted to it by the Economic and Social Council or the
J&nomic and Social Council in resolution 5 (I) of 16 February Commission on Human Rights.
-4a .

the request of the Commission or of the Sub- which form the basisfor this study, a number of general
Comrnission.6 O international conventions adopted under the auspicesof the
148. With regard to the activities of the Secretary- United Nations or the specializedagenciesprovide special
Ccneral in the field of the protection of minorities, it protective measuresfor ethnic, religious and linguistic
should also be recalled that, at the invitation of the groups.
Yugoslav Government, he organized, within the framework 150. Under the Convention on the Prevention and
of the programme of advisory services in the field of human Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted on
rights estahlishcd by General Assembly resolution 926 (X), 9 December 1948,62 genocide meansany act committed
two seminars at the world level on the question of the with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
rights of minorities.6 ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.The Convention
defines asgenocide: killing membersof the group, causing
5 1 General international conventions concluded under the seriousbodily or mental harm to membersof the group,
auspices of the United Nations and the specialized deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life
agt%cies calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole
149. Besidesthe International Covenant on Civil and or in part, imposing measuresintended to prevent births
Political Rights, the principles set forth in article 27 of within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the
group to another group,
These documents are listed below: 151. Under the terms of the IL0 Convention No. 107
Symbol 7Stle of 1957 concerning indigenous and tribal populations,63
ElCN.41367 Study of the legal validity of the specialmeasuresmust be adopted for the protection of the
undertakings concerning minorities institutions, persons, property and labour of the popu-
E/CN.rl/Sub.2/6 The international protection of lations concerned so long as their social, economic and
minorities under the League of cultural conditions prevent them from enjoying the benefits
Nations of the general laws of the country to which they belong.
E/CN.4/Sub.2/8 Definition of the expressions pre- However, such special measuresof protection must not be
vention of discrimination and prc- used as a means of creating or prolonging a state of
tection of minorities segregation and must not prejudice in any way the
E/CN.4/Sub.2/80 Contribution of the Convention on enjoyment, without discrimination, of the generalrights of
the Prevention and Punishment of citizenship. The Convention further stipulates that, in
the Crime of Genocide to the preven-
tion of discrimination and the protec- applying the provisions of the Convention relating to the
tion of minorities integration of the populationsconcerned, dueaccount shall
E/CN.4/Sub.2/81, Activities of organs of the United be taken of the cultural and religious values and of the
83, 84, 86 Nations in the field of prevention of forms of socialcontrol existing amongthesepopulations. In
discrimination and protection of defining the rights and duties of the populations con-
minorities cerned, regard shall be had to their customary laws. The
E/CN.4/Sub.2/85 Lk$nition and Classification of Min- rights of indigenous populations which Governmentsare
orifies (United Nations publication, called upon to protect include, in particular, the right of
Sales No. 50.XIV.3) the said populations to retain their own customs and
E/CN.4/Sub.2/133 Treaties and international instru- institutions where these are not incompatible with the
ments concerning the protection of
minorities 1919-1951 national legal system or the objectives of integration
programmes;the right to have the benefit of education
E/CN4/Sub. 21194 Activities of the United Nations
relating to the protection of min- programmesadapted, asregardsmethodsand techniques,to
ori ties the stage thesepopulations have reachedin the processof
social, economic and cultural integration into the national
Provisions for the protection of min-
orities community, the right to be taught in their mother tongue
E/CN.4/Sub.2/214/ or, where this is not practicable, in the languagemost
hotection of Minorities (United
Rev.1 - Nations publication, Sales commonly usedby the group to which they belong.
E/CN.4/Sub.2/221/ NO. 67.XIV.4). This booklet contains
Rev.1 152. Under the UNESCO Convention againstDiscrimi-
the following two documents:
nation in Education, adopted on 14 December1960,64 the
(a) Compilation of the texts of Statesparties to the Convention agreethat it is essentialto
those international instruments and
similarmeasures of an international
character which arc of contemporary
interest and which provide special 62 This Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951. For
protective measures for ethnic, the text, see Human Rights: A Compilation of Jntemational
religious or linguistic groups (E/ bzstrurnerlts (United Nationspublication, Sales No. E.78.XIV.2). For
CN.Q/Sub.2/214 information concerning ratifications as at 31 December 1977, see
(b) Special protective measures of Multilateral Treaties in respect of which the Secretary-General
an international character for ethnic. Performs Depositary Functions: List of BEnatures, Ratifications,
religious or linguistic groups (Ej Accessions, etc. as at 31 December 1977 (United Nations publi-
CN.4/Sub.2/221) cation, Sales No. E.78.V.6).
61 For the reports of the seminars see: Seminar on the 63 This Convention entered into force on 2 June 1959. For the
Multinational Socieo, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, 6-21 June 1965 text, seeUnitedNations,Treaty Series, vol. 328, p, 249.
(ST/TAO/HR/23); Seminar on the Promotion and Protection of 64 This Convention entered into force on 22 May 1962. For the
the Human Rights of National, Ethnic and Other Minorities, text, see Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instru-
Ohrid, Yugoslavia, 25 June-8 July 1974 (ST/TAO/HR/49). ments (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.78.XIV.2).
recognize the right of members of national minorities to ge^fi&al provisions under which those countries arc obliged
carry on their own educational activities, including the to take all measures necessary to secure to persons under
maintcnancc of schools and, depending on the educational their respective jurisdictions, without distinction as to race,
policy of each State, the use or the teaching of their own sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights
language, provided however that this right is not exercised and of fundamental freedoms. The Treaties of Peace with
in a manner which prevents the members of these min- Hungary and Romania contain in addition provisions
orities from understanding the culture and language of the prohibiting those States from discriminating between their
community as a whole and from participating in its nationals, particularly in reference to their property,
activities, or which prejudice national sovereignty. Further- business, professional or financial interests, status, or
more, the standard of education must not be lower than the political or civil rights. It should also be noted that in the
general standard laid down or approved by the competent Treaty of Peace with Italy, the obligation to guarantee
authorities. enjoyment of human r&hts was imposed even on States to
153. The principle of non.discrimination-the role of which Italian territories were ceded, The preamble to the
which in the protection of minorities has been repeatedly Peace Treaty with Japan of 8 September 1951 contains a
stressed in this study-is reaffirmed, strengthened and general provision relating to the realization of the objectives
developed, in relation to problems posed by differences of of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Japan.
race, colour, and national or ethnic origin, in the Con- 156. According to the agreementbetween the Austrian
vention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial and Italian Governments signed in Paris on 5 September
Discrimination, adopted by the United Nations General 1946 (annex IV to the Treaty of Peacewith Italy, signed on
Assembly in 1965. Under article S of this Convention, the 10 February I947), German-speaking inhabitants of the
States parties undertake to guarantee the right of everyone, Bolzano Province and of neighbouring bilingual townships
without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic are granted a number of rights, in particular the right to
origin, to equal treatment in the enjoyment of civil, elementary and secondary teaching in their mother tongue,
political, economic, social and cultural rights. Another parifrcation of the German and Italian languages in public
interesting feature of the Convention is the reference, in offices and official documents, as well as in topographjc
article 2, paragraph 2, to the special and concrete naming, the right to reestablish German family names
measures which which were Italianized in the preceding years and equality
so warrant, take, in the
Slates Parties shall,when circumstances of rights as regards the entering upon public office, with a
social, economic,culturalandother nclds... to ensuretheadequate view to reaching a more appropriate proportion of em-
dcvclopmcntand protectionof certainracialgroupsor individuals ployment between the two ethnical groups. In addition, a
belong& to them, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the full
and eoual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. special autonomy, comprising legislative and administrative
These mcasirei shall in no case entail as a conscqucnce the powers, was provided for the Province of Boizano, where
maintenance of unequalor separate rightsfor different racialgroups German-speakingcitizens constitute the majority of the
after the objectivesfor which they weretaken havebeenachieved. population.

6. Activities of the Courlcil of Europe 157. Under the Agreement between Pakistan and India,
signedat New Delhi on 8 April 1950, the Governments of
1.54. The European Convention for the Protection of India and Pakistan solemnly agreed that each should ensure
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed at Rome to the minori ties throughout its territory, complete
on 4 November 1950, contains a clause on non-discrimi- equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion, a full sense
nation which refers expressly to association with a of security in respect of life, culture, property and personal
national minority. By virtue of article 14 of this Con- honour, freedom of movement within each country and
vention, the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth freedom of occupation, speech and worship, subject to law
in the Convention shall be securedwithout discrimination and morality. Members of the minorities were to have equal
on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, opportunity with members of the majority community to
political or other opinion, national or social origin, associ- participate in the public life of their country, to hold
ation with a national minority, property, birth or other political or other office, and to serve in their countrys civil
status. It will also be noted that the Committee of and armed forces. Both Governments decIared these rights
Governmental Experts of the Council of Europe, after to be fundamental and undertook to enforce them effec-
considering the question of the adoption of an additional tively. The two Governments emphasized that minorities
protocol to the Convention in which the rights of rnin- owe allegiance and loyalty to the State whose citizenship
orities would be more clearly defined, concluded, in a they possess and that to obtain compensation they must
report which was approved by the Committee of Ministers, apply to the Government of that State. It was planned to
that such a protocol was unnecessary.65 set up minority commissions with a view to the effective
implementationof the agreement.
7. Other international instruments adopted
since the Second World War 6 158. The Special Statute contained in the Memorandum
of Understanding between the Governments of Italy, the
155. The Treaties of Peace with Bulgaria, Finland, United Kingdom, the United States and Yugoslavia re-
Hungary, Italy and Romania of 10 February 1947 contain garding the Free Territory of Trieste, Initialled in London
on 5 October 1954, laid down that the ethnic character and
65 Informationfurnishedby the Secretariatof the Councilof the unhampered cultural development of the Yugoslav
Europeon 20 February1973and3 December1976. ethnic group in the Italian-administered area and of the
66Excerpts from theseinstrumentsappearin Protection of Italian ethnic group in the Yugoslav-administered area
Minorities (UnitedNationspublication,SalesNo. 67.XN.3). were to be safeguarded. It stipulated, in particular, that the
two groups were to e$@ the right to their own press in regarding the status of German and Danish minorities in
their mother tongue, that the educational, cultural, social their respective countries, particularly with regard to the
and sports organizations of both groups were to function use of the minority language, the establishment of schools
freely and that primary, secondary and professional school and the right of German and Danish minorities to maintain
teaching in the mother tongue should be accorded to both religious and cultural relations with Denmark and the
groups, The Memorandum of Understanding also provided Federal Republic of Germany, respectively,
for the establishment of a special Mixed Yugoslav-Italian 163. The Government Declarations of 19 March 1962
Committee to assist and advise on problems relating to the concerning Algeria, made by France and Algeria under the
protection of the Yugoslav ethnic group in the area cease-fire agreement in Algeria, contain special provisions
under Italian administration and of the Italian ethnic relating to the protection of Algerians of French civil
group in the area under Yugoslav administration. By virtue status, By virtue of these declarations, the right of members
of the Treaty of Osimo between Italy and Yugoslavia, of this group to retain their own cultural, linguistic and
signed in 1976, the London Memorandum of 1954 ceased religious attributes is guaranteed. Provision is also made for
to have effect, but article 8 of the Treaty guarantees the the establishment of a safeguard association with a view to
ethnic groups referred to In the Memorandum an equivalent protecting the rights granted to this group and for the
level of protection, including the maintenance of the establishment of a Court of Guarantees, an institution of
favourable measures already adopted. Algerian domestic law, to ensure respect for these rights.67
159. The Austrian State Treaty for the Reestablish- 164. There seem to be grounds for concluding that even
ment of an Independent and Democratic Austria, signed at since the Second World War, international instruments for
Vienna on 15 May 195.5, grants Austrian nationals of the the protection of specific minorities still retain their
Slovene and Croat minorities in Carinthia, Burgenland usefulness and ruison d&e. One could even go so far as to
and Styria the same rights on equal terms as all other say that the regulation of this question on the basis of
Austrian nationals, including the right to their own organ- specific individual agreements is proving to be even more
izations, meetings and press in their own language, and the useful, since the requirements for the protection of
right to elementary instruction in the Slovene or Croat minorities have not yet been fully satisfied by the inter-
language and to a proportional number of their own national instruments of a universal nature in force in the
secondary schools. The Treaty also provided that the field of human rights, One advantage of individual agree-
activity of organizations whose aim was to deprive the ments is that they state clearly the responsibilities of the
Croat or Slovene population of their minority character or States to which the minorities belong; moreover, the
rights would be prohibited. protection they guarantee tends to be more comprehensive
160. Under the Agreement reached between the United than that provided under the system established after the
Kingdom Government and a delegation from Singapore at First World War. In this connexion it is enough to compare
the Singapore Constitutional Conference, held in London in the provisions concerning the use of the minority language,
March-April 1957, special arrangements were agreed upon education and cultural institutions contained in most of the
with a view to protecting Malay and minority interests in international instruments mentioned in paragraphs 152-160
Singapore. A provision was to be included in the preamble above with the corresponding provisions of the 1919-1920
to the Constitution of Singapore to the effect that it was international instruments. It must, however, be added that
the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for there are not yet enough agreements of this nature and that
the interests of racial and religious minorities in Singapore, they have very often been concluded as a result of
and that: exceptional historical and political circumstances.
In particular, it shah be the deliberate and conscious policy of the
Government of Singapore at all times to recognise the special
position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of the Island C. Background to article 27 of the International Covenant
and are in most need of assistance, and accordingly, it shall be the on Civil and Political Rights
responsibility of the Government of Singapore to protect, safeguard,
support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious,
economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language. 1. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination
andProtection of Minorities, third session,19506
161, The Memorandum setting out the agreed foun-
dation for the foal settlement of the problem of Cyprus, 165. At its third session, in 1950, the Sub-Commission
signed in London on 19 February 1959 by the Prime included in its agenda as item 8 consideration of General
Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Assembly resolution 217 C (III), concerning the fate of
Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of minorities, In that resolution, the Assembly had in particur
Greece and the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, lar requested the Economic and Social Council to ask the
contained detailed provisions relating to the rights of the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission to
Turkish minority in the Republic of Cyprus and provided, make a thorough study of the probIem of minorities, in
in particular, for recognition of the official character of the order that the United Nations may be able to take effective
minority language and its use in legislative and adminis- measures for the protection of racial, national, religious or
trative documents. linguistic minorities.
162. Following negotiations between the Government
of Denmark and the Government of the Federal Republic
of Germany on the status of the national minorities in 6 Journal offlciel de la Rkpublique f?anpise, 20 March 1962,
the provinces situated on either side of their frontier, the No. 67.
two Governments made unilateral, but substantially identi- 68 Report of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Diserimi-
cal, declarations in 1955 to their respective parliaments nation and Protection of Minorities, E/CN.4/358, paras.39-48.

166. During discussion of that agenda item, one the phrase persons belonging to minorities, since, in her
member of the Sub-Commission, Mr, Mansani, submitted a opinion, minorities as such were not subjects of law
draft resolution (E/CN.4/Sub.2/108) under which the whereas persons belonging to minorities could easily be
Secretary-General would have been asked to circulate to the defined in legal terms, To maintain the idea of a group she
Sub-Commission a draft convention or a draft protocol to suggested the insertion of the words in community with
be attached to the International Covenant on Human the other members of their group after the words shall
Rights, for the protection of the ethnic, religious and not be denied the right. An amendment to this effect was
linguistic traditions and characteristics of minorities. adopted by the SubCommission and the draft resolution,
167. A further draft resolution on the protection of as amended, was adopted by the SubCommission by
minorities was jointly introduced by two members of the 9 votes to none, with 1 abstention [resolution E (III)]. The
Sub-Commission, Mr. Black and Mr. Ekstrand (E/CN.4/ resolution reads as follows:
Sub.2/106/Rev.l). This draft resolution stated that the
rights of minorities should in principle be accorded pro- Resolution on measures for the protect/on or minorftles to be
included in the International Covenant on Human Rights
tection by international instruments and stressed that the
right of using the minority language before the courts and The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities,
of teaching the minority language as one of the courses of
study in State-supported schools is not covered by either Having considered ffle problem of the fate of minorities referred
to it by the General Assembly in its resolution 217 C (I[!&
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the draft
International Covenant on Human Rights, The draft Having oclopted, in resolution C of its third session, a definition
of minorities for purposes of protection by the United Nations,
resolution called upon the SubCommission to decide in
particular that the best means of affording protection to Is of the q&ion that the most effective means of securing such
protection would be the inclusion in the International Covenant on
those two rights must be a matter for further study in the Human Rights of the following article:
light of the deftition of minorities for purposes of Persons belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities
protection by the United Nations and also in the light of shall not be denied the right, in community with the other
the final form of the draft International Covenant on members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess
Human Rights. and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.
168. During the discussion several members expressed 2. Commission on Hutnun Righis, ninth session, 1953
the view that the insertion of certain provisions in the draft
Covenant on Human Rights represented the best method of 172. The Commission on Human Rights discussed the
protecting the rights of minorities. Several members of the question of the inclusion of an article relating to the rights
Sub-Commission thought that the draft resolution sub- of minorities in the draft Covenant on Civil and Political
mitted by Mr. Mansani was premature, since the provisions Rights at its ninth session in 1953.l In addition to the
of the International Covenant on Human Rights might proposal of the SubCommission contained in the above-
make the preparation of a separate convention on the rights mentioned resolutionE, the Commission had before it
of minorities unnecessary. It had, indeed, been proposed various draft articles submitted by a number of represen-
that the Commission on Human Rights should be asked to tatives,
insert in the draft International Covenant a clause guaran- 173. The representative of the Soviet Union proposed
teeing the use of their own language by minorities. the following draft article:
169. Some members also pointed out that the draft The State shall ensure to national minorities the right to use their
resolution submitted by Mr. Ekstrand and Mr. Black was native tongue and to possess their national schools, libraries,
incomplete since it guaranteed the protection of minorities museumsand other cultural and educational institutions.
in a limited field, that of language, 174. The representative of Yugoslavia proposed the
170. Following the discussion, consideration of the folIowing draft article:
draft resolution submitted by Mr. Mansani was deferred Every person shall have the right to show freely his membership
until the fourth session of the SubCommission,6P and a of an ethnic or linguistic group, to use without hindrance the name
of his group, to learn the language of this group and to use it in
new draft resolution on the inclusion of an article in the public or private life, to be taught in this language, as well as the
draft International Covenant on Human Rights, prepared right to cultural development together with other members of this
by a drafting committee and taking into account the group, without being subjected on that account to any discrimt
comments and suggestions made, was submitted (E/CN.4/ nation whatsoever, and particularly such discrimination as might
Sub.2/112). This draft resolution called upon the Sub- deprive him of the rights enjoyed by other citizens of the same
Committee to state that it was of the opinion that the most
effective means of securing the protection of minorities 175. Subsequently, the representative of Yugoslavia
would be the inclusion in the Covenant on Human Rights withdrew his proposal but submitted the following
of the following article: amendment to be added at the end of the draft article
Ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities shall not be denied the proposed by the Sub-Commission: without being sub-
right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own jected on that account to any discrimination whatever, and
religion, or to use their own language, particularly such discrimination as might deprive them of
the rights enjoyed by other citizens of the same State.
171. During the discussions on this new draft resol-
ution, one member of the Sub-Commission, Miss Monroe,
suggested that the word minorities should be replaced by
TO Officirrl Records of the Economic and Social Council,
6g At the 69th meeting of the Sub-CommissionMr. Mansani Sixieenth Session, Supplement No. 8 (E/244 7). paras. 51-56.
withdrewhis proposal (E/CN.4/64 1, park 3 1). E/CNA/SR.36&3?1.
176. The representative of Chile proposed the addition hand, stressed the need to take account of the situation of
of the following clause at the beginning of the draft article minority groups which, as a result of their dispersion among
submitted by the Sub-Commission: In those States in the population of a country, were unable to take full
which ethtic, religious or linguistic minorities exist. advantage of the right to develop their own culture.
177. The representative of Uruguay submilted the 18 1, The proposal of the Soviet Union was rejected by
following text as the second paragraph of the draft article 8 votes to 4, with 4 abstentions,
proposed by the Sub-Commission : 182. The Yugoslav amendment was rejected by 5 votes
Such rights may not be interpreted as entitling any group settled to 3, with 8 abstentions.
in the territory of a State, particularly under the terms of its
immigration laws, to form within that State separate communities 183. The Chilean amendment was adopted by 5 votes
which might impair its national unity or its security. to 1, with 10 abstentions.
178. While noting that the provisions of article 2 of the 184. The Uruguyan amendment was rejected by 7 votes
draft Covenant, which relnte to nondiscritiation, and to 5, with 4 abstentions.
those of article 19, which relate to the equality of all per- 185. At its 371st meeting, the Commission adopted in
sons before the law, provided certain guarantees to persons its entirety, by 12 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions, the draft I
belonging to minorities, the members of the Commission article proposed by the Sub-Commission, as amended by
were generaIly agreed in thinking that it was necessary to Chile, with the modifications made necessary by the
guarantee the rights of such persons by means of a specific adoption of the Chilean amendment. The text adopted by
clause and therefore to insert in the draft International the Commission became article 25 of the draft Inter-
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights a supplementary national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It reads as
provision ensuring to them, independently of other rights, follows:
the possibility of using their own language, of professing In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities
and practising their own religion and of enjoying their own exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the
culture. Several representatives, however, stressed the need rI&t, in community with the other members of their group, to
to prevent discrimination against members of minority enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion or
groups on the pretext that as a minority they enjoyed to use their own language.
certain special rights. They maintained that the granting of
a special status to persons belonging to a minority should 3. 17rirdCommittee of the GeneralAssembly,
not deprive those persons of the enjoyment of the rights of sixteenth session,1961-I 962
the other citizens of the same State, As an example, they 186. The Third Committee of the General Assembly, at
stressed that access to all types of public schools should in its 1103rd and 1104th meetings, considered the text of the
no case be prohibited to the members of minority groups to article adopted by the Commission on Human Rights. NO
whom the right to education in their own language had amendments were submitted,72
been granted. 187. There was general agreement on the basic pro-
179. There was a division of opinion as to what the vision that persons belonging to a minority should not be
term minorities should cover. Some representatives were denied the right, in community tiith the other members of
in favour of ethnic, religious or linguistic groups within their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and
States, while others were in favour of national min- practise their own religion, or to use their own language.
orities. According to the latter, the expression ethnic, The text elaborated by the Commission on Human Rights
religious or linguistic groups was narrower in scope than waswidely regarded as satisfactory.
tnational minorities, since a group of persons could be 188. Many delegations representing countries of imrni-
called an ethnic, religious or linguistic group before gration stressed, however, that persons of similar origin who
attaining the status of a national minority. The adoption of entered their territories voluntarily, through a gradual
the expression ethnic, religious or linguistic groups process of immigration, could not be regarded as minorities,
would, they said, result in protecting groups which might as this would endanger the national integrity of the
never become national minorities. Other representatives felt receiving States; while the newcomers were free to use their
that the reference should be to national, ethic, religious own language and follow their own religion, they were
and linguistic minorities. expected to become part of the national fabric. It was
180. A number of representatives expressed the opinion emphasized that the provisions of article 25 should not be
that minorities should be understood as meaning min- invoked to justify attempts which might undermine the
ority groups which were clearly defmed and had long national unity of any State.
existed. In their view, the special rights accorded to the 189. It was further stressed that the autochthonous
persons belonging to a minority should not be interpreted populations in Latin American countries could not be
a% as permitting a group settled in the territory of a State as a regarded as minorities. They should be treated as a vital
result of immigration to form within that State separate part of the nation and should be assisted in attaining the
communities which might impair its national unity or its same levels of development as the remainder of the
security. They therefore opposed the inclusion in the draft population.
Covenant of a provision which, in their view, might 190. A certain amount of discussion took place on the
encourage the formation of new minorities, artificially
generaI questions of integration of minorities and pro-
prolong the existence of present minorities and delay the
integration of certain groups which tended to lose their
distinct characteristics and to become assimilated in the I2 Officio1 Records of the General Assembly, Sixteenth Session,
population as a whole. Other representatives, on the other Annexes, agenda item 35, document A/5000, paras. 116-126.

tection of minorities. The question was raised whether cation of the principle laid down in article 2, paragraph 1;
protection should be accorded to individual members of a and article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and
minority group or to the group as such. It was emphasized Political Rights, and in article 2, paragraph 2, of the
in this connexjon that any assimilation which might take International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
place must be clearly voluntary, and that members of Rights.
minority groups should not be deprived of the rights
enjoyed by other citizens of the same State, so that they 1. Observations concerning the term ethnic minorities
may be able to integrate should they SO desire. Several 196. Up to 1950, the term racial minorities and not
delegations stated that existing minorities were groups ethnic minorities was generally used in resolutions and
which had succeeded in maintaining their separate identities documents of United Nations bodies concerning the pro-
and that article 25 should not be used to encourage the tection of minorities. It should be noted, for example, that
emergence of new minorities. General Assembly resolution 217 C (Ill) relating to the
191. Several delegations pointed out that the protection protection of minorities refers to racial and national
of minorities was not meant to derogate from the principle minorities, not ethnic minorities.
of majority rule; there were regions, such as certain parts of 197. At its third session, in 1950, when considering a
Africa, which were dominated by privileged minorities and draft resolution on the definition of minorities?3 the
article 2.5 wasnot intended to protect such domination. Sub-Commission decided to replace the word racial by
192, The question was raised whether there was any the word cethnic in all references to minority groups
need to repeat, in respect of minorities, the limitations described by their ethnic origin. Some members considered
clause concerning freedom to manifest ones religion or that the term racial should be eliminated because
belief contained in article 18, paragraph 3, namely, that so-called racial groupings were not based upon scientific
freedom to manifest ones religion or beliefs may be facts and tended to become indistinct as a result of
subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law evolutionary processes,intermarriage, and changes in ideas
and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or or beliefs. Although the word racial had been used in
morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. General Assembly resolutions, it was pointed out, the word
It was pointed out that there was no need to do so, since ethnic seemed to be more appropriate, as it referred to
article 18 was of a general nature and applied to every- all biological, cultural and historical characteristics, whereas
one, therefore to minorities and majorities alike. racial referred only to inherited physical characteristics.
193. At its 1104th meeting the Committee, by 80 votes It was also recalled in this connexion that in the 1949
to none, with 1 abstention, adopted article 25 as drafted by Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime
the Commission on Human Rights. of Genocide the term ethnic had been used to cover
cultural, physical and historical characteristics of a
4. General Assembly, twenty-first session, 1966 group.4
194. At its 1496th plenary meeting, on 16 December 198. Referring to problems of discrimination between
1966, by its resolution 2200 A (XXI), the General certain groups, one author rightly observed that it was
Assembly unanimously adopted the draft International difficult to separate the problem of race, which is correctly used to
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its entirety, refer to groups varying in genetic characteristics, from related
Article 25 of the draft Covenant became article 27 of the problems of conflict or discrimination between groups of different
religion, language, national origin, cultural characteristics or any
final text. combination of these, The question might well be raised as to
whether discrimination based on race differs fundamentally from
D. Scope of article 27 of the International Covenant that directed against a group divided by the other features
on Civil and Political Rights mentioned. It might be better to speak of ethnic rather than racfal
195. The formulation of article 27 of the International
Convenant on CiviI and Political Rights raises a number of 199. After noting that in the most common usage race
problems of interpretation which must be solved if this refers to aggregates of people based upon physical differ-
article is to be correctly applied. The most important ences, particularly skin colour, another author defines
problem is obviously that of defining the term minority, ethnic groups as follows: Ethnic groups may be defined as
peoples who conceive of themseIves as one kind by virtue
which has been dealt with in chapter I of this study. There
of their common ancestry (real or imagined) who are united
are others, however, including that of specifying the
meaning to be given to the expression ethnic minorities
The relevant paragraph of the draft resolution read as
(compared with the concept of racial minority), defining follows:
the scope of the phrase In those States in which ethnic,
Recognising that there exist in many States distinctive
religious or linguistic minorities exist, analysing the population groups possessing racial, religious, linguistic or
reasons why the article grants rights to persons belonging to cultural characteristics different from those of the rest of the
minorities and not to the groups as such, determining the population, usually known as minorities (E/CN.4/Sub.2/103).
nature of the obligation imposed on States and formulating 74 E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.48; E/CN.4/Sub.2/119, para. 31.
certain considerations on the right of members of min. Otto Klineberg, What are the specific problems of racial
orities to enjoy their own culture, to practise their own discrimination on which scholarly and comparative research are
religion. and to use their own language. Lastly, it is needed? , Report on the Internationnl Research Conference on
necessary to determine how the concept of the protection Race Relations, Aspen, Colorado, 7-9 June 1970, p. 127. The
of minorities-and hence the field of application of conference was organjzeh jointly by the United Nations rnstitu te for
Trainina and Research and the Center on International Race
article 27-differs from the concept of equality and non- Relations, Graduate School of International Studies, University of
discrimination, and consequently from the field of appli- Denver,
by emotional bonds, a common culture, and by concern opinions on SOT of these criteria differ, in no circum-
with preservation of their group.76 SkUlCeS Cafl O;;e" SQ far a3 to replace an objective

200. The following definition of the term ethnic was approach by an entirely subjective approach, that is to say,
imply that the States concerned have discretionary power
formulated by an author referring to different population in the matter.
groups in one of the countries studied:
The designation ethnic group is ,., used to refer to categories 205. In view of the general nature of the rules for the
of the population .., who distinguish themsclvcs or arc djstinguishcd protection of human rights adopted within the framework
by the I.. majority groups as difrering from each other and the latter of the United Nations, it is also inadmissible that a
in acquired behavioural characteristics or culture, regardless of distinction could be made between old and new
whether or not they differ in inherited or racial charecteristics.77 minorities. It is certainly not the function of article 27 to
The same author further adds that such an examination encourage the formation of new minorities; where a
should not be taken to mean that the population of the minority exists, however, the article is applicable to it,
country concerned is deeply divided along ethnic lines. On regardless of the date of its formation.
the contrary, it may well be that on the whole the society
of that particular country is remarkably homogcncous. 3. Holdersof the rights guaranteedby article 2 7:
201. In the context of article 27 of the Covenant, the personsor groups?
substitution of the term ethnic minorities for the term 206. Although the expression rights of minorities is
racial minorities and the omission of any reference to used in common parlance, it is persons belonging to
national minorities would seem to reflect a wish to use minorities, in community with the other members of their
the broadest expression and to imply that racial and group, who arc regarded in article 27 as having the right to
national minorities should therefore be regarded as Included enjoy their own culture, to practise their own religion and
in the category of etllnic minorities. to use their own language. There appear to be three reasons
for this.
2, Interpreration of the expressionYn those States
in which ethnic, religiousor linguistic minontiesexist 207. The ftIst is historical, In the system of protection
of minorities established in 1919-1920, rights were
202. During the debate in the Commission on Human accorded to individuals only. The theory of an international
Rights, the text of article 25 of the draft Covenant, as personality of minorities developed later, mainly owing to
prepared by the Sub-Commission, was amended, on the the fact that the right of petition was granted not only to
proposal of the Chilean representative, by the addition, at members of minority groups but also to the groups
the beginning, of the phrase: In those States in which themselves. But the treaties and other international instru-
ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist. It seems that ments relating to minorities were concerned expressly with
the purpose of the amendment was to restrict the enjoy- individual rights-the rights of persons belonging to min-
ment of the rights recognized by the article to minorities orities.
already long established in the territory of the State, so as
to prevent the protection conferred by the new rule from 208. The second reason was the need for a coherent
encouraging the formation of new minorities or awakening formulation of the various provisions of the International
a minority consciousness in groups formerly assimilated Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Covenant, like
into the population of a State. the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, lays down a number of individual rights.
203. The expression in question might also be under- The only right of collective bodies is the right of peoples to
stood to mean that it is the responsibility of each State to self-determination. But this is an entirely different matter
recognize the existence of a minority in its territory, and from the rights of members of minorities, not only because
that such official recognition is a condition for the it derives directly from a principle already included in the
applicability of article 27, It should be remembered in this Charter of the United Nations but also because it con-
connexion that the internal law of some States does ditions the enjoyment of all the other fundamental human
actually include rules (even constitutional rules) which rights.
implicitly or explicitly recognize the existence of minorities
in those States, as wasmentioned in chapter I, 209. Lastly, there is a ,.political reason. The fact of
granting rights to minorities and thus endowing them with
204. However, it is inadmissible that the only States legal status might increase the danger of friction between
with obligations under article 27 should be those which them and the State, in so far as the minority group, as an
officially recognize the existence of a minority in their
I entity, would seem to be invested with authority to
territory. That would be tantamount to making the represent the interests of a particular community vis-ti-vis
application of article 27 dependent on the good will of the the State representing the interests of the entire population.
States parties to the Covenant, If that were the case, a State
Moreover, the freedom of each individual member of a
would only have to withhold official recognition of a minority to choose between voluntary assimilation with the
minority to deprive it of the benefits guaranteed by this
majority and t,he preservation of his own distinctive
rule. The existence of a minority must be established on the
characteristics might be disregarded by the organs of the
basis of objective criteria and, although it is true that entity formed by the minority group, in its concern to
. preserve the unity and strength of the group.
76 Richard hi. Burkey, Discrimination and racial relations,
Report on the Internationd Research Conference on Race Re- 210. ill this shows that the formulation of article 27,
lations, Aspen, Colorado, 7-9 June 1970, p. 62. whereby rights have been conferred on persons and not on
Frank J. Moore, Thailand, its People, ih Society, its Culture groups, is based on sound reasons and should not be
(New Haven, Hraf Press, 1974), p. 64. misjudged or underestimated by the exegetist. At the Same
time, it must be borne in mind that the rights in question from the Governments concerned was forthcoming. Neither
will be exercised by their holders in community with the the non-prohibition of the exercise of such a right by
other members of their group, as stated in article 27. That persons belonging to minority groups nor the constitutional
is easily understandable when it is considered that the rights guarantees of freedom of expression and association are
provided are based on the interests of a collectivity, and suflicient for the effective implementation of the right of
consequently it is the individual as a member of a minority members of minority groups to preserve and develop their
group, and not just any individual, who is destined to own culture.
benefit from the protection granted by article 27. 214. With regard to the attitude of States towards
minorities in cultural matters, it should also be pointed out
4. Nature of the obligation imposed on States that the obligations imposed by the International Covenant
211, Another question which arose in the Commission on Economic, Socisl and Cultural Rights undoubtedly have
on Human Rights during the discussion on the inclusion of the character of positive obligations. Articles 13 to 15 of
an article concerning minorities in the draft International this Covenant, relating to the right to education and the
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was that of deter- right to take part in cuItura1 life, clearly all concern the
mining the nature of the obligation imposed on States. members of minorities as well as any other individual. But
titer noting that the text submitted by the. Sub-Com- the right to education can only be realized through
mission stipulated only that persons belonging to ethnic, appropriate measures on the part of the State, and the right
religious or linguistic minorities shall not, be denied the to take part in cultural life likewise implies that the State
right _.I to enjoy their own culture ...I. some representatives should take the necessary steps for the conservation, the
expressed the opinion that the article to be included should development and the diffusion of science and culture
contain a more precise description of the States obli- (article 15, paragraph 2). It would be inconceivable that the
gations. In their view, the words persons . .. shall not be State should have fewer cultural obligations vis-h-tis min-
denied were devoid of meaning and would probably have orities than towards its people in general.
no effect. It was therefore necessary to specify in the article 215. The essential role of governments in the matter of
that the State should adopt special legislative measures to cultural development has been stressed in many conferences
guarantee to minorities the enjoyment of certain rights. On on the subject held under the auspices of UNESCO. For
the other hand, some speakers pointed out that a proposal example, at the Intergovernmental Conference on Insti-
of that nature would place undue emphasis on the rights of tutional, Administrative and Financial Aspects of Cultural
minority groups instead of stressing the importance of Policies held in Venice in 1970 it was agreed that, while the
tolerance-the only new duty which should be imposed on degree of direct governmental involvement depended upon
States which had accepted the obligation of non-discrimi- the socio-economic system, ideological character and degree
nation. It was generally agreed that the text submitted by of economic and technological development of the country
the Sub-Commission would not, for example, place States concerned, all governments should take responsibility for
and Governments under the obligation of providing special two essential tasks: the adequate financing and the proper
schools for persons belonging to linguistic minorities. planning of cultural institutions and programmes.80 The
Persons who comprised ethnic, religious or linguistic min- following observations were made in documents prepared
orities could, as such, request that they should not be for the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies
deprived of the rights recognized in the draft articles. The in Europe, held at Helsinki in 1972:*
sole obligation imposed upon States was not to deny that *.. The right to culture implies a duty for governments and for
right. the international community to make it possible for everyone,
212. The same question was raised at the twentieth without distinction or discrimination of any kind, to take part in
the cultural life of his community and of mankind generally. For
session of the Sub-Commission during the discussions which this universal Darticiuation to be effective, the State must furnish
preceded the adoption of resolution 9 (XX), in which the the necessary means ;o those who are unde&ivilegcd in their access
Sub-Commission decided to undertake the present study. It to cultural life (because of their low level of education for example,
was stated that article 27 of the Covenant adequately low standard of living, or poor housing conditions). To overcome
such obstacles, and counteract the effects on the cultural life of
reflected the prevailing attitude of the internationa1 com- individuals of disparities in technical and economic progress
munity. In accordance with that article, States were obliged generally, States must prepare coherent policies on the basis of their
to allow individuals who belonged to minorities enjoyment long-term forecasts for cultural development. Cultural development
of their culture, practice of their reIigion and use of their is taken to mean the continuous improvement of those technical,
economic and social factors which can significantly help to improve
own language, but that did not imply that members of the level of cultural life; and level of cultural life is taken to mean
minorities had the right to demand that the State should the individuals degree of accessto and freedom to participate in the
adopt positive measures.7 g cultural life of the community.
213. Nevertheless, there is reason to question whether The formal or implicit introduction of this right to culture into
the implementation of article 27 of the Covenant does not, the general trend of ideas which was to predominate after 1950 was
bound to have widespread and important consequences. Since the
in fact, call for active intervention by the State. At the individual was acknowledged to have this new right, he also had to
cultural level, in particular, it is generally agreed that, be &en the means to exercise it. Public authorities, conscious of
because of the enormous human and financial resources this-need, were to turn their attention more and more to meeting it.
which would be needed for a full cultural development, the
right granted to members of minority grotips to enjoy their a Final Report on t/ze hztergovernmental Conference on
own culture would lose much of its meaning if no assistance Institutional, Administrative and Financial Aspects of Cultural
Policies, Venice, 24 August-2 September 1970 (Paris, UNESCO,
1970) (SHC/MD/13), chap. I, para. 51.
I8 E/CN.4/SR.368-3il. I UNESCO documents SHC/EUROCULT/l, para. 7, and
I9 E/CN.4/Sub.2/286, paras. 155-157. SHC/EUROCULT/3, para. 10.
. -L,
Unquestionably. Stateshad for a long time excrciscd some power in 220. In article III of the draft Convention on the
matters of culture For the most part, however. they had confined Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
thcmsclvcs to empirical and secondary action associated with a (E/794) the following acts were consideredas constituting
gcncral liberal outlook and based on the old idea of patronage. This
nction was usually, moreover, the responsibility of a series of the crime of cultural genocide:
scattered bodies which had acquired their limited powers through (1) Prohibiting the use of the language of the group in daily
the chance workings of administrative dcvelopmcnt. The first aim intercourse or in schools, or the printing and circulation of
therefore became to group ,serviccs together and to systcmati7.e pubtications in the language of the group:
cultural policy in accordance with an overall view of theproblems.
(2) Destroying or preventing the use of libraries, museums,
216. It may also be noted that at the seminar on the schools, historical monuments, places of worship or other cultural
promotion and protection of the human rights of national, institutions and objects of the group.
ethnic and other minorities, held at Ohrid, Yugoslavia, in 221, During the debate on this article-which, it will be
1974, the role of Governments, as regards the cultural remembered,was not adopted-it wasmaintainedthat such
rlghts, wasdescribedasfollows: acts would result in losses to humanity in the form of
Several participants referred to the right of individual members of cultural contributions for which it was indebted to the
minorities, as wetl as to the right of groups in their collectivity, to destroyedgroup.84
enjoy the free expression of their individuality and group culture, to
maintain their cultural identity and originality, to preserve their 222. In a publication of UNESCO entitled Race and
distinctive traditions,including artistic andthcatricJ traditions, and Crrl&re, the word culture wasdefined asfollows:
to maintain a natural link with the countries of their origin. It was
considered the responsibility of the authorities to guarantee in law Whereas race is strictly a question of heredify, culture is
and in practice the maintenance and preservation of such traditions csscntially one of tradition in the broadest sense, which includes the
and customs and to provide for their autonomous development, formal training of the young in a body of knowledge or a creed, the
where necessary by public financing.a2 inheiiting of customs or attitudes from previous generations, the
borrowing of techniques or fashions from other countries, the
217. Article 27 of the Covenant must therefore be spread of opinions through propaganda or conversation, the
placed in its proper context. To enable the objectives of adoption-or selling-of new products or devices, or even the
this article to be achieved, it is essentialthat Statesshould circulation of @ends or jests by word of mouth. In other words,
adopt legislative and administrative measures.It is hard to tradition in this sense covers provinces clearly unconnected with
biological heredity and all alike consisting in the transmission, by
imagine how the culture and languageof a group can be word of mouth, image or mere example, of characteristics which,
conservedwithout, for example, a specialadaptation of the taken togetirer, differentiate a milieu, society or group of societies
educational system of the country, The right accorded to throughout a period of reasonable length and thus constitute its
members of minorities would quite obviously be purely culture.
theoretical unlessadequatecultural institutions were estab- As culture, then, comprehends all that is inherited or transmitted
lished. This appliesequally in the linguistic field, and even through society, it follows that its individual elements are pro
where the religion of a minority is concerned a purely portionately diverse. They include not only beliefs, knowledge,
sentiments and literature (and illiterate peoples often have an
passiveattitude on the part of the State would not answer immensely rich oral literature), but the language or other systems of
the purposesof article 27. However, whatever the country, symbols which are their vehicles. Other elements are the rules of
groups with sufficient resourcesto carry out tasks of this kinship, methods of education, forms of government and all the
magnitude are rare, if not non-existent. Only the effective fashions followed in social relations. Gestures, bodily attitudes and
even facial expressions are also included, since they arc in large
exercise of the rights set forth in article 27 can guarantee measure acquired by the community through education or
observanceof the principle of the real, and not only formal, imitation; and so, among the material elements, are fashions in
equality of persons belonging to minority groups. The housing and clothing and ranges of tools, manufactures Ed artistic
implementation of theserights calls for active and sustained production, all of which are to sonic extent traditional ...
intervention by States. A passiveattitude on the part of the 223. As regards the interpretation of the right of
latter would render suchrights inoperative. minorities to have their own culture, the following obser-
vations were made at the seminar on the multinational
5. Observationsconcerning the nj# of ethnic, religcus
society heId at Ljubljana, Yugodavia, from 8.21 June I965:
and linguistic minorities to have their own culture
107. It was generally agreed that the right of autonomous action
218. In neither the Sub-Commissionnor the Com- to ensure the preservation and continuity of a groups traditions and
missionon Numan Rights di&the debateson the definition characteristics ... provided the surest means of protecting its
of minorities and the inclusion of an article on minorities in collective identity. ... encouragement of variety helped to assure
harmonious coexistence between a countrys varying ethnic, re-
the draft Covenant provide any specific indication as to the ligious, Linguistic and national groups, giving to each a sense of
implication of the right of persons belonging to ethnic, contributing to the national heritage ...
religious and linguistic minorities to enjoy their own
111. A number of those taking part in the debate drew attention
219. It will be recalled, firstly, that at its third session, to the need for protecting ancient values in the developing
in the debate on the preparation of a definition of countries; in the past, many of their inhabitants had been caught in
minorities, the Sub-Commissiondecidedthat, in view of the the cross-current of an officially discouraged traditional way of life
and of an alien culture to which they could never fully adjust.
substitution of the ,word ethnic for racial, it was Today, therefore, every effort had to be made to awaken the masses
superfluous to list cultural characteristicsamongthe factors to the needs of respect for their national or continental personality,
constituting a minority. The Sub-Commissionconsidered while simultaneously striving for the attainment of modernobjec-
that the cultural characteristics of minority status were tives and the elimination of anachronisms or stultifying superstition.
adequately covered by the concept of ethnic, religiousand
linguistic characteristics,*3 a4 Of/ichl Records of the General Assembly, Third Session,
Part I, Sixth Committee, 83rd meeting.
82 ST/TAO/HR/49, para,79. Michel L&is, Race and CWure (Paris, UNESCO, 1951), pp.
a E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.48. 20 and 21.
?* Some of these participants added that the maintenance of indigcn- Mr. Arcot Krishnaswami, the task of preparing it.a This
ous traditions was greatly assisted in their count&s by a policy of study, which was published in 1960, covered extensively
strengthening tribal institutions, such as the authority of local the various issues involved in the implerncntation of the
chiefs, or by an enlightened codificatjon of customary law. rights belonging to religious minorities to profess and
112. Other participants urged recognition of the importance of practise their oivn religion, such as the nature of the right
maintaining pcrmissiblc legal traditions, in fields such as laws of
succession, marriage, dietary laws ... to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the
freedom to maintain or to change religion or belief, the
113. ln citing examples of traditions and customs prcvalcnt in freedom to manifest religion or belief and the status of
their countries, several speakers rcfcrred also to diverse other religion in relation to the State. The study further
matters, inter alilr: distinctive clothing: manners; accepted local
standards of civility and hospitality; litcraturc and the graphic and contained a number of proposals or recommendations
performing arts; and the significance of ritual and ceremonial in concerning the basic rules which could be adopted for the
communities of varying regions and in different stages of ad- universal application of the right of everyone to freedom of
vancement. thought, conscience and religion. On the basis of the report,
J 14. Turning to more specific questions, many participants the Sub-Commission prepared draft principles on freedom
spoke of the kinds of traditions and characteristics for which the and non-discrimination in the matter of religious rights and
right of autonomous development should be guaranteed. There was
general agreement that the guarantee should cxtcnd to such practices8*
traditions and customs as did not hinder progress and, above all, to 226. Since 1962, the matter of freedom of religion and
those which directly assisted it; the test should be that of
compatibility with the attainment of social or economic objectives. conscience has been under discussion at one time or
Other speakers, while generally concurring with this view, thought another before several organs of the United Nations as a
that traditions and characteristics could not in reality be guaran- result of the adoption by the General Assembly of
teed by statute; their best protection lay in universal tolerance of resolution 1781 (XVII) of 7 December 1962 in which the
ones neighbours right to be different if he so wished; and in a truly Assembly requested the Economic and Social Council to
democratic society the question of special minority rights in this
context should never even arise. Others pointed out that, in States ask the Commission on Human Rights, bearing in mind the
aiming at complete integration of all groups and races, it was views of the Sub-Commission, to prepare both a draft
sometimes best for the authorities to maintain a tolerant but declaration and a draft convention on the elimination of all
somewhat unenthusiastic attitude towards group exclusiveness. forms of religious intolerance. Suffice it to mention that at
... its sixteenth session, in 1964, the Sub-Commission prepared
116. The question was also raised whether the traditions and and submitted to the Commission a preliminary draft of a
characteristics under discussion should include those relating to a United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All
groups social and economic organization. It was agreed by several Forms of Religious Intolerance (see A/8330, annex I) and
speakers that there was no need for special incentives for separate that at its twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-third
traditional activities in this regard. The pursuit of social and
economic objectives, according to this view, must follow the States sessions, the Commission on Human Rights adopted the
general orientation towards modern goals. Here again, the only preamble and twelve articles of a draft International
limitations should be directed against impediments to progress, Convention on the subject (ibid., annex III). At the
perhaps with additional safeguards against attempts by arry group to twenty-second session of the General Assembly, in 1967,
monopolize any sector of public life. the Assemblys Third Committee adopted the preamble and
117. Some speakers expressed the opinion that special encour- the first article of a draft Convention on the subject on the
agement should be offered by States to the types of autonomous
expression under rcvicw, not only by legislative means but also by basis of a text submitted by the Commission on Human
other efforts, both official and informal, to conserve and expand the Rights (ibid., paras. 19-21). The complexity of the question
nations cultural heritage. Others, however, felt that there was no has, however, prevented the various United Nations organs
duty owed by the State in this regard, save the assurance of equal concerned from fulfilling the objective laid down in General
treatment. Certain participants also thought that a distinction Assembly resolution 1781 (XVII), and at the present time
should be drawn between cultural traditions of proven value and
those which contained little beyond elements of mere quaintness or priority has been @en to the preparation of a draft
charm. declaration, a task which has been entrusted to the
118. There was general agreement that useful work could be Commission on Human Rights by the General Assembly.
done by organs such as Ministries of Culture or Arts Councils, which 227. From the well-documented study on discrimi-
compiled and maintained records, coordinated cultural activities
and encouraged the revival of traditions and customs of national and nation in the matter of religious rights and practices
international interest.* prepared by Mr, Krishnaswami, and, in particular, from the
work already done by the Sub-Commission, the Com-
224. The above-mentioned texts show clearly what is mission on Human Rights and the General Assembly in the
implied by the right of members of minority groups to field of the elimination of religious intolerance, many
enjoy their own culture and the observations in those texts indications can be drawn concerning the right of each
have been taken into account in preparing chapter Iv, individual to profess and practise the religion of his choice.
section A, of this study. There is indubitably a particularly close relationship
between article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil
6. Observationsconcerning the right of religious minorities
and Political Rights, regarding freedom of thought, con-
to professand practise their own religion
science and religion, and article 27 in so far as it concerns
225. In connexion with the rights of religious min- religious minorities; there is even reason to wonder
orities, it will be recalled that the Sub-Commission initiated whether, viewed in this light, it may not duplicate what is
in 1956 a study of discrimination in the matter of religious stated in article 18. From the specific point of view of
rights and practices and entrusted to a Special Rapporteur,
8 Study of Discrimination in the Matter of Religious Rights and
Plocficces(United Nations publication, Sales No, 60.XIV.2).
a6 ST/TAO/HR/23, paras. 107, 111.114,116118. a* Ibid., annex I.

article 27, it is above all problems of minority religious must be found between these conflicting requirementsin
communities which must be taken into consideration, order to safeguard the fundamental rights of the persons
particularly questions of the establishment and mainten- belonging to the various linguistic groups as well as the
ance of religious institutions arid schools, laws governing interestsof the nation asa whole.
the property of these communities, the status of religious 231. In the countries surveyed, repliesto the question
ministers and the protection of religious rites and holy whether the languagesspoken by the various linguistic
places. These will be discussed in chapter IV, section B, groups of a country should be given official status vary
below. considerably. Great differences of approachto the solution
7. Observations conceruittg the right of the problem are also evident between developed and
of linguistic minorities to USC their ow language developing countries+In this connexion, it shouldbe noted
that a specialsituation exists in many developingcountries
228. During the debate in the Commissionon Human in which not only do many ethnic groupsspeaktheir own
Rights on the inclusion of an article on minorities in the languagebut the languageof the former colonial Power is
draft International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, widely used, sincein many casesthat languageis the only
and later in the Sub-Commission,during discussions on the one common to membersof different linguistic groups, In
subject of interim reports concerning this study, it was this connexion, it may be worth recalling that at the
pointed out that the right of personsbelongingto linguistic seminaron the multinational society held at Ljubljana in
minorities to use their own languagemight create diffi- 1965, many participants felt that
culties in countries where many indigenouslanguageswere given the need for a readily understood national medium of
used089 communication and a common administrative system, it was
necessary for the countries in question to decide whether one or
229, The question of the right of personsbelonging to more national languages should be designated as official languages,
linguistic minorities to use their own languagewas also or whether the language used during the colonial period should
raised at the seminar on the multinational society held at retain its former positioneither indefinitely or for a specified
Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, in 1965. Someparticipants believed period. It was stressedthat the difficultiesencounteredwere
compounded when the major indigenous languages differed widely
that distinctions should be drawn between, on the one in their structure. On the other hand, the view was expressed that
hand, languageswhich might not have developed to the the use of a fvr;eignlanguage could be a divisiverather than a
point of having a written tradition or even a written script unifyingfactor.
but which were in fact distinct languages,and on the other 232. In a study of the problems which developing
hand, dialects of existing languages,which differed in countries face in formulating a languagepolicy, it hasbeen
varying degreesfrom their parent languages.It was stated noted that the symbolic value of languageas a meansof
that financial considerationswould militate against giving group identification makeslanguagespolitically and socially
the same attention to every local variation or dialect aswas very strategic. Hence languagesnaturally become a prime
required for major language groups and that each case element in the struggle for national unity. The authors
should be resolved on a pragmatic basis.go observedthat:
230. In multilinguistic societies,discussionof the status *.. Fe very pressures
that createthe needsfor somenational
of the languagesspokenby the variouslinguistic groupshas language as a unifying force almost inevitably also create a contrary
several dimensions which vary from country to country, reaction in favour of regional languages. Whether people actually
feel threatened by the emphasis upon national unity in language is
according to the stage of economic, political and social hard to say, but certainly the emphasis upon a single language very
development of the country concerned, and also within a frequently makes them more and more aware of their own regional
country, from group to group. Many factors have to be language.
taken into account in the formulation of a languagepolicy This local emphasis on regional languages depends partly upon
and the question is socomplex that any solution given to it the degree of cultural vitality of the particular regional group, and
may contain in itself the seedsof a potential conflict. For upon the groups sense of identification or non-identification with
example, the designation of the languageof one group as the national society. ...
the official language may be in certain circumstancesa
source of constant controversy since it may upset the For a language to become a national language certain very
political balance between various population groups, important features are needed. In the fist place, it should be
especially in caseswhere each group constitutes a signifi- politically neutral. If it is not charactcrized by political neutrality it
is too often regarded merely as a tool by which a particular language
cant percentage of the total population or is concentrated group seeks to extend its domination, Quite naturally, this is a cause
in specific areas. On the other hand, it may be totally for alarm among other language communities ..,
impracticable, in particular in countries where numerous ...
languagesare spoken, to recognize all of them as official
languages,if only in view of the financial cost that such a If a language is to be a national language it should $2 be
linguistically related to the various local languages of the area.
solution would involve. It should further be mentioned that
in many countries the view is widely held that the 233. In a report issuedby UNESCO, the question to
! consolidation of the unity of the people, the spiritual what extent the designation of a single languageas the
integrity of the nation and the need to create a senseof
national identity would require that only one languagebe 91ST/TAO/HR/23,para.57.
declared the official language.Therefore a just equilibrium
92 Eugene A. Nida and William L. Wonderly, Communication
roles of languages in multilingual societies in Language Use and
Socid C7fange, Studies presented and discussed at the ninth
a For a definition of the expression indigenous
language, see International African Seminar, held at University College, Dar es
para. 429, note 24. Salaam, in December 1968, edited by W. H. Whiteley, pp. 61, 62, 63
goST/TAO/HR/23,para. 49. and 64.

official language would foster unity in developing countries protection of minorities might be facilitated by ,t!
wasdiscussed in the following terms: following considerations:
&irlg Ihe uenrucrr/ar impedes nolional unity. It cannot bc 1. Prcven
Lionol discriminationis the preventionof any acti
de&d that the busincsa of government is easier in a monohngual which deniesto individualsor groups of people equality
than in a multilingual nation. However,it dacs not follow that trcatmcnt which they may wish.
lcgjslationor schoolpolicy requiringthe USC of theofficial language 2. Protccfionof minoritiesis the protection of non-domina
at al] timeswill give the sameresultsasactual monolingualism. On groups which, while tirlting in general for equality of trcatme
the contrary,it is fairly likely that absoluteinsistence on the use of with the majority, wish for a mcasurc of differentialtrcatmcnt
the nationallanguage by peopleof anothermother tongue may have orderto preserve basic characteristics which they possess and whit
a negativecffcct, leadingthe local groupsto withdraw in some distinguishthem from the majority of the population. G
mcasurc from the nationallife. In my event,it seems clearthat the protection applies equally to individuals belonging to such grou,
nationalinterestsare best served by optimum advancementof and wishing the same protection. It folfows that differcnti
education,andthis in turn can bepromotedby theuseof the local treatment of such groups or individuals belonging to such groups
language asa mcdivn of instruction,at leastat the beginningof the justified when it is exercised in the interest of their contentmel
schoolprogramme. andthe welfare of the community as a whole...
8. T&econcepf of protection of mirtoritics If a minority wishes for assimilation andisdcbarrcddsthc qucstic
and tire concept of equalifj~ arrd rron-discrinzinatian I isone of discrimination
andshouldbc treatedassuch.

234. The Permanent Court of International Justice 237. At its second session, the Commission approve
stated in 1935 that the idea underlying the treaties for the the text concerning the prevention of discrimination bl
protection of minorities was to secure for them the postponed a study of the text concerningthe protection c
possibility of Living peaceably alongside the rest of the minorities.96
population, while preserving their own characteristics, In 238. The following remarks were contained in a men
order to attain this objective, two things were regardedas orandum submitted by the Secretary-General, entitled TI?
particularly necessary.The first was to ensurethat members Main ij~pes and Currses of Discrimirmtiot~:
of racial, religiousor linguistic minorities should be placed The texts adoptedby the Sub-Commission Q,,97 indicate th
in every respect on a footing of perfect equality with the fundamental difference between the prevention of discriminatio
other nationals of the State. The second was to ensurefor and the protection of minorities. From these texts, it would appea
that discrimination implies any act or conduct which denies t
the minority elements suitable meansfor the preservation certain individuals equaUty of treatment with other individual
of their own characteristicsand traditions. According to the because they belong to particular groups in society. To prevcn
Court, these two requirements are indeed closely inter- discrimination, therefore, somemeans mustbefound to suppress c
locked, for there would be no true equality between a eliminate inequality of treatment whichmay haveharmfulresult:
majority and a minority if the latter were deprived of its aimingat the prevention of anyact or conductwhichimpljestha
an unfavourable distinction is made between individuals solel:
own institutions, and were consequently compelled to because they belong to certain categories or groups of society. Th
renounce that which constitutes the very essence of its aim is to prevent any act which mjght imply inequality of treatmen
being as a minority.g4 For this reason, the so-called on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or othe
Minorities Treaties concluded after the First World War all opinion, national or social origin, property, birth OJ other statu:!
Thus the prevention of discrimination means the suppression o
contained provisions stipulating that membersof minorities prevention of any conduct which denies or restricts a persons righ
should enjoy equality before the law and the same civil and to equality.
political rights as other nationals. These treaties lajd down a The protection of minorities, on the other hand, althougl
regime of juridical equality for minorities with a view to similarly inspired by the principle of equality of treatment of al
preventing racial, linguistic or religious difference from peoples, requires positiveaction: concreteserviceisrendered to thr
becoming a reason for according them inferior juridical minority group, such as the establishment of schools in whici
treatment or a defacto obstacle to the exercise of the rights educationisgivenin thenativetongueof the members of thegroup
Such measures are of course also inspired by the principle o
accorded to members of minorities. equality:for example,if a childreceivesits educationin a languagr
235. During the discussionson the protection of min- which is not its mother tongue, this might imply that the child i:
not treated on an equal basis with those children who do receivr
orities in both the Sub-Commissionand the Commissionon their education in their mother tongue. The protection of minoritie!
Human Rights the question wasaskedwhether a distinction therefore requires positive action to safeguard the rights of the
should be made between the concept of protection of minority group, provided of course that the people concerned (01
minorities, on the one hand, and that of equality and their parents in case of children) wish to maintain their difference5
non-discrimination, on the other. of language and culture. 98

236. At its first session,in 1947, the Sub-Commission 239. It will be recalled that in the Commission on
discussed the meaning of the terms prevention of discrimi- Human Rights, during the discussion on the inclusion of an
nation and protection of minorities and adopted a artjcle on the rights of minorities in the draft International
decision indicating, for the benefit of the Commissionon Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it was generally
Human Rights, the considerations which, in its opinion, agreed that, if persons belonging to minorities enjoyed
that body should take into account in framing provisions to specialrights, they should not on that account be deprived
be included either in the Universal Declaration of Human of such rights as were enjoyed by the other citizens of the
Rights or in the International Covenant on Human Rights, same State, It wasalso generally agreed that the presence in
Ibe Sub-Commission suggested that the final drafting of
articles on the prevention of discrimination and the 9s E/CN.4/52, sect. V.
Officcial Records of the Economic and Social Council, Skth
w The Use of Vernacular Languages in Education (Paris, Session,Supplement No. 1. paras.39and40; seealsopara.168.
UNESCO, 1953), p. 50. 9 See para. 236.
g4 Minority schools in Albania, advisory opinion of 6 April 98 United Nations publication, Sales No. 49.XIV.3, paras. 6
1935,P.Cl,J. publication,SeriesA-B,No. 64, p. 17. and 7.
the draft Covenant of provisions containing a general and twen.t$h sessionsof the Sub-Commission,the two
prohibition of discrimination did not constitute an obstacle concepts,although distinct, are closely linked. O
to the inclusion in the draft Covenant of an article granting 242. It waspointed out in this respectthat the problem
differential treatment to minorities in order to ensure them of ethnic, linguistic or rdigiOUS groups,commonly referred
real equality of status with the other elements of the to as minorities, had two main aspects: (a) the rightful
population.99 demand of all such groups that they receive equality of
240. The idea of a close link between the two concepts treatment with the majority of the population, and (b) the
is also evident in certain international instruments. For claim of some groups to specialmeasuresof protection, in
example, the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination addition to the rights accorded to the population as a
in Education, while recognizing the right of members of whole.O Article27 of the International Covenant on Civit
national minorities to carry on their own educational and Political Rights cannot therefore be considered
activities, declares that the standard of education in the separately from article 2, paragraph1, of the same Cov-
scl~ools envisaged shall not be lower than the general enant which establishesthe principle of equality and
standard laid dawn or approved by the competent auth. non-discrimination. * It must be interpreted as an ad-
orities. The IL0 Indigenous and Tribal Populations Conven- ditional provision ensuring for members of minorities,
tion, for its part, stipulates that enjoyment of the general independently of the other rights enumerated in the
rights of citizenship, without discrimination, shah not be Covenant, the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess
prejudiced in any way by the special measures of protection and practise their own religion and to use their own
it provides. The same concern appears also in a number of language.Consequently, care must be taken not to Jose
bilateral treaties relating to minorities. sight of the links between article 27 and the other
provisionsof the two Covenants, without, however, over-
241. It can, therefore, be stated that the two concepts
looking the fact that article 27 has an independent role to
are distinct in the sense that the concept of equality and
play. In conclusion, it is on the basisof their position of
non-discrimination implies a formal guarantee of uniform
treatment for all individuals-who must be ensured the entitlement to human rights and fundamental freedoms,
without discrimination, that persons belonging to min-
enjoyment of the same rights zuld accept the same
orities are given the rights set forth in article 27, which are
obligations-whereas the concept of protection of min-
specially designedto ensurethe maintenanceof their own
orities implies special measures in favour of members of a
characteristicsvis-a-visthe membersof majority groups.
minority group. None the less, the purpose of these
measures is to institute factual equality between the
members of the minority group and other individuals. This
O E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.338 and 339; E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.513-515.
confirms the thesis that prevention of discrimination, on
the one hand, and the implementation of special measures lo E/CN.4/Sub.2/211, para.225.
to protect minorities, on the other, are merely two aspects lo2 Article 2, paragraph 1, readsasfollows:
of the same problem: that of defending fundamental 1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to
human rights. As was shown during the discussions on the respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and
questions of the protection of minorities at the thirteenth subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present
Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour,
sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or
g9 A/2929, para. 185; E/CN.4/SR.303, 348. social origin, property, birth or other status.
Chapter III



243. This part of the study deals with the position of and the laws of Switzerland, persons belonging to linguistic
persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic min- minorities may have recourse to a referendum, as a tool to
orities in the society in which they live and covers four ensure the respect of their right to autonomous devel-
main topics, lt attempts first to determine in relation to a opment. This right has been exercised in the past on
certain number of States how these persons generally view numerous occasions, the most recent case being the
themselves within the framework of the country in which creation of a new territorial division for the French-
they live, in particular whether they have shown a common speaking population of a mainly German-speaking canton,
desire to preserve their characteristics and their traditions. 247. The Government of Denmark writes that the
Secondly, it analyses some of the most important issues German-speaking population, which is officially recognized
involved in inter-group relationships within the countries as a minority by a governmen ta1 declaration having also
surveyed. It then describes the general approach followed international relevance, constitutes a group rooted in
by various Governments in formulating their policies history and characterized by its bonds of solidarity with the
towards persons belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic German people and that, for reasons of tradition, the
minorities. Lastly, the role of the principle of non-discrimi- Danish citizens of German extraction feel attached to the
nation in the field of protection of minority groups is German nation and generaIly wish to have their children
examined. A discussion of these topics, on the basis of the educated in a German cultural context.
experience of a number of minority groups, appears to be
important for a better understanding of the complex 248. Independently of the action that may be taken by
problems they face. States on the question of recognition, other objective
criteria can be used to determine whether ethnic and
A. The sense of identity of minority groups linguistic groups have demonstrated a desire to preserve
their characteristics. It could rightly be argued, indeed, that
244. A question often raised when discussion of min- when members of a population group display in their
ority rights takes place is whether the rights to be accorded everyday life a strong sense of ethnic identity, when they
to persons belonging to minority groups should not depend persevere, sometimes against heavy odds, in the use of
on the expression by those groups of a desire to preserve their language, when by their general attitude and their way
their own characteristics. This was in fact one of the criteria of life they regard themselves and are perceived by others as
of the definition of the term minority proposed by the belonging to a distinct group, then it seems logical to
Sub-Commission when it expressed itself on the question conclude that their desire to preserve their characteristics is
some years ago. It will also be recalled that, with few implicitly affirmed. Only when a group has been assimilated
exceptions, Governments which commented on the pro- to the point of giving up its traditions, its customs, and the
visional definition suggested for this study indicated that, in use of its religion and its language, a process which could be
their view, such a desire constituted an important element easily and objectively evaluated, can one assume that such a
of the concept of minority. There can be no doubt, in any group stands outside of the scope of any special measure
case, that the sense of identity of a minority is strictly intended to safeguard the identity of minority groups.
linked with a strong desire of the group (or at least of most
of its members) to preserve its own characteristics. 249. There are instances where not all the minorities
living ln a country have expressed a desire to preserve their
245. In nearly all the countries surveyed, there is own characteristics. In its observation on this particular
evidence of the fact that, in differing ways-sometimes point, the Austrian Government states that considerable
explicitly, often implicitly-and in varying degrees, ethnic, differences exist in this respect among the members of
religious and linguistic groups generally show a desire to minority groups in Austria. Though some of the Burgenland
preserve their own characteristics and their own traditions, Croats tend to assimilate to some extent and, in particular,
irrespective of the length of time during which they have to abandon the use of the Croatian language, the Slovenes
lived under another culture. of Carinthia show little inclination towards assimilation,
246. In countries where ethnic and linguistic minorities The Italian Government writes that, though some minority
have been officially recognized as such, the fact of groups, such as the Albanian-speaking group, do not
recognition may be interpreted as constituting in itself a distinguish themselves substantially from the national
response to the desire of the minorities concerned to society, others, including the German and Slovenian groups,
maintain their own characteristics. Moreover, the consti- have retained the desire ta maintain their own traditions
and culture.
tution, the laws or the international instruments under
which recognition has been granted often provide to the 250, On the other hand, it is possible that, though most
members of the group concerned the mechanisms for of the members of a minority group may be resolved to
expressing their requirements. Thus, under the constitution maintain their identity, some individuals will prefer to be

assimilated into the majorit$qpuIation. If that is their free Kurdish language has been one of the main demands
choice, obstacles should not be placed in their way in the formulated by the leaders of that community. Jn Algeria,
name of a misconceived group solidarity. Any such obstacle although the Kabyles and certain Saharan groups have
would constitute a violation of the freedom of the adopted Islam as their religion, they have preserved some
individuals concerned; in other words, it is not acceptable identity of their own by using the Berber language, Jn Sri
that an individual should be forced to conform to the hanka, the two main ethnic groups-the Sinhalese and the
choice made by the greater part of the minority group to Tamils-are distinguished primarily by language and second.
which he belongs (and in relation to which those individuals arily by religion. In the United States of America, the
who have no desire to preserve their culture, language and Spanish-speaking groups have retained their language to a
religion are themselves in a minority). This confirms, if relatively higher degree than most ethnic groups. They have
confirmation were needed, that the right to enjoy special thus managed to maintain a strong sense of unity, social
measures of protection should be accorded to the individual solidarity and cultural and ethnic pride. Language mam-
members of minorities (who thus remain free to renounce tenance efforts have played an important role in the efforts
them) and not to groups as such, of these groups to retain and develop their cultural heritage.
251. As the available information tends to indicate, the in Belgium, language is the main factor behind the cohesion
persistence of a groups distinctiveness within a State may of the cultural communities. The same observation could
be attributable to a number of causes. be made as regards the French-speaking linguistic group of
252. Religion is often cited as one of the most
important causes of a groups distinctiveness. For example, 25.5. The way of life of persons belonging to minority
with respect to Ghana, it has been observed that the groups and the manner in which they have organized their
traditional religions play an important part in the daily life social and family relationships are yet another type of
of the people and have retained enormous strength and criterion which can be used for determining whether they
influence because of their intimate relation to family desire to maintain their customs and traditions, Certain
loyalties and local scores. The fact that each ethnic group customs which give overt evidence of a distinctive culture
generally has its own distinct religious traditions, uses its present a formidable barrier to the assimilation of certain
ethnic groups. With respect to the indigenous populations
own language and applies its own customary laws accounts
for the persistence of ethnic identification. It may also be and to the Gypsies, for example, the available information
suggests that their imperviousness to the encroachment of
added that ethnicity is still one basis for political af-
filiations. Observations of a similar nature apply to the the dominant culture is due to their strong attachment to
United Republic of Tanzania. their own traditions. Any attempt to impose assimilation
would lead to conscious and deliberate resistance,
253. The role of religion is also evident in other
countries. With respect to Thailand, it has been observed 256. Indigenous cultural patterns generally show a high
that most of the Thai Moslems, a closely knit religious degree of stability. It has been noted that the complexity of
group, have only a slight knowledge of the national the social and political organization of the Indian groups in
language, mainly because they do not wish to learn it, as Latin American countries has given them an impregnable
they consider it to be associated with Buddhism; they even ethnic cohesion. In spite of an extensive process of racial
object to their children being educated in schools where the mixing, Indian groups have managed to maintain their
language of instruction is Thai because they are afraid this traditional values and way of life. The Government of the
would lead to cultural assimiIation. It has been said that, in Philippines has reported that the groups referred to as
Egypt, although Copts and Moslems share a common national cultural minorities have manifested the desire to
Egyptian culture, they are set apart by their different preserve their characteristics through the formation of their
religious faiths. It has been observed that the Druzes living own communities and the continued practice of their own
in Israel have made what was a religious community into an customs, religion and beliefs, the wearing of their own
ethnic entity. In Northern Ireland, religion plays a central particular dress and the use of their own language. This fact
role in intergroup relationship. With regard to the Jewish led to the inclusion in the new constitution of a provision
minorities in a large number of countries, it has been said which guarantees that the State shall consider the
that it was through Judaism that they have been able to customs, traditions, beliefs and interests of the National
preserve their identity. In Iran, minority groups are usually Cultural Minorities in the formulation and implementation
differentiated from other groups by their religious beliefs of State policies. In Ethiopia, where the distinctiveness of
and customs rather than by their ethnic and linguistic the various population groups lies not only in their religion
characteristics. or their language but, in a more general way, in their
culture and their social system, the sense of ethnic identity
254. Language is another major element which helps to is naturally strong. The same is true of many other African
determine whether a population group desires to preserve its countries. With respect to Trinidad and Tobago, it has
characteristics. It is, indeed, a widely held view that while been said that, while the East Indians have accepted a
group solidarity is promoted above all by the existence of a number of socio-economic features from the other com-
Y distinctive national identity and of a sense of belonging to a munities, they have, nevertheless, successfully re-
recognizable national community, the existence of a constructed the social institutions of their native lands.
distinct language and culture is vital to the expression of
such national or ethnic consciousness. Regarding Iraq, for 2.57. The sense of identity of population groups is also
example, the various population groups have been defined shown by the way in which they organize their com-
by themselves and by others in terms of ethnicity, but with
language playing a major part, This is said to be particularly Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania,
true in the case of the Kurds. The official recognition of the Zaire.

mu&i&, in Tunisia, for example, although the Bedouin in the countrys political structure, The desire of these
and Berber groups arc generally considered as part of the linguistic groups to constitute separate regional entities is
Arab majority by virtue of their religion, they nevertheless deep-seated and of long standing, In Switzerland, cantons
show strong attachment to their own particular traditions arc gcncrally constituted on the initiative of linguistic
and folkways; they have preserved their characteristics by groups. In Canada, as in Belgium, the concentration Of a
voluntary isolation, in the case of the Bedouin, or in linguistic group in one region of the country has had a
communal enclaves, in the case of the Berbers. In Malaysia, strong impact on the formulation of the official language
also, the various ethnic groups have maintained themselves policy.
in closed enclaves, each of them retaining their own distinct 261, Sometimes, it happens that ethnic or linguistic
cultural identity and their language, as the differences in groups live close to their ethnic centres (i.e., States where
cultural values, life styles and religious beliefs between groups of the same ethnic character or language constitute
these communities are broad and deep-rooted. the majority); in such a situation they often develop a more
258, A similar situation is found in many other pronounced sense of identity than they would otherwise.
countries where a groups distinctiveness can be explained This is, for example, the case of the Danish minority in the
by its isolation from the dominant cultural centre of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German minority in
country. This is particularly the case of indigenous pop- Denmark and the Arab minority in Israel. The same
lations and of the Gypsies in European countries. Also, in a observation could be made about the minority groups of
number of Latin American countries, notwithstanding the Chinese origin in the countries of South East Asia and of
strong policy of assimilation, some immigrant groups, the the German-speaking minority living in Italy (South Tyrol).
immigrants of Japanese origin in particular, live in a way The problems which may arise from the close link of
that makes them recognizable entities, distinct from the minority groups with their ethnic centres led many partici-
rest of the population. With reference to Brazil, it has been pants at the seminar on the ,multinational society held in
said that, despite conscious and overt efforts on the part of Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, in 1965 to stress that in order to
the Government to assimilate all populations of alien origin, avoid internal unrest due to ~lter-ethnic tension it was
there still exist groups referred to in Brazil as unassimi- essential that adjoining States abstain from interfering in
lable ethnic cysts. These are groups of immigrants who, each others domestic affairs and refrain from any action
either as a result of circumstances or by design, remain that might put in jeopardy the unity and the integrity of a
outside the countrys culture. Of these the Japanese form State on the pretext of protecting a kindred group residing
the largest and most consolidated ethnic element. It has in an adjoining State,
been emphasized that, although they have had every 262. In many countries2 ethnic and linguistic groups
opportunity to assimilate, they have remained aloof and have shown their desire to preserve their culture and
have preferred to perpetuate their own culture and to language by creating associations pursuing cultural and
marry into their own group, While no apparent prejudice political objectives. Thus in Austria the desire of the
has existed on the part of Brazilians towards the Japanese Slovene and Croat populations to preserve their culture is
as a race or culture, strong disappointment has been frequently affirmed by their own organizations, These
expressed over their failure to become physically and include the Council of Carinthian Slovenes, the Central
socially integrated with the national culture. In Singapore, Union of Slovene Organizations, and Croat associations,
the pattern of settlement along ethnic lines that was set up which regularly issue memoranda, communiquBs and pro-
in the early years of coIonization has persisted, and the grammes setting out the requirements of the Croat and
residential separation of the various communities is still a Slovene minorities. In recent years, With the creation of
pronounced feature of Singapore life. In Iran, members of Slovene savings and loan banks, co-operatives and farmers
minority groups, including the Armenians, tend to reside in associations, a growing interest of the minorities in pre-
their own communities in the cities, thereby partially serving their individuality has been much in evidence. In
insulating themselves from the majority, In Iraq, the sense Denmark, the German minority has constantly expressed its
of identity of some groups has been reinforced by the clear desire to preserve its culture and its language through a
and continuing separation of different groups in specific number of organizations pursuing political and cultural
quarters of the cities and towns. Moreover ethnic differ- objectives, The same can be said of the German-speaking
ences are often associated with occupational specialization. minority living in Italy (South Tyrol), whose identity is
259. The isolation produced by discrimination often strongly defended by a political party of the minority itself.
tends to strengthen a groups sense of distinctiveness. With 263. History helps to explain the attitude of population
reference to Panama, it has been said that the hostility of groups. The case of minority groups in Central and Eastern
the majority has welded the West Indians into a minority Europe illustrates this point, though the influence of
group united by the cultural antagonisms around them. historical circumstances on the behaviour of minority
groups is by no means limited to these regions. With respect
260. The geographical concentration of ethnic and
linguistic groups is also a factor which usually reinforces the to the United Kingdom, for example, it has been observed
that, while Wales has been united politically, administrat-
sense of identity of these groups, Such a situation is found
in various countries throughout the world. In Sri Lanka and ively and economically with England since the Act of
Union in 1536, it has been able to preserve, maintain and
Indonesia, for example, the association of ethnic groups
with particular regions is said to have increased community ..
consciousness to an extremely high degree. A similar Australia; Austria; Czechoslovakia;Denmark; Finland; France;
observation can be made concerning Ghana and Nigeria, In German Democratic RepubIic; Germany, Federal Republic of;
Pakistan, each of the principal language groups has a strong Hungary: Italy; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Sweden;United
regional focus, and linguistic regionalism has led to changes Kingdom; United States of America; Yugoslavia.
develop a cultural identity that is quite different in some minority group within the republics of Yugoslavia4 is a
important aspects from that of England. The pluralistic result of their great geographical distribution and of their
character of Canada has been described as a legacy of the intermixture with the other inhabitants, The progressin the
colonial period. To keep Quebec British, it was necessary to educational development of the young people belonging to
reassure the settlers that it would remain culturally French. nalional minorities has greatly influenced the pattern of
Under the Quebec Act of 1774 passed by the British employment and residence. More and more of these young
Parliament, the Catholic religion and French civil law were people now live in large cities and industrial cenlres. As a
maintained. The nation-building model of the cultural consequence, there are many mixed marriages and in most
assimilationists was rejected, and a confederation which cases the children born of these marriages declare them-
took into account the existence of a French-speaking selves Yugoslavs and not members of national minorities.
population group was set up. In this connexion it should be
added that the sense of identity of minority groups is B. Inter-group relations: difficulties and remedies
generally much stronger among groups constituted by
people who are a minority, not by their own choice, but 266. The information given above clearly indicates that
minority groups generally attach great importance to the
because they have been included within the national border
survival of their cultural, religious and linguistic charac-
of a State by political accident, teristics. The question that will now be discussed concerns
264. Population groups are less successful in their the impact that the desire of these groups to maintain their
efforts to maintain their language and culture if they are identity has on the relations between them and other
small in numbers or live dispersed or if they are weak in population groups, and in particular the causes of inter-
terms of political influence. In its observations on this group tension and friction, as well as the policies adopted
aspect of the question, the Austrian Government noted with a view to the elimination of such causes.
that, because of the small size of the Slovene minority 267. Some governments state that their policy aims at
group in Styria, it seemed doubtful that they would the cohesion and unity of their peopleznd at the creation
succeed in keeping their language alive. With reference to of an atmosphere in which the various ethnic, religious and
the Jews and the Gypsies of the USSR, the following linguistic groups may find the opportunity to transcend the
observations have been made by a Soviet scholar: differences between them. On the basis of that assumption,
The Jews, of whom, according to the census of 1970, there are the tendency among the governments concerned has been
2,151,000, live in the territories of ail the Union Republics, for the
main part in towns. In 1970 the relative proportion of urban to de-emphasize the scope of inter-group differences, or
dwellers among Jews was 95.5 per cent. Living for several even to deny their existence altogether, and to stress that
generations in the midst of other nationalities, the Jews assimilate the existence of various population groups does not
with these socialist nations (particulary with the Russians, Ukrain- constitute a problem. Thus, for example, the Egyptian
ians, Byelorussians, Georgians and others). This intensive process Government states that: Egyptian society is composed of
of assimilation of Jews with other nations is evidenced by the fact
that under the census of 1969 only 21.5 per cent, and under the a unique, homogeneous and cohesive people whose values
census of 1970 only 17,7 per cent, of Jews gave Yiddish as their and traditions have been unified. For the Government of
mother tongue. The large majority of Jewsgave their mother tongue Iran, relations between the different population groups are
as Russian or the language of another nationality. harmonious and the existence of minority groups does not
The proportion of Jews in the population of the Jewish Auton- create any particular problems. A similar evaluation is
omous Region is also fairly small. At the same time it should be made by the Governments of Bulgaria, the German Demo-
noted that it was precisely in the Soviet Union that, after many
centuries, the Jews achieved territorial national State autonomy for cratic Republic, Hungary and Sweden.
the fjrst time in modern history (the Jewish Autonomous Region 268. There are, however, instances where inter-group
was formed in 1934). However, when considering the Jewish tension has led to violent political agitation or has
population of the USSR as a whole, it is more correct to regard the
Jevfs as a national group in process of intensive assimilation with threatened the stability of the political structure of the
other socialist nations State, The civil war which opposed the southern and
The Gypsies also live dispersed in most of the Soviet Republics northern regions of the Sudan from 1956 to 1972, the
and many of them have assimilated and are continuing to assimilate Kurdish rebellion in Iraq during the early 197Os, the civil
with other socialist nations. wars in Nigeria during the years 1967-1970, the internal
As for ethnic (or ethnographic) groups, this is the name given to strife in Northern Ireland and the sporadic rioting in
various, generally small, groups within a particular socialist nation Malaysia during the post-independence period are dramatic
which have retained certain tribal, ethnic peculiarities gradually manifestations of inter-group conflictual situations. Tension
disappearing in the process of that nations consolidation ,.. .a
having important political consequences has also occurred
265. Social change is also a factor which may con- in Belgium, where the language issue, after remaining
tribute to a lessening of the sense of identity among relatively dormant for some time after the war, came into
minority groups. In this connexion, it has been observed prominence during the 1960s and led to demonstrations
that the mobility of the population resulting from econ- and riots, frequent realignment of the language boundary,
omic development and social change provides an expla- and even the resignation of governments. It would appear
nation for the decrease of the number of minority groups in from the available information that harmonious relations
some countries, With regard to Yugoslavia, for example, it between the various ethnic, religious and linguistic groups
has been said that the decline in the number of persons within a country depend to a large extent on the attitude of
declaring as their monther tongue the language of a national the dominant political forces of the society of that country
and on their willingness to allow members of each group to
3 I. P. Tsamerian, Theoretical Problems of the Creation and
Development of the Soviet Multinational State (hloscow, 1973), 4 Yugoslavia is a multinational State composed of membersof
pp. 142-143. six nations and a number of national minorities.

pursue their economic, social and cultural development tensions in the areas where immigrant groups are con-
according to their own tradition in an atmosphere free of centrated, The Arab minority in Israel confronts problems
discrimination. When population SOUPS are assured of their of a similar nature, In this respect it has been said that,
rights, when they are able to participate fully in the since Israel is by definition a Jewish State, it is very
political, economic and social life of their country, when difficult for non-Jews to integrate into the mainstream of
the contributions of their culture are recognized, they gain national life,
the sense of security which is indispensable for the 274. In the countries where indigenous populations
elimination of intergroup tension. exist, alienation appears to be the main cause of many of
269. An analysis of the available information tends to the problems they face in their relations with other groups.
show that inter-group tension and friction may be attributed They generally occupy no significant economic or social
to a number of causes, including the adoption by States of position and remain largely outside the national structure,
a policy of forced assimilation; the discriminatory practices both in their own view and in the eyes of the other groups.
to which population groups may be subjected; economic 27.5. Economic factors or exorbitant income disparities
imbalance between population groups; differences in out- play a major role in the relations between population
look between groups and the stereotyped views held by groups, In this connexion, one may recall the following
groups concerning one another. With regard to developing observations made at the seminar on the multinational
countries, the negative consequences of colonialism are to society held in 1965 in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
be added to this list.
With rcferencc to the importance of economic factors in the
270. Tension and friction between population groups orderly arrangement of s multinational society, several speakers
may be the consequence of a policy of forced assimilation. stated that the first prerequisite for my effective solution of the
This occurs when the concept of a multiethnic or difticulties besetting certain national groups was the redress of
economic imbalances. When each region of a country received its
multicultural society has not been accepted by the politi- fair share of the bcnctits of industriafization, technical training and
cally dominant ethnic group of a country, which feels agricultural development, the acquisition of political and social
convinced of the need for the assimilation of other groups. rights, including cultural rights, followed as a matter of course. By
Problems of that nature have been found in many of the contrast. a group might have, far cxamplc, a declared riprht to
maintain its-own eduoational or cultural institutions, but in the
countries surveyed. absence of adequate participation in the countrys expanding fiscal
271. With respect to Latin American countries, it has assets,such a right was bereft of substance.5
been observed that tension is rare among immigrant groups, 276. According to the available information, the re-
and the harmony existing between these groups is generally lationship between the two main ethnic groups in Fiji
attributed to the high rate of assimilation of most of them. contains all the ingredients of a potentially explosive
It appears, however, that in some other countries resent- situation as a result mainly of their different degree of
ment is shown towards groups whose members fail to involvement in the cash economy and their different
become fully assimilated into the predominant culture. This positions or attitudes with regard to land utifization and
is, for instance, the case of the Japanese immigrant groups population growth. While there is no official policy of racial
in Brazil, In those cases the cultural animosities marring segregation, segregation has nevertheless taken place as a
inter-group relations are based primarily on cultural rather natural outcome of the fact that Fijians and Indians have
than ethnic or racial factors. not reached the same level of economic development. To
272. Harmonious inter-group relationships are seriously remedy the situation, one of the main objectives of the
threatened when groups feel alienated from the rest of the Government is to reduce and ultimately eliminate income
population or are victims of discriminatory practices. It has disparities between the two groups. In Indonesia, the
been said that, though the Moslems of Thailand constitute existence of an imbalance in the participation of the
the largest population group in the region in which they population group of Chinese origin in the economy has
live, very few of them occupy important posts in the local been reported to be a source of inter-ethnic conflict. In the
administration; they feel strongly that their interests are United States, the black population, the Indians and the
not served and therefore do not identify with the nation. Spanish-speaking group are said to be distinguished by the
This leads to frustration, which, in turn, generates violence. minor role they play in the economy of the country; such a
In Spain, the very strong nationalist spirit shown by large situation contributes in a large measure to the strengthening
sectors of the Basque community has been attributed to the of the barriers separating the races. With respect to Malawi,
feeling of alienation of members of that community from it has been said that, in the past, income disparities between
the political institutions of the country. Regarding Israel, it ethnic groups were such that they made harmonious
has been observed that because of discriminatory govem- relationships impossible. In MJaysia, relations between the
ment practices only a very few members of the Arab major ethnic groups are often marked by tension. In this
minority occupy positions for which they are qualified. regard, it has been said that:
This situation thus contributes to deepening the cultural A racial balance has been achieved on the basis of a division of
chasm separating Jews and Arabs within that country. In responsibilities and functions between the three main ethnic groups.
Ethiopia the designation of Amharic as the official language The dominance of political life by the Malays is offset by the
economic prominence of the Chineseand to a lesser extent of the
causes resentment among the Eritreans, who feel that they Indians. This modus vive& seemed to have been jeopardized by the
are discriminated against in the field of education and in 1969 disorders, which highlighted the dangers of explosion and
government service as a consequence of that measure. breakdown inherent in a multiracial society where prejudices based
on ethnic origin are exacerbated by the disparities and structural
273. With respect to the United Kingdom, it has been changes cause2 by economic growth and development. As a result,
said that the immigrant groups have realized that, although
British society has pIuralistic facets, they have to adjust to
an inferior status. This status gap has been a source of social ST/TAO/HR/23, para. 29.

. the Govcrnmcnts economic rind social policy was recast. In been observed that although the Sinhalese constitute
particular, the Second Plnn for 1971-1975, which was approved numerically by far thelargest ethnic group in the country,
recently, lays greater stress than its predecessor on the reduction of they nevertheless feel themselves to be a small and isolated
a rectaI imbalance ill a criterion for allocating resourccs.6
group because the combined Tamil population in Sri Lanka
277, With regard to Canada, It has been observed that and in neighbouring areas in India outnumber them by
the economic dominance of the English-speaking popu- more than six to one. This feeling of encirclement was in
lation meant that the French.speaking Canadians and other part responsible for the mistrust which in the past divided
immigrant groups were compelled to learn English in order the two communities. Observations of a similar nature
to take ad-vantage of opportunities for upward social could be made about the relationship between the Jewish
mobility. Some of their grievances are economic in nature. population and the Arab minority in Israel,
In many cases the basis of their complaint has been the
281. Historical circumstances and policies followed
unavailability of employment in industry without a knowl- during the colonial period have been in many instances the
edge of English-in a province which was 81 per cent main causes of friction in inter-ethnic relations. Referring
French-speaking. This has had strong effect on inter-group
to the countries of East Africa, an author has stated:
relations. Another example of how the economic factor
may play a role in the relationships between population The maintenance of colonial rule does not require that the
people in the terrftory in question constitute a nation; indeed it is
groups is the case of Wales in the United Kingdom. In that sometimes necessary to ensure that they do not constitute a nation.
respect it has been stated that: Thus racial and tribal distinctions are preserved, if not actually
Wales provides a classic example of a smalI nation that, while encouraged. To maintain independence in these circumstances is
deriving some economic advantage from being a part of a larger difiicult It is necessary to forge a feeling of common nationhood
entity, nevertheless feels that it is in danger thereby of losing its and to underplay racial and tribal differentiations.
identity. .,. ,..
Wales has tended to be regarded economically as a problem area ... One of the most striking features of colonial rule in East
and as a country whose economic difficulties are acccntuatcd by the Africa was the compartmentalization of society in three or more
fact that they are overlain by a national consciousness that is racial groups, which was reinforced by economic, social and political
tending to sharpen and of whose existence Whitehall, until recently, discrimination and segregation. Though Tanganyika avoided the
either was not or did not wish to be aware, Without entering into worst excesses of this system because of her status as a mandate,
the political arena, it can be stated with some confidence that the and later, trust territory, it nevertheless formed the pattern of
future of Wales lies in the kind of partnership within the United organization of the society. Thus there were separate residential
Kingdom that will allow national identity and self-respect to be arcas for the different communities, whether in law or de facto,
preserved through an understanding of national problems and an separate schools, hospitals, maternity homes, clubs; on the political
attempt to fit the countrys economy into that of Britain as a level, the institution of separate electoral communal representation
whole. If this is not done, and seen to be done, extremist stimulated racial political parties and made racial Interests inevitable
movements wilI undoubtedly gather ground.7 as political issues. On the economic level, the compartmentalization
278. The adhesion of population groups already separ- was reinforced by (a) a racial salary structure in the public and,
imitatively, in the private sector, (6) the alienation of the best
ated by ethnic, religious or linguistic differences to di- agriculture land to the Europeans, (c) wide disparities in the quality
vergent sets of socio-political values may also have in some and number of social and economic services provided by the
casesa negative influence on their relationship. Nigeria, for government for the different races. The result of all these policies
example, confronted ethnic and regional tensions from the was to preserve and strengthen the political, economic, and social
dominance of Europeans in Tanganyika. The Asians tended to
outset of independence not only as a consequence of the occupy the middle place in this system, while the Africans were at
unequal economic development of its Northern and the bottom. For the African population the British adopted the
Southern Regions but also because political and ideological system of indirect rule, which employed the existing tribal
divergences were added to long-standing differences based institutions and thus tended to reinforce tribal distinctions.*
on ethnicity and language. While one school of thought 282. On the subject of colonialism, the following
favoured a united republic as goal, another proposed a loose observations were made at the seminar on the promotion
union of ethnic entities or regional amalgams of related and protection of the human rights of national, ethnic and
ethnic groups. It was in this climate of regional and ethnic other minorities, held in Ohrid, Yugoslavia, in 1974:
antagonism that the civil war was erupted, at the end of ... many participants dwelt upon the negative consequences of
which a broad programme of reconciliation was drawn up colonialism on minorities in the parts of the world that had been or
in which the countrys history of ethnic and regional differ- still were under such a &ime. It was held that the colonial system
ences was taken into account. had hampered the development of the national cultures of both
majorities and minorities. The colonial Powers had played minorities
279. Characteristics ascribed by the majority to the off against one another and against the majority among the Peoples
minority, and vice versa, and the stereotyped views one governed and had maintained and exploited their division in order
group may hold of another often impede understanding and to facilitate the functioning of the colonial administration ... It was
also mentioned that the arbitrary drawing of boundarles by the
the willingness to accept heterogeneity. colonial Powers further aggavated and- complicated problems
280. Also, the fact that one ethnic group which is a relating to minorities, especially in Africa. Thus, the newly
independent States found it difficult to solve the minority problems
minority in a country constitutes a majority in a neigh- inherited from the period of colonial domination; for instance, the
- bouring State may influence its relationship with other illogical frontiers tended to lead to agitation in favour of union
population groups, as well as relations between the States between groups who were separated by them.9
concerned. With respect to Sri Lanka, for example, it has

6 J. P. A&s, Ethnic and socio-economic patterns in Malaysia,

Ij~~~utional Labour Review, vol. 104, No. 6 (December 1971), Yashi Ghai, Ethnicity and group relations, !IiVO studies on
I . ethnic group relations in Afrira: Senegal, the United Republic of
The New Encyclopaedia Brilanicu, 15th ed. (Chicago, 1974), Tanzania (Paris, UNESCO, 1974), pp. 107-109.
vol. 19, p. 530. 9 ST/TAO/HR/49, para. 24.

283. It has been said that Sri Lanka, a country whore possessesits own culture, its own language and its own
the relationship between the two major ethnic and linguis- system of private law.
tic groups has always been a significant factor in the life of 285. Many efforts have been made to combat the
the people, colonial policies and historical circumstances various causesof inter-group antagonism.Thus, the cstab-
had upset the equilibrium and introduced new stresses into lishment of a socio-political structure which reflects the
society. As regardsGhana, it hns been observed that one realities of cultural, religious and linguistic differences
major cleavage in society resulted from the policies fol- between various components of the society concerned has
lowed during the colonial period under which the ethnic been regarded in some countries as an effective means to
groups living by the coast and those living in the interior promote understanding, co-operation and harmonious re-
were accorded different treatment in the fields of edu- lations between population group~.~ For example, it has
cation, commerce and administration. With respectto Zaire, been observed that Switzerland has developed over the
it has been said that the colonial administration met strong years a remarkable linguistic stability despite the imbalance
resistancefrom the large ethnic groups and, in order to in the number of speakers of each of the four national
counteract that resistance and weaken the influence of languages. While certain linguistic tensions occasionally
those groups, sought support among the minority ethnic erupt in a few regions, political decentralization has kept
groups, This had the effect of deepening interethnic the language groups from confronting each other at the
rivalries. national level. As a result, language issues seldom disrupt
284. Historical factors of the same nature have often the political life of the country.
contributed to exacerbating ethnic differences and to 286. Regarding Yugoslavia, the following observations
fostering to an extreme degreea feeling of exclusiveness have been made :
among population groups which continued to persistafter The Constitutionof Yugoslavianot only proclaimstheprinciple
independence. The case of the Asian minority groups in of tic equalityof the pcoplcsandnationalities,
but guaranteesit as
some African countries offers an example. As regards well.Asidefrom its provisionsexpncitly dealingwith thismatter,it
Malawi, it has been reported that little common ground bindsthe republicsand provincesas well as the communes and communitiesto elaboratethisprinciple
appearsto exist between the Asian minority and the other in regulatingeconomicandpolitical relationsin their own consti-
ethnic groups of the country, As a consequenceof the tutions or statutes.
policy of racial segregation followed during the colonial era,
the Asian minority lives in isolation and does not partici- In deFming its minority policy, Yugoslavpracticeand theory
pate in the social life of the nation in any significant way. workson the basicassumption that it is necessary to assure
With regardto the United Republic of Tanzania, it hasbeen nationalminoritiesthe broadestrightswhich a socialistcommunity
said that Asian-African relations developed in the context canprovideandwhichtilenecessary for minoritiesto beableto live
of the racist society which colonialism established with a their normal national life within the Yugoslav community of
view to eliminating contact between population groups. nations. In other words,sothat in our country theydo not feellie
minorities but likeequal mtionalities,
During the years following independence, the immigrant
Asian minority was regarded as alien, a view reinforced by It is not a matter, then, of simply guaranteeing national
minoritiesall nationalrightsbut of providingrealopportunitiesfor
the large number of persons of Asian origin who declined to national minorities as national and ethnic groups, in the commune
become citizens of the new State, Furthermore, the fact or work organization, to exercise these rights alone and in
that membersof that group were more prosperousthan the conjunction with other nationalities within the system of self-
rest of the population becauseof the privileged position management. From this standpoint, the material baseunder
they had occupied during the colonial period generated autonomy or local self-government is of special importance. The
organs of self-government in the communeand the autonomous
resentment, Ethnic particularism in Burma is said to have province are the main organs which shouldlook after the special
been encouraged by a colonial policy which aimed at the interests of minorities in regard to schooling, use of mother tongue,
isolation of the various ethnic groups from each other and the training of professionalpersonnel, etc.
from the dominant ethnic group, the Burmans.The senseof Through the development of self-management in sociopolitical
ethnic difference felt by various Burmese population groups communities and communities of interest of various social services,
was further strengthened by the colonial governments the national minorities gain even more; namely, they can solve
their own problems in satisfying their special interests. Minolities
practice of recruiting persons belonging to some ethnic in conjunction with other nationalities can directly exercise their
groups for the administration and armed forces and tights.
excluding others. According to the available information, This aspect of the political system in Yugoslavia impliesa certain
the persistence of ethnic distinctiveness shown by ethnic measure of mutual trust and an awareness of the common interest.
groups in Burma is more the result of these historical Mutual co-operation is being facilitated, and all working people are
factors than the result of significant differences in culture being mobilized, regardless of nationality, to make joint creative
efforts to satisfy their local interests and develop the forces and
from the Burmans. It has been further observed in this potential of a given self-managing socic+political community, thus
connexion that, while most minority groups in Burma creating better conditions for realizing their specific interests1 r
profess the Buddhist faith, each keeps its religious irtsti-
tutions separate from those of the others, expressing there- 287. In Iraq, autonomy and the right of self-govern.
ment are reported to have been granted to the area where
by a strong desire to preserve their customs and traditions
in their own way. Observations of a similar nature have the Kurds are concentrated, The Government has written:
been made with respect to Fiji, where isolation is still the
pattern between the two main ethnic groups of the
country, the Indian and the Fijian, Consequently, each " India, Switzerland, USSR, Yugoslavia.
group has maintained its distinctive ethnic identity, cultural Nada Dragi& ccl., Notions and Natiorzalfties of Yugoslavia
traditions and social structure. Another major group, the (Belgrade, Medjunarodna Politika, 1974), pp. 110, 111, 172
Moslems, also functions as a distinct community which and 173.

In accordance with Re@utionary Council resolution No. 288 of reduce the barriers to the acceptance of minority rights by
1 I Mnrch 1970, granting national rights to the Kurds and autonomy people generally. It becomes necessary, therefore, to
within Kurdistan, an amendment to the Interim Constitution was identify these barriers, as well as the techniques that may
adopted on 11 March 1974 adding the following words to article 8: be used to promote the required changes in attitude ,., .I 3
3. The zone inhabited by a majority of Kurds shall
bc autonomous in accordance with the provisions of the Act. 290. However, while contacts and communications
In accordance with the Constitutional amendment, the Kurdistan between various population groups may play an important
Territorial Autonomy Act, No. 33, was passed on 11 March 1974 ... role in inter-group relations, they must be conducted, in
The Autonomy Act contains three main parts: the first concerns order to be fruitful, within a context of equality, In this
tha basis of the autonomy; the second concerns its institutions; and connexion, an author has written:
the third states the connexion between the central government and There is a widespread belief that if members of different groups
the autonomous admlnistration. The legal bases of the autonomy come into contact with one another, friendlier attitudes will develop
are general and financial. Artkle 1 of the Act lays down that the as a consequence. This is not always true. No amount of contact
zone of Kurdistan shall enjoy autonomy. That zone is defined as between, [members of different groups] is likely to improve relations
one in which the majority of the inhabitants are Kurds and which is [in] cases [where] judgements of superiority or inferiority may
deemed to be an administrative unit having meaningful personality merely be reinforced. What is needed is equal-rtutus contact, in
and autonomy within the framework of legal, political and which the members of the ethnic groups which meet represent
economic unity with the Republic of Iraq. The zone is an undivided comparable levels of position and prestige. Research has further
part of the territory of Iraqi and its populntion is an undivided part indicated that contact has the best results when the two groups
of Iraqs population. Under the same article the organs of the work together to achieve a common goal, particularly when success
autonomous administration are considered part of the organs of the depends on co-operation. It has been suggcstcd that ethnic relations
Republic of Iraq. Article 2 of the Act provides that the Kurdish could be greatly improved if one could multiply occasions designed
language shall be, together with Arabic, the official language of the to reinforce the pattern of co-operation rather than competition by
reeion and the 1anrmaEe of instruction for the Kurds. The creating situations characterized by common, interdependent
instruction in educationi institutions for young Arab persons is to goals. 4
be given in Arabic, and the teaching of Kurdish in them is
obligatory... Article 12 defines [the) powers... [of the Legislative 291. The relations between population groups may be
Council, the elected legislative organ for Kurdistan] and gives it improved as a consequence of the adoption by States of
authority to enact the legislation necessary for the development of bilateral agreements or by specific commitments of an
the region and of its social, cultural and economic qualities, and of
the culture, characteristics and racial traditions of its in international character. As regards Denmark, it has been
habitants. ... 12 stated that one effect of the strict application of the
principles laid down in the government declaration of 1955,
288. As lack of contact usually has a detrimental effect which wasbased on the agreement reached with the Federal
on inter-group relations, the manner in which channels of Republic of Germany, has been the elimination of tension
communication are established between ethnic and linguis- in North Schleswig, the area where the bulk of the German
tic groups may have a decisive influence. It has been noted, minority lives. Furthermore, in accordance with the objec-
with respect to Malawi, that it was unlikely that the pattern tives of that declaration, efforts are constantly being made
of isolation which had created a feeling of uneasiness to provide the minority with more and more outlets to
between the various ethnic groups would remain un- express its feelings and press for its requirements. One
changed. Many forces are at work which will undoubtedly result of this attitude was a decision adopted recently by
lead to the breakdown of isolation. In particular, it is hoped the county of North Schleswig to raise the county council
that the abolition of communal schools will have the effect membership from 25 to 29 in order to expand minority
of bringing together the different communities. Further- representation in the council. It has been further noted that
more, in many spheres of life, contacts are multiplying one paradoxical consequence of the favourable conditions
through organizations, such as the trade unions, which until accorded to the German minority has been the difficulty it
recently were organized along ethnic lines. Concerning now encounters in its endeavours to retain and develop its
Ghana, it has been observed that intermingling in schools, identity, As differences between the German minority and
urban centres and employment has the effect of lessening the Danish majority become negligible and social contacts,
the significance of ethnicity but not eliminating it. On the including mixed marriages, are multiplying, there is now a
other hand, regarding the Bedouin of Egypt, it has been trend towards a certain amount of slow assimilation of the
reported that their assimilation was only a matter of time, German minority-although it is not expected that that
as economic necessity was gradually forcing them out of minority, which is rooted in tradition, will disappear. The
the desert and into the populated areas of the Nile Delta. fact that during the last decade the number of pupils in
This process of assimilation was for a time slowed by a law German schools remains stagnant seems to confirm such a
which, in exempting all Bedouin, settled or nomadic, from trend.
military service, encouraged members of this group to
preserve their minority identity. With the modifications of 292. Measures reported by governments as adopted on
the Iaw to apply only to pure nomads, it has become the national level in order to improve inter-group relations
unusual to find any settled Bedouin claiming Bedouin include the following:
descent. (a) The representation of members of various ethnic
289. In many countries, special efforts are being made groups in government, in the civil service and in pro-
to promote understanding between the various population fessional associations;
groups. Indeed, as one author observed, the realization of
the multi-ethnic society can be furthered by legal measures, I3 Otto Klineberg, Background paper G, prepared for the
but it will require also a programme of action designed to seminar on the multinational society held in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia,
in 1965, p. 26.
l4 Ibid., p.37.
I2 Yearbook on Human Rights for 1973-1974 (United Nations
publication, S&s No. E.76.XIV.l), pp. 119-120. India, Iraq, Philippines.

(b) The establishment of special committees or insti. (VI) The prohibition of exclusive social clubs and the
tutions with a view %eensuring that members of all ethnic adoption of an uncompromising attitude towards mani-
groups are in a position to play an nctive part in the festationsof racial arrogance;2
socio-political life of the country; 6
(n) The organisation under government auspices,both
(c) Efforts to improve relations between the police and at the national and the local level, of increasingcontacts
minority groups, such as the recruitment of police members betweenethnic
from those groups, the organization of a special training
course in the field of race relations, the holding of race C. The objectives pursued by governments in formulating
seminars and the teaching of minority group languages in their policies towards persons belonging to ethnic,
police academies; religious and linguistic minorities
(d) The establishment of a system of national service 293. In multi-ethnic, multi.religious and multilingual
whereby members of different ethnic groups live and work societies,the main options which are open to Governments
together and perform tasks which cannot but increase racial when they formulate policy towards personsbelonging to
understanding and produce a spirit of togetherness tran. minority groups can be described in terms of pluralism,
scending ethnic and racial differences; s integration, assimilation, segregation(even admitting that
(e) The organization of activities designed to improve in someof those terms have a certain degreeof ambiguity). A
the economic and social fields the situation of disadvan. policy of pluralism has the fundamental goal of preserving
taged minority groups and increase the educational the identity of minority groups; it pursuesthis objective by
opportunities offered to them; 9 granting them a large degree of freedom in the adminis-
tration of their own affairs.29 Its application may thus
cr) The establishment of educational institutions for the
entail the establishmentof a specialpolitical and adminis-
development of national groups with a view to providing
trative structure or the granting of local autonomy on a
training for selected members of various population groups
wide range of matters to the regionswhere minorities live.
to he1 in the implementation of the national ethnic
policy; go Integration have been describedas a processwhich aimsat
the unity of the various groups of a given society while
(g) The creation of special programmes in universities allowing them to maintain their own characteristicsthrough
whereby students are required to undertake field study on the adoption of specific measures.Pluralismand integration
the customs and social systems of minority groups; are therefore two policies which can be followed simul-
(h) The reform of the educational system with a view to taneously. The objective of a policy of assimilationwould
eliminating any differences in the education provided to be the establishment of a homogenous society in which
members of different ethnic groups and thereby reducing persons belonging to minority groups would have to
inequalities in income between them?* abandon-even if gradually and not forcibly-their tra-
ditions, their culture and the useof their languagein favour
(i) The setting up in schools of cultural programmes and
of the traditions, the culture and the language of the
other similar activities on a regular basis designed to
dominant group. Although minority groups are not necess-
strengthen mutual understanding and friendship among the
arily rejected under such a policy, they are, nevertheless,
youth of different nationalities;2 3
required to accept the primacy of the cutture of the
Q] The revision of school textbooks which contain dominant group. The aim of a policy basedon segregation
comments or expositions of historical facts that are not would be to keep minority groups separateand maintain
conducive to understanding and respect between ethnic or them in a position of inferiority. At the seminaron the
linguistic groups; 4 promotion and protection of the human rights of national,
(k) The use in schools of new textbooks and teaching ethnic and other minorities held in Ohrid, Yugoslavia, in
materials stressing the history of minority groups along 1974, the following observations were made on this
with that of the majority: s question:
(0 The organization of activities designed to educate It waspointed out that assimilation,thoughdesiredby some
minorities,shouldnot be forced upon any minority, asit wasa
the public on problems of inter-group relationships and on process that shoulddependexclusivelyon freewill. Oneparticipant
the role played by minority groups in the development of felt that the pursuanceof a policy of forced assimilation for
the country;2 6 minorities violated the fundamental principles of self-determination
and equality of nationsand the basichumanrightswhich were
I6 Austria, Belgium, Canada,Hungary, Poland, Romania, United enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Moreover, assimi-
Kingdom, United States of America. lation implieda seriesof measures of director indirectcoercionfor
the purpose of denationalizing minorities, negating the rights of
United Kingdom. individuals of their own identity and thereby the rights of a national
l8 Singapore,United Republic of Tanzania. and ethnic minority as a whole, and from that point of view it could
9 Burma, Iran. be considered to approach the thresholdof genocide. A harmonious
integration rather than full assimilation might be a way of preserving
* Burma. the characteristics of various groups and thus achieving unity among
* United Republic of Tanzania, United Republic of Tanzania
23 Hungary. * Sweden,
24 Australia. In Austria, a new history textbook, prepared by a 29 For a fuller discussion,
tee Brewton Berry, Race and ,&h&
joint Austro-Italian commission. has been issued. Reluffons(HoughtonMifflin Co., Boston), pp. 181-364.Seealso
* United States of America ROM Dfscrimination, revisedstudy preparedby Hemb Santa
CFJZ, SpecialRapporteurof the SubCommission (UnitedNations
6 Australia,Iraq, UkrainianSSR. publication, Sales No. E.76.XIV.2), paras. 356.379.

diversity and the bullding of pluralistic or multicultund societies, them within the framework of a unitary system of
which might be preferable, under certain circumstances, to muIt& government. Such a solution is usually adopted when
national federal structurcs.30 minority groups arc relatively small in number or are
294. From the analysis of the available information, scattered throughout the country concerned.
three general observations can be made at the outset 297. The Government of Sweden reports that the
concerning governmental attitudes towards members of general principles for the treatment of persons belonging to
minority groups. First, in none of the countries surveyed ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities have varied ac-
has segregation been adopted as the official State policy. As cording to the group concerned. As to the treatment of
indicated elsewhere in the present study, the constitution persons belonging to immigrant minority groups, the
or the laws of all the countries surveyed prohibit discrimi- government policy in the past was characterized by a desire
nation based on race, ethnic origin, religion and language, to assimilate these groups as soon as possible with the
and aim at equality for all (see para, 320). The second majority of the population. Since 1965, however, there has
observation concerns religious minorities which are not been a debate on the measures that should be adopted in
differentiated from the larger population by ethnicity or order to encourage these minorities to preserve their
language. Since freedom of conscience and of religion has language and on the desirability of supporting such efforts
now generalIy been recognized as a fundamental right, no with public funds. The Government Commission on lm-
particular problem arises as regards the recognition of the migrants have been entrusted with the task of shaping the
right of everyone to profess and practise his own religion. new policy.
The third observation relates to governmental attitudes
towards ethnic and linguistic minorities. They not only vary 298. In Austria, Denmark, the Federal Republic of
from one national situation to another, but in some Germany and Italy-countries where the status of min-
countries from group to group within the same country orities has been the subject of international obligations-the
(which is quite possible due to the numerous differences of official policy can be described as aiming to ensure to
nature, attitude, size, etc. that minority groups present). persons belonging to ethnic and linguistic minorities the
Thus, a poIicy of assimilation may be applied in the same right to preserve their own characteristics. To this effect
country as regards some groups only, while pluralism is the they have included in their constitutions or in their laws a
prevailing concept concerning others? Also, there may be number of special measures dealing with minority rights, In
instances where the official policy, as proclaimed, does not the United Kingdom and in the United States of America,
entirely correspond with actual practice. Ceneralization, special measures have also been taken concerning minority
therefore, should be made cautiously and tentatively. rights. The Government of Belgium states that its policy
295. Those countries studied which have officially towards linguistic groups is to grant them official rec-
ognition and to provide them with the means to preserve
recognized the existence within their territories of ethnic
and linguistic groups as entities having special needs or and develop their own characteristics. Thus the constitution
requiring a special status have adopted either a policy of contains the following provisions:
integration or one based on a pluralistic concept. In some Article 3 Ms-Belgium consists of four linguistic regions: the
French region, the Dutch region, the bilingual Brussels-Capital
instances the adoption of a federal structureJ2 or the region and the German region.
granting of administrative or regional autonomy to the
Each commune in the Kingdom is part of one of these linguistic
areas inhabited by distinct ethnic and linguistic groups3 regions.
have been considered as an efficient means of safeguarding
The boundaries of the four regions can be changed or rectified
and protecting the individuality and the rights of these only by an Act adopted by a majority of each linguistic group
groups. Such a solution presupposes a geographical con- voting in each of the Chambers, provided that a majority of the
centration of these groups. However, it should be pointed members of each group is present and that the total of the
out that, though such an approach contributes in a affirmative votes of the two linguistic groups amounts to two thirds
significant way to the solution of the problems of the main of the number of votes cast.
ethnic and linguistic groups concerned, it lacks flexibility Article 3 ter-Belgium consists of three cultural communities:
French, Dutch and German.
since it does not provide the same protection to other
ethnic and linguistic groups residing in the various political Each community has attributes recognized by the Constitution
or administrative subdivisions of the State. or by laws adopted under the Constitution.

296. In some countries, the pIural.istic approach has 299. The State structure of Singapore is said to be such
been implemented, not through the establishment of a that it does not reflect the social or cultural characteristics
federal system of government or by the granting of of one ethnic group only but rather reflects the objective of
autonomy to a particular region, but by the adoption of forging a multiracial and multilingual society. All the
special measures designed to ensure that members of minority groups have their interests and special positions
minorities are effectively able to enjoy the rights granted to protected by the constitution. Moreover, although the
Chinese form 75 per cent of the population, the national
leadership stressesthat it has formulated policies which do
JO ST/TAO/HR/49, para 42. not correspond entirely or even mainly with the values of
31 For example, Finland has granted autonomy to the Aland the majority population alone. Integration of the diverse
Islands as a means of protecting the cultural and linguistic values of the population is the objective; hence the
characteristics of the Swedish minority group. However the same emphasis on multiracial and multilingual cultural and
approach has not been adopted as regards another officially educational policies. It has further been observed that the
recognized minority group, the Lapps.
official assurances which have been given as to the
32 Canada,Czechoslovakia,USSR, Yugoslavia preservation of the cultural heritage of a.Il communities and
Finland, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan the wide acceptance of the government policies have led to

progress towards the integration of all communities into a intended to e@e to, nationalities living in these
distinct national identity. republics the rig-lit to preserve and develop their own
300. In the Eastern European countries surveyed, characteristics.
special measures have been adopted as regards the rights of 303. The available information Indicates that the re-
national groups. It has been observed with regard to ported official policy of the countries in which Indigenous
Romania that the settlement of the national question [in populations reside is to take into account the special
that country after the Second World War] was essential in situation of these populations by the adoption of special
order to consolidate the unitary Romanian national state measures.j 6 In this connexion, the Government of Sweden
and to proceed with the organic integration of the has stated that, until the very recent past, the situation of
co-inhabiting nationalities into public life on the basis of the Lapps had been handled in Sweden as a question of
thoroughly democratic principles which presuppose com- economic policy and that as a consequence problems
plete equality of rights for all citizens without distinction 8~ concerning the development of their culture and language
to nationality,34 According to the Romanian Govem- had been neglected. However a new policy has been set in
merit, this policy has been raised to the status of State motion since 197 1, with the passage of the new Reindeer
policy and consistently applied in the general coniext of Husbandry Act, under which the Lapps will be granted a
the economic, social and cultural development of the greater measure of self-determination, and by the adoption
country as a whole; the co-inhabiting nationalities are of a number of measures designed to encourage the
represented in the legislative and executive organs at all development of their culture and their language.
levels, and there is a large network of educational and 304. In countries in which population groups having
cultural institutions using the mother tongues of the various characteristics different from the rest of the population
nationalities. have not been officially recognized as entities entitled to
301. The Hungarian and Ukrainian Governments have special rights, assimilation is in most cases the official
stressed that they were committed to the respect of the policy adopted towards these groups. A clear sign that such
specific interests of the different nationalities living a policy is being applied is the granting of official status
within their territory, including their participation in public only to the language spoken by the majority of the
affairs, the free use of their native tongue, education in population. This is particularly the case in Ethiopia,
their native language and preservation of their national Indonesia, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Latin
culture. The Hungarian Government has further emphasized American countries surveyed.
that one essential feature of its policy was the fact that it 305. It has been said with regard to Thailand that the
was not based on the number of persons belonging to official policy is to bring about complete assimilation of
nationalities. The constitution of Czechoslovakia non-Thai ethnic groups and to create a common national
provides that the State shall secure to citizens of national- outlook for alI citizens, regardless of racial or cultural
ities the possibilities and the facilities for their all-round origin. The nature of the measures used to implement this
development. The constitution contains specific provisions policy varies from group to group, depending on the degree
relating to the participation of persons belonging to of ethnic solidarity shown by the groups concerned. As the
Hungarian, German, Polish and Ukrainian nationalities in Government is aware of the Importance of language barriers
State organs and their representation in legislative bodies in a.~ an obstacle to the assimilation of the various ethnic
proportion to their numbers. In Bulgaria and in the German groups, it strives to achieve the goaI of eliminating minority
Democratic Republic similar measures concerning national problems by absorbing the minority populations into the
groups are said to have been taken. As regards the national national culture, by placing emphasis on the weakening of
groups of the USSR which do not constitute autonomous the linguistic roots of the ethnic groups and by promoting
units, an author writes: the knowledge of Thai among all residents.
a.. of the 119 nationalities recorded in the 1970 All-Union 306. With reference to Turkey, the available infor-
population census, 58 nations and nationalities in the USSR have
national statehood (and State structures) while 61 have no separate mation indicates that the Government is making a con-
national statehood. The latter consist mainly of numerically small tinuous effort to achieve cultural hompgeneity, as
national minorities and also relatively numerous ones who live evidenced by the education system, which is designed to
dispersed in different parts of the country, such as Gypsies. Certain channel the minorities into a uniform stream of Turkish
national groups, some of which are quite numerous (for example,
Germans, Poles, Koreans, Bulgarians and Hungarians), also have no culture. This obviously tends to reduce the prospects of
separate national statehood, It should, however, be borne in mind preserving the cultural identity of minority groups. The
that the fact of not having separate national statehood in no way Turkish Government has stressed that the rights granted to
limits the opportunities for a nationality or national group to national minorities by the Treaty of Lausanne are fully
develop its culture fully, promote its national interests and satisfy
its needs. All districts with sizeable national minority communities respected and that the Treaty has the force of law in
have local soviets, schools, cultural and educational amenities, radio Turkey.
programmes, press, etc. in their languages. Members of all national 307. In the Latin American countries surveyed, asskni-
groups and nationalities are fully represented in all Soviet State
electoral bodies.35 lation is generally the policy followed by governments. For
example, it has been said that ethnic group activities on an
302. In Yugoslavia also, the federal constitution and the official level, such as the use of languages other than
constitutions of the various republics contain provisions Spanish in official matters, are not permitted in Argentina.
Furthermore, the educational system has been organized in
34 Janos Demeter, Eduard Eisenburger and Valentin Lipatti, Sur
la question nationde en Roumanie, Faits et chiffies (Bucharest. 36 Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Finland, Mexico,
Editions Meridiane, 1972), p. 28. New Zealand, Paraguay, Philippines, United States of America,
Tsamerian, op. cit., p. 144. Venezuela,
such a way as to eliminate ethnlc~eonsciousness and to foreign languages are taught-for example, German and Italian-
provide an effective means of instilling in all children the and not regional languages such as Breton, Basque, Occitan and
sense of national identity, In Chile, the assimilation of Catalan.
immigrant groups is said to have been firmly pursued There arc only minor exceptions to these principalcs, which have
been recognized since the Revolution ... -37
throughout the countrys history. With respect to Brazil, it
has been reported that the assinilation policy is an 309. On the other hand, there are instances where a
objective reflected both in attitudes and in law. During the process of voluntary assimilation of ethnic and linguistic
1930s the Government adopted a number of measures groups is officially encouraged although the proclaimed
designed to promote cultural assimilation, They included, policy is one based on the pluralistic concept. With
in particular, the law which provided that in all schools the reference to the USSR, an author wrote:
instruction must be given by Brazilian-born teachers in the The national composition of the population of the USSR and the
Portuguese language, the law which stipulated that the national structure of Soviet society have undergone major changes
names of all commercial or industrial enterprises must be during the years of Soviet rule. The gradual decrease in the number
of nationabties in the countrys population has been an important
Portuguese, and the law which detailed the duties of each constant feature of the development of the national structure.
governmental ministry in effecting the assimilation of
A comparison of data supplied by censuses carried out in the
immigrant groups, Thus, the Ministry of Education was country between 1926 and 1970 shows that the number of
required to exercise vigilance over the teaching of languages nationalities recorded decreased with each successivecensus.
and history, to promote patriotic organizations among The decrease in the number of nationalities in the USSR between
minority ethnic groups and to provide libraries with works one census and the next can be explained by the consolidation
of national and civic interest. The official attitude towards processes which took place in the life of ethnic communities during
minority groups was further expressed in a 1934 law the construction of socialism and the years which followed. In the
according to which the assimilation of immigrant groups period of socialist construction, when a process of radical trans-
formations was taking place in the countrys social life, the national
must be reahzed through their acquisition of the Portuguese structure of Soviet society also changed. Old bourgeois nations were
language when necessary and their adaptation to national transformed into socialist ones. As a result of the liquidation of the
customs, age-old backwardness of the less developed nations and their gradual
transition to socialism by-passing the capitalist phase, a number of
308. In some instances specific measures concerning the nationalities and tribes were consolidated into socialist nations and
use of regional languages have been taken, although the nationalities, This is the principal reason for the decrease in the
official policy is one of assimilation. France is an example number of nationalities listed in the censuses.
of such a situation. The policy of France towards regional The names of those ethnic communities which, in the process of
languages has been described as follows: the formation of new socialist nations and nationalities, merged
with these and ceased to have independent existence gradually
By nation the Frenchman understands a community of dropped out of the list of nationalities used for the censuses.38
310. The official policy of a country towards its
a.. That nation, although an abstract cancept, embraces alI
persons, whatever their race, language, or religion, with the sole minority groups may be profoundly influenced when a
proviso that they agree to subscribe to the social compact and to state of war exists with countries having majority popu-
retain French nationality ... lations linked by ethnicity and religion to those minority
... there has always been a historical disregard of ethnic groups. As regards Israel, for example, it has been said that
realities ,,. the lack of a consistent government policy towards the
Although the abstract concept of the natlon leads, outside the Arab minority often resulted in the paradox of a ben-
State, to the abandonment of minorities, it results, within the State, evolent approach by some government agencies while
in their assimilation. A politically French population that does not others seemed to be primarily motivated by the desire to
speak French and a foreign population that speaks French are two
anomalies of the same kind. However, whereas in the latter case the keep the Arab minority under strict security control.
French State can, at the very most, through its abstention, promote 311, Developing countries face particular problems, as a
the elimination of French minorities, in the former it has the means result, in many cases, of the policy followed during the
of equalizing #em.
colonial era. On the one hand, the fragility of the society of
However, there should be no misunderstanding. In strict doc- these countries requires unity of alI its elements if the
trinal orthodoxy, French democracy harbours no hostility towards
alien languages. It wishes them neither life nor death: it ignores integrity of the nation is to be preserved. National unity,
them. Therefore, it will issue no prohibition against the use of these the security of the State and loyalty to the State are indeed
languages ... France allows newpapers to be published in the three themes often stressed in these countries whenever the
German, Basque and Breton lammanes. That this is not simmplya question of the scope of individual rights is raised. On the
propaganda gesture can be seen by tl% fact it is little publicized and
hardly known; the stay-at-home Frenchman is always surprised, other hand, the population of a large number of these
for example, when he is informed that two thirds of the daily countries includes various ethnic and linguistic groups
newspapers and periodicals in AIsace are printed m German. These having each it own characteristics; therefore, the multi-
activities, moreover-like the theatre, folklore, the practice of ethnic and multilingual character of such countries must be
religion-are private activities. It is from the standpoint of public
freedoms that Frarme views linguistic problems The freedom of recognized in order to ensure the harmonious development
expression in any language-French, regional or foreign-is implicitly of the nation as a whole. Those apparently conflicting
recognized by the Constitution and laws concerning public order requirements led some of these nations to adopt either an
cannot bo the subject of restrictions-in theory at least. uncompromising policy of assimilation or a prudent policy
Unfortunately, a language is a social being, and its continued of integration while stressing the need for unity, with
existence implies some degree of organization of the linguistic assimilation as the ultimate objective. In a study dealing
community. Yet French liberaf democracy neither recognizes nor
subsidizes any linguistic community distinct from the nation.
French is the only official language throughout the territory, a 7 GUY Hkraud, Peuples et hgues dEurope (Paris, Denoel,
language, therefore, which it is essential to know and the only one 19661, pp. 193-197.
taught in the primary schools. In the lyches, moreover, only 38 Tsamerian, op. cit., pp. 155-159.

with the quest;% of inter-ethnic relations in East Africa, all elements of the poputation into tile mainstream of the
published under the auspices of UNESCO, tJle following nation is a basic objective. For the governments of &se
observations were made: countries, the recognition and the observance of the
One of the persistent themes in the constitutional, political and principles of equality and non-discrimination constitute
economic development of the countries in East Africa has been sufficient guarantees for the protection of the rights of all
racial and tribal conflicts and their rcsolu tfon. The colonial situation individuals or groups, Some of these governments further
was characterizcd by the troatment of the various people in the feel that their respective population is basically homo-
country on a communal and racial basis, so that communities rather
than individuals formed the organizational or legal units. It was geneous and that ethnic or linguistic differences, if they
Inevitable in a situation like this that some groups received an ever existed, have now been overcome by centuries of
importance quite out of proportion to their numbers. Such a harmonious coexistence. As regards Algeria, for example, it
situation, however, was incompatible with the imperatives of has been observed that the exchanges between the Berber
independence. The maintenance of colonial rule does not require and Arab ethnic groups have been so intensive and SO
that the people in the territory in question constitute a nation;
indeed, it is sometimes necessary to ensure that they do not protracted that it now requires a red mental effort to
constitute a nation. Thus racial and tribal distinctions are preserved, distinguish between the terms used, such as Arabism and
if not actually encouraged. To maintain independence in these Berberism.
circumstances is difficult. It is necessary to forge a feeling of
common nationhood and to underplay racial and tribal differen- 314. As regards Ghana, it has been observed that the
tiations, Difficult as this task is, there is another complication: Governments general policies are aimed at encouraging
colonial society wasnot merely basedon communal distinctions, it loyalty to the country and its government, while at the
was also at the same time an unequal society. Merely to overlook same time the maintenance of local traditions and the use
racial distinctions after independence would not necessarily produce of local languages are not discouraged. The poIicy of the
a just society. Unless a just society is produced, there cannot be any
real arosaects of national integration or political stability. Yet to Government of Burma is to de-emphasize ethnic differences
produce a just society out of a colonial system introduces its OWII in order to prevent national disunity, and one of the most
tensions and dissatisfactions and can lead to the alienation of whole important actions taken was to withdraw the status of
sections of the population. Some groups must be stripped of national religion formerly accorded to Buddhism. Other
privileges they have enjoyed hitherto; often these groups are
minority groups, and so the process of producing a just socleW measures included the prohibition of the use of the terms
can all too easily be seen as a case of racial or tribal persecution. On racial minorities and nationalities in official acts, and
the other hand, not to pursue this process can build up bitterness the listing in official documents of ethnic groups by
and frustrations, which pose a grave threat to racial harmony. In the alphabetical order rather than, as formerly, in descending
circumstances, the tasks that confront the government of a newly order of population strength, According to an official
independent country in Africa are difficult and delicate.39
statement of 1964, it is essential that all nationalities,
312. With reference to the problems of the developing irrespective of their ethnic origin, be committed to national
countries, a member of the Sub-Commission on Prevention solidarity. While all the ethnic and linguistic groups have
of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities made certain the right to work for the preservation and development of
observations in 1972 during the discussion of the pre- their traditions and of their cultures, they should refrain
liminary report on the present study, which are recorded as from any action that would adversely affect nationaJ unity.
follows in the summary record of the meeting: In Senegal, Tanzania and Zaire the importance of the
The question of the rights of minorities was an explosive one. concept of nation is stressed and assimilation of the various
The tragic events that had recently occurred in Africa and Asia minority ethnic groups is therefore said to be one of the
showed that it was necessary to determine whether the question of main objectives pursued by the Government. Through the
defining minorities did not obscure other and graver questions
which might lead to secession and separatism. The terms were educational system, citizens are taught to take pride in
radically different in the new and the old countries. in the nationhood rather than in their tribal background tra-
European countries, which had achieved their internal unity ditions.
centuries ago, the problems of minorities were met with only in
their juridical and rationalized form; but the younger countries of 315. The need to safeguard the integrity of the State
Asia and Africa had to grapple with the problem in all its bitterness and to avoid encouraging separatism is of course the
and tragedy. These countries had just shaken off the yoke of legitimate concern of any government. This may be
colonial domination, and the colonialists had used the problem of regarded as a natural limit to any policy of protection for
minorities to divide and rule. As everyone knew, many of the great
Powers had based their colonial policy on stirring up trouble minorities, even a policy pursued in the form of a very
between minorities: Berbers and Arabs, Jews and Moslems; Moslems broad pluralism. Nevertheless, it is a matter for regret that
and Hindus. The problems the new countries were now facing were concern to avoid weakening the integrity of the State or
really part of the aftermath of colonization. The Europeans ideas of opening the door to separatist tendencies sometimes pre-
country, nation and state were rooted in centuries of history; but
the new States were torn by opposing social forces. They had not sents an obstacle to tile adoption of special measures in
yet achieved their national unity and they were feeling the pressure favour of individuals belonging to minority groups.
of both centrifugal and centripetal forces, inevitably with painful
consequences, for no Government could allow the forces that made D. Non-discrimination as a pre-condition of special
for dispersal overcome those that made for unity. The tragic cases of measures in favour of persons belonging to ethnic,
Biafra and Bangladesh were still fresh in the public mind.40 religious and linguistic minorities
313. In most developing countries, in particular those in 316. As has been stressed earlier in this study, the
which the existence of population groups requiring a special effective implementation of the right of persons belonging
legal status is not officially recognized, the assimilation of to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities to enjoy their
own culture, to profess and practise their own religion and
39 Yash Ghai, Ethnicity and group relations in Two SrUdies to use their own language requires, as an absolute pre-
on Ethnic Group Relations in Afnca: Senegal, the United Republic condition, that the principles of equality and non-discrirni-
of Tanzania (P&is, UNESCO, 1974), pp, 107-108. nation be firmly established in the society in which those
4o See E/CN.4/Sub.2/SR.647. persons live.
317. At the seminar on the multinational society held achieving understanding and harmonious relations between
in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, in 1965, the question of equality the various components of society, in any multiethnic,
and non-discrimination with respect to minorities was multi-religious and multilinguistic country.
discussed in the following terms: 320. The constitutions or the laws of all the countries
Certain speakers recalled the many historical instances in which surveyed contain provisions which proclaim the principles
inequitable treatment of ethnic, religious or linguistic groups within of equality and non-discrimination and provide that all
a Stale had provoked internal and international unrest. In this
connexion, many of those taking part in the discussion supported persons are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms
ffie view that certain principles had to be accepted as mandatory: of the individual regardless of their race, place of origin,
first, the majority must not practise against the minority any form colour or creed. In some constitutions, reference is also
of discrimination whatever, but must extend lo it every cultural made to language,43 while in some others it is specified
freedom and an absolute equality of opportunity; secondly, the
minority must have the right and facilities to play an active role in that the principle of equality is to be applied to all aspects
the social life of its country of residence; .,. of the economic, political, juridical, social and cultural life
of the coun try.4 4
In the opinion of many participants, the essential aim was the 321. It should be pointed out that most of the
attainment of equality of treatment in every sphere. It was constitutional provisions referred to above are of a general
elementary that every human being had the right to grow to his full nature. They are addressed to all persons living in the
stature, enjoying economic security, cultural equality and the
freedom of thought and expression; and from that principle of country concerned and it is thus logical to conclude that
equality flowed the almost universally expressed determination to the general protection provided by a constitution for the
prohibit discrimination in any form. The States preventive function human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens also
in the matter of discrimination, in its turn, called for protective applies to persons belonging to minority groups. Several
action to safeguard the rights of minority groupings. Some speakers
who supported this view also felt that there had been too great a constitutions, however, refer to nationalities and contain
tendency to look on minority problems as merely an issue of provisions specifically dealing with their rights.45 Thus the
liberty. Differences in cultural levels and in living standards often Czechoslovak constitution states that the equality of all
complicated matters; and the primary requirement was not so much citizens without regard to nationality shall be guaranteed.
liberty in the abstract as equality of opportunity in everyday life.41 The constitution of the Soviet Union declares that any
318. On the reason why non-discrimination is an oppression of national minorities in whatsoever form, any
essential aspect of the international status of minorities, an restriction of their rights and, still more, the granting or
author wrote: toleration of any national privileges whatsoever, whether
The concern frequently expressed by the United Nations direct or indirect, are wholly incompatible with the
Commission on Human Rights, as well as by many Member States, fundamental laws of the Republic. In some other
for the protection of minorities and the harmonious development of instances, the constitution stipulates that the principles of
the multinational or multi-ethnic society appears to owe its origin to
two major considerations, In the first place, the goal of abolishing non-discrimination and equality before the law apply to
discrimination against fndiufduols, as embodied in the Universal persons belonging to all ethnic or linguistic groups. In
Declaration of Human Rights, is seen to be inseparable fiotn the Switzerland and in Belgium, for example, the rights of the
problem of discrimination against ethnic groups.Many of the different linguistic groups are safeguarded in various pro-
desires, needs and values of an individual arise from and are
identified with a way of life characteristic of a group, and can be visions of the constitution. The constitution of Burma
realized only through group activity. An undertaking to abolish provides that no minority, religious, racial or linguistic,
discrimination against an individual if he becomes similar to the shall be discriminated against in regard to admission into i
majority is obviously unsatisfactory in the case of those who do not State educational institutions. The constitution of India
seek to become completely like the majority. In the second place, it contains a similar provision but it further adds that the
seems highly probable that one of the motives operating here is the
growing belief in the value of diversity, the enrichment of State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions,
community life through the maintenance of cultural variations, the discriminate against any educational institution on the
fruitfulness of continuing contrast between different ways of life. ground that it is under the management of a minority,
Both of these objectives may be said to have been accepted in high whether based on religion or language. Under section 16
places (at United Nations and, in .theory at least, by most
governments).42 of the constitution of Sri Lanka, the State pledges to carry
forward the progressive advancement towards the estab-
319. This attitude implies respect for minorities and for lishment in Sri Lanka of a socialist democracy, the
the uniqueness and individuality of persons with different objectives of which include the full realization of all rights
cultures, religions and linguistic backgrounds. It also means and freedoms of citizens, including group rights.
that the numerical strength of a group may not be the
decisive element in formulating a policy in that matter. The 322. In addition to the provisions included in their
important guiding principle is that no individual should be respective constitutions, some States have enacted laws
placed at a disadvantage merely because he is a member of a specially intended to forbid discrimination against the
particular ethnic, religious or linguistic group. Above all, national groups residing in their territories. Thus, ac-
because inter-ethnic differences are in most instances deep- cording to a law enacted in Romania in 1945, an
rooted, the display of a spirit of tolerance and the strict investigation of the racial origin of Romanian citizens with
application of the principles of equality and non-discrimi- a view to establishing their juridical position is forbidden.
nation are indispensable requirements for maintaining the
political and spiritual unity of the States concerned and 43 Denmark; Egypt; Germany, Federal Republic of; Greece;
India; Israel; Italy; Kuwait.
41 ST/TAO/HR/23, para% 26 and 30. 44 Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Ukrainian SSR, USSR,
42 Otto Klineberg, Background paper C, prepared for the Yugoslavia.
seminar on the multinational society held in LJubljana, Yugoslavia, 45 This is the case of the constitutions of the Eastern European
in 1965. countries.
The law further states that difference of language, religion, 325. As regards the United States of Amerjca, ii has
race or nationality cannot form an obstacle for a Romanian been observed that there are broad categories of problems
citizen to the acquirement and enjoyment of civil and that affect most Indians. They revolve around two aspects
political rights, to his admittance to State offices, or to his of cultural conflict: the American non-recognition of or
exercising a profession. It also provides that Romanian hostility to Indian culture and the problems resulting from
citizens belonging to nationalities will be awarded the poverty, poor education and the varying forms of discrimi-
same treatment and the same de jure and de facto nation that the Indian experiences from the larger society.
protection as other Romanian citizens. These observations arc illustrative of the general situation
323. Many countries have also enacted laws dealing of indigenous populations. With regard to the Gypsies, it is
with racial discrimination in general. Such laws, in par- worth recalling that the Committee of Ministers of the
ticular those dealing with interracial relations, are of special Council of Europe adopted on 22 May 1975 resolution
interest to persons belonging to ethnic minority groups, (75) 13, containing recommendations on the social situ-
Mention of these laws is made in the relevant chapters of ation of nomads in Europe. The Committee, after having
the present study. It will also be recalled that, whenever noted that prejudice or discriminatory practices on the part
bilateral agreements dealing with minority rights are con- of the settled population against such persons had not
cluded, the importance of the principle of equality before entirely disappeared in States members of the Council,
the law and of non-discrimination is emphasized. recommended, among other things, that all necessary
measures within the framework of national legislation
324. The available information shows no example of should be taken to stop discrimination against nomadsand
discrimination permitted by law among the countries that the prejudices which form the basis of discriminatory
studied. However, it tends to indicate that, while no group attitudes and behaviour towards them should be countered.
may be discriminated against by law, some of them are in
fact, for various reasons and in a number of ways, victims 326. De ficro discrimination is said to occur in other
of discriminatory practices. The examination of the prob- instances also. With reference to the overseas departments
lems confronted by population groups in their mutual of.France, an author describes in the following terms the
relations shows clearly the forms that such practices can reality of a de &-to discrimination despite strong legal
takea 6 Indigenous populations and the Gypsies in Europe action to promote equality:
are among the most conspicuous cases of groups suffering Although it is clearly understod that in Martinique and
from discrimination on a large scale in various spheres of Gu,adcloupe race does not automatically determine the social class
to which a person belongs, it constitutes at the very most in
activity, For example, with reference to the Aboriginals in element (uncertain) of presumption of such affiliation, for It is
Australia, the Australian Government wrote: undeniable that there is at the present time in these dkparternents
State and Commonwealth Governments in Australia acknowledge -except as concerns private relationships, and in this connexion in
that although legislative discrimination has been progressively accordance with the customary law with regard to marriage-no
removed, there is still discrimination in practice in some areas overt racial discrimination either official or unofficial (the fact of
against Aboriginal people. While there is widespread public concern belonging to one or other category not being mentioned in the civil
and sympathy about the problems faced by people of Aboriginal register and not appearing in a persons papers,sincealI persons are
descent in adjusting to life in Australian society, prejudiced entitled to similar services and jobs regardless of their colour and,
attitudes towards Aboriginal3 are not uncommon. Prejudice against moreover, since no district or meeting place is expressly closed to
Aboriginals is often based on mistaken views about the inferiority of any category regarded as undesirable), it is clear that the racial
the indigenous culture and people; and the relatively low socio- prejudice introduced by the white settlers continues to prcvail there
economic status of most Aboriginal Australians tends to be taken as and that the concept of race constantly appears, either &plicitly or
evidence of ethnic inferiority. explicitly, in the life of the community, so that no segment of West
Indian society can be considered to be free from this vestige of the
slavery era.47

Michel Leiris,II\,P,l*
de civilisation en Martinjque et
46 See paras. 268-284. n..-J-I-..-- Irk-%-
Chapter IV

327. This part of the study contains an analysis of the and the arts of minority groups, diffusion of their culture,
actual state of implemenlation in the various countries and measures adopted for the preservation of their customs
surveyed of the principles set forth in article 27 of the and of their legal traditions.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This
article is not a source of legal obligations for States which
have not yet ratified the Covenant, but as the General 330. Before analysing the available information about
Assembly of the United Nations has approved the the attitude of the governments of the countries con-
Covenant, its articles may be considered as having the value sidered, it should be pointed out that the fundamental right
of general principles, in the same way as those set forth in of everyone to take part in cultural life is recognized and
solemn United Nations declarations. From this point of governed by article 15 of the International Covenant on
view, the rights granted by article 27 to persons belonging Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 13 of that
to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities can be con- Covenant in its turn concerns the right to education,
sidered as forming an integral part of the system of which-while distinct from the right to take part in cultural
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms life-must be considered a prerequisite for it; moreover, the
instituted after the Second World War under the aegis of right of members of minorities to their own cultural life
the United Nations and its specialized agencies. undoubtedly, and first and foremost, includes the right to
328. With regard to the three categories of rights whose an education which protects the distinctive characteristics
enjoyment article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil of the group. In connexion with the right to education,
attention should also be drawn to the provisions of the
and Political Rights is designed to guarantee for members of
minority groups, it should be pointed out that, on the basis UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education,
Lastly, the idea of culture in article 27 of the Inter-
of a logical and literal interpretation of that article, the
right to enjoy a culture of their own has been regarded as national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights appears to
referring to members of ethnic minorities, the right to be strictly linked, both historically and from the point of
profess and practise a particular religion as referring to view of the logic of human rights, with freedom of
expression, a principle set forth in article 19 of that
members of religious minorities, and the right to use their
own language as referring to members of linguistic min- Covenant.
orities. It stands to reason that, if a minority is both ethnic 331. The Declaration of the Principles of International
and linguistic, its members should enjoy both categories of Cultural Co-operation, adopted by the General Conference
rights. It should be added, however, that the boundary of UNESCO at its fourteenth session, in 1966, contains the
between language and culture-and to a lesser degree following provisions which, although not directly con-
between culture and religion-is not a rigid one. In cerned with the question of minority groups, may inspire
consequence, many aspects of the right to a culture concern States in the formulation of policies dealing with the right
not only persons belonging to ethnic minorities but also of persons belonging to such groups to enjoy their own
members of linguistic minorities: literature, mass com- culture:
munications and education are examples. It may also be Article I
claimed that the right to their own culture is also, to a 1. Each culture has a dignity and value which must be respected
certain extent, the concern of members of religious and preserved.
minorities. This is clearly evident in such matters as 2. Every people has the right and the duty to develop its culture.
religious literature, religious journals and religious customs. 3. In their rich variety and diversity, and in the reciprocal
In examining the three categories of rights separately, influences they exert on one another, all cultures form part of
therefore, one should not lose sight of the link that exists common heritage belonging to all mankind.
between them.
Article II
A. The right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities Nations shall endeavour to develop the various branches of
culture side by side and as far as possible simultaneously ...
to enjoy their own culture
329. In this section the Special Rapporteur proposes to Article IV
examine how the right of persons belonging to ethnic The aims of international cultural co-operation in its various
minorities to enjoy their own culture has been implemented forms, bilateral or multilateral, regional or universal, shall be:
in the various countries surveyed (see also paras. 218-224). ...
The following topics will be dealt with: the general policy 4. To enable everyone to have access to knowledge, to enjOY the
followed by governments on this question, the educational art and literature of all peoples ... and to contribute to the
policy followed in the countries surveyed with respect to enrichment of cultural life;
members of ethnic minorities, development of the literature ,*.
A rticlc VII k%nomic development varied widely when they entered
1. Broad dissemination of ideas and knowlcdgc . .. is essential t0 the Federation. Observations indicating that ethnic groups
creative activity, the pursuit of truth and the development of the have the right to maintain and develop their own culture
personality. have been made regarding several other countries, including
.I. 1 Belgium, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the
332. In countries in which the existence of minority United Kingdom and the LJtited States of America.
groups having ethnic and linguistic characteristics different 333. This right has also been affirmed in the consti-
from those of the rest of the population is officially tutions of certain of the countries surveyed. For example,
acknowledged, the right of members of these groups to the constitutions of India and Pakistan provide that any
maintain and develop their own culture is generally section of the population having a distinct culture shall
recognized. Thus, for the Austrian Government, cultural have the right to conserve the same. The constitution of
autonomy is of particular importance to the survival of a Hungary guarantees to all nationalities the preservation and
minority. The Government of Finland states that minority the development of their own culture. Under the Yugoslav
groups are at liberty to maintain their cultural heritage. constitution and the constitutions of the various republics,
Ihe Government of the German Democratic Republic each nationality is guaranteed the right to free develop-
declares that through generous financial support from ment of its national characteristics and culture. The
public funds, national groups have increasingly become an federal constitution further provides that all citizens shall
integral part of the cultural life of the country. The be guaranteed free expression of their culture*. The
Government of Hungary states that it regards the pr@ constitution of Czechoslovakia states that the
motion of the culture of national groups as an essential Czechoslovak Republic shall secure to citizens of Hun-
task. The preservation of the cultural heritage of the various garian, German, Polish and Ukrainian (Ruthenian) national
population groups in India is reported to be one of the origin the possibiljties and the faciljties for their all-round
fundamental objectives of State policy. The Government of development. The constitution of the Philippines contains
Iraq reports that the law entitles all minorities to maintain provisions in which the right of minorities to autonomous
and preserve their inherited culture. The Government of cultural development is recognized. The constitution of
Norway writes that there are no restrictions de jure orde Sudan provides that the State shall maintain the national
facto on the rights of the minority populations to establish heritage, promote and disseminate culture, literature and
their own cultural institutions. In the Governments view, the arts.
minorities represent cultural values which must be pro-
tected and promoted by suitable means in the same way as 334. The right of members of minority groups to
the cultural characteristics of the larger group of the preserve their own culture is also provided for in some
population. The Government of the Philippines has ex- treaties. ?YIUS the agreement between the Austrian and
pressed the view that its new policy of national integration Italian Governments of 1946 contains provisions designed
provides to members of the ethnic groups which are to safeguard the ethnical character and the cultural
officially recognized as minorities the opportunity to development of the German-speaking element of the
preserve their cultural identity. The Government of Bolzano and Trent0 provinces of Italy. The agxeement
Romania has stated that it regards the cultures of the between India and Pakistan of 1950 provides that each
co-inhabiting nationalities as a component part of the Government shall ensure to minority groups complete
culture of the country as a whole and that, in consequence, equality of citizenshjp in respect of culture. The unilateral
its policy is simultaneously to preserve and to enrich the but substantially identical declarations made in 1955 by the
specific characteristics of each of them. According to the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and
Government of the Ukrainian SSR, &all the conditions exist Denmark regarding the status of the Danish minority in the
for members of all nationalities and national groups to Federal Republic and the status of the German minority in
exercise their creative ability and thus participate in the Denmark contain a clause stating that profession of Danish
development of the national culture, With respect to the or of German culture by the Danish and German minorities
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Government is said is free and may not be challenged or examined by the
to pay great attention to the cultural development of its authorities. Article 7 of the State Treaty for the Re-estab-
various nationalities and national groups, The general lishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria of
policy reported to be followed in Yugoslavia as regards the 1955 states that Austrian nationals of the Slovene and
culture of national groups has been formulated with a view Croat minorities in Carinthia, Burgenland and Styria should
to stimulating cultural creation and, accordingly, a broad participate in the cultural system in these territories on
network of cultural institutions and organizations has been equal terms with other Austrian nationals.
established to meet the cultural needs of nationalities. It 335. In the countries in which indigenous popuIations
has been stressed that the Yugoslav socio-political system is exist, special measures are generally adopted which provide,
organized in such a manner as to enable the nations and among other things, for the right of these populations to
the nationalities living within the various republics and preserve and develop their own culture, Thus the Govem-
autonomous provinces to develop and pursue their cultural merit of Canada states that there are no impediments to the
policy independently, in accordance with their own exercise of the rights of indigenous populations to promote
interests and responsibilities. However, the cultural develop- their culture. In New Zealand, the Maori Affairs Amend-
ment of the nations and nationalities has not been the ment Act of 1974, which gives official recognition to the
same in every region of the country, since their stage of importance of Maori culture, is among a number of laws
adopted with a view to protecting the cultural rights of the
C&ml Rights as Human Rights (Paris, UNESCO,1970), indigenous population. The Government further stresses
p, 124. that there has been in the country a tremendous revival of

interest in Maori cuk+e among both Maoris and non- observed, in this connexion, that: In the developing
Maoris. According to the Australian Government, the countries, cultural development is being increasingly rec-
federal and local governments are actively promoting a ognized as an essential component of social and economic
policy of encouraging and assisting Aboriginal Australians development. The establishment and strengthening of
to develop their own culture. Furthermore it should be national identity through cultural action can even be
noted that Sates which have ratifjed, or acceded to, the regarded as a prerequisite for social and economic progress
IL0 Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention have in post-colonial conditions. It was further noted that in
assumed special responsibilities concerning the cultural many developing countries the resources devoted to
development of indigenous and tribal population groups. culture are totally insufficient. They lack established
cultural institutions, private sources of funds, and trained
336. In countries which have a federal structure and in personnel.3
which ethnicity and political subdivisions coincide, no
particular problems arise. In those cases, responsibility for 339. The view has also been expressed that a definite
the preservation and development of the culture of the link exists between the right of an individual to culture or
population groups residing in the areas concerned generally to enjoy his own culture and the right to an adequate
rests upon the local administrations, unless they lack the standard of living proclaimed in article 25 of the Universal
necessary financial resources and receive no assistance from Declaration of Human Rights. A learned author has written
the central government. Thus in Switzerland, in accordance the following on.that point:
with the principle of linguistic territoriality, cantonal ... [The right of an individual to culture] assumes firstly that the
authorities are responsible for promoting cultural activities individual has attained a standard of living adequate for the health
in their respective cantons, but the national government has and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care ..,I (article 25 of the Universal Declaration
taken direct action in favour of the less prosperous cantons of Human Rights). For, if the individual has not reached this
and grants annual sums for the preservation and furtherance standard because hc is undernourished or even starving, because he
of the cultural and linguistic individuality of the Italian- has no decent lodging or lacks the possibility of receiving the most
and Romansh-speaking communities. elementary medical attention, it is evident that he will have neither
the desire nor the possibility of taking part in the cultural life of his
337. Very different is the situation of groups in community and thcrc can be no question of his enjoying the arts
countries in which no federal structure of government has and literature; still less of participating in scientific advancement,
been established and that of groups residing within the In other words, the concept of ... [cultural] rights is, at the
subdivisions of a federal State. The available information outset, without value for more than half of mankind. A minimum of
material well-being is necessary if the very notion of culture is to
indicates that comprehensive legislative measures designed have the least significance.4
specifically to implement the right of these groups to
preserve and develop their own culture have been drawn up 340. Observations of a similar nature were made by
participants at the seminar on the promotion and pro-
in only a very few instances. In this connexion the Belgian
law relating to the functioning of the cultural councils set tection of the human rights of national, ethnic and other
up under the constitution may be mentioned. This law minorities held in Ohrid, Yugoslavia, in 1974, as follows:
provides that the cultural councils for the French, Flemish Several participants emphasized that economic and social devel-
opment represented the essential basis on which the promotion and
and German communities may deal with the following protection of human tights of minorities were possible. The
questi0r.s: defence and promotion of the language con- situation of a minority depended primarily on its members standard
cerned; encouragement and training of research workers; of living as defined in article 25 of the Universal Declaration of
fine arts, including the theatre and the cinema; the cultural Human Rights, according to which everyone had the right to a
heritage, museums and other scientific and cultural insti- standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself
and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical
tutions; libraries, record libraries and similar services; radio care, and on their enjoyment of the right to education as defined in
and television; youth policy; continuing education and article 26 of the Universal Declaration. The gap between the levels
cultural promotion; physical education, sport and open-air of economic development of various regions of the world consti-
life; leisure activities and tourism. The law also provides tuted an essential element in the sharp differentiation between the
that the competence of the cultural councils to deal with situation of minorjties in the advanced industrial States and that of
minorities in the developing countries. The promotion and pro-
cultural matters includes the power to adopt decrees tection of the latter could not be realized so long as various groups,
concerning the infrastructure. because of their economic, social and cultural underdevelopment,
could not enjoy even elementary human rights, such as the right to
338. The particular situation prevailing in developing work or the right to culture. It was pointed out that the highest
countries should however be taken into account in the priority had therefore to be given to the economic and social
consideration of problems relating to cultural development. dcvelopmcnt of those countries. The achievement of the necessary
progress in that direction was a prerequisite for the promotion of
First, it should be remembered that during the colonial the rights of minorities in the developing countries. It was further
period an alien culture had often been superimposed on the stated that it would, therefore, be a mistake to apply general
societies of these countries and, as a result, artistic and concepts with respect to the rights of minorities without specifically
literary expression were strangled. After independence, the relating them to the over-all economic and social environment.
; main problem of these countries was the revival of the !/
national culture and in many instances the cultural develop- 2 Final Report on the Intergovernmental Conference on Insti-
ment of particular minority groups could not receive the tutional, Administratbe and Financial Aspects of Clrltural Policies,
i- proper attention that it required. Secondly, as stressed in Venice, 24 August-2 September 1970 (Paris, UNESCO, 1970)
conferences held by UNESCO on the question of pro- (SHC/MD/13), chap. I, para. 29.
motion of culture in developing countries, there is a wide 3 Ibid., para. 31.
recognition of a relationship between cultural development, 4 B. Boutros-Ghali, The right to culture and the Universal
on the one hand, and social and economic development, on Declaration of Human Rights, Cltltural Rights as Human Rights
the other. At the Conference held in Venice in 1970, it was (Paris, UNESCO, 1970) (SHC.68/XIX.3/A), p. 73.
.[&ferencc was also madcl... to the need for xpccial economic aid of Burma, for example, provides that no minority,
to underdeveloped regions of a country where minorities lived, in religious, racial or linguistic, shall be discriminated against
order to build the economic foundation for the promotion and in regard to admission into State educational instilutions.
protection of their rights. 111Sierra Leone, the Educational Act of 1964 provides that
all enactments and administrative instructions relating to
2. Educationalpolicy education must be administered and interpreted in such a
341. Discussing the relationship between culture and manner as to ensure that there is no discrimination between
education, an author made the following observations: pupils in the matter of admission to and treatment in any
,,. the mere existence of cultural rights supposes that the right to educational establishment in the country except for the
education, as set forth in uticle 26 of the Universal Declitration of establishment or maintenance of separate educational sys-
Hutian Rights, has first found a practical application. Indeed there tems for religious or linguistic reasons. In Malaysia, the
is no right to culture without a minimum of education. The person
who can neither read nor write and who has not received the most constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of
elementary instruction ix impervious to any true culture. And a large ethnic origin in the administration of educational insti-
part of humanity remains illiterate. tutions maintained by public authorities or in providing
Which being Jaid, some sociologists, taking the word culture in public funds for the maintenance of educational insti-
a broader sense, maintain that mass culture can, owing to new tutions.
methods of collective information, reach the individual without his
having first acquired a minimum of education. 344. The institution of compulsory and free primary
education for all children and the provision, on a wide
Despite an clement of truth in this view, it remains that an
illiterate has much less chance of being able to take part in the scale, of opportunities for a free education at the secondary
cultural life of his community and that the claim of cultural rights ix and university levels, are generally regarded as measures of
not in his case matched by any tangible reality. fundamental importance for the educational development
Thus it seems that the content of cultural rights will vary of individuals, including in particular-on a basis of full
according to whether these two prerequisites have or have not been equality and non-discrimination-persons belonging to
realized. The two prerequisites, right to an adequate standard of minority groups. ln nearly all the countries surveyed such
living and right to education, have never yet found a true
application over a large part of the planet. action is reported to have been taken. Another important
measure is the right of these persons to enter any school of
... their choice, whether or not minority schools are available.
Cultural rights are also closely attached to the concept of
rehabilitation ,.. 345. Other action taken in the field of education in
order to improve the situation of minorities includes
recognition of the right of persons belonging to minority
The concept of cultural rights in underdeveloped areas is closely
associated with the idea of development, much more than with the groups to establish their own schools under certain con-
idea of leisure.This meansihat the right to culture is still identified, ditions, regulation of the diplomas delivered by these
to some extent, with the right to education. A practical education schools, financial assistance for the training of a competent
which aims at helping the individual to master the poverty which is staff and for the maintenance of buildings, and subventions
his lot, before troubling itself with his culture or that of the and grants to children attending those scl~ools. In Denmark,
community... .6
for example, members of the German minority group are
342. There can be no possible development of the granted the right to establish their own schools, and
culture of any group if members of that group are denied diplomas delivered by these schools, when their establish-
the right to education or are treated in a discriminatory ment has been authorized, have the same validity as those
manner in the field of education. Educational policy is delivered by public schools. Approval of the curriculum and
therefore a key element in evaluating the situation of control of the academic qualifications of the supervising
persons belonging to minority groups as regards their right staff and of the suitability of the premises, in order to
to enjoy their own culture. What will be discussed in the ensure that they meet the general standards set for public
following paragraphs is the general educational policy of schools, are regarded as essential pre-conditions for the
various countries towards minority groups and the type of establishment of privately operated minority schools. In
problems confronted by a number of these groups. The Austria, special measures have been taken to ensure that
specific question of the use of minority languages in schools minority schools operate under the same standards as other
will be examined in another chapter. schools. The law expressly provides in this connexion that
343. Governments of nearly all the countries surveyed not only must every public school be linked to a school
have emphasized that, in matters of education, the prin- district but also that every child must be admitted to the
ciples of non-discrimination and equality are strictly appropriate type of school. However, in order to guarantee
applied. In reports concerning the implementation of the further the right of access to education to children
UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, belonging to minority groups, the law specifies that
governments generally stressed that in their countries there members of linguistic minorities of compulsory school age
were no legal regulations or practices which could be must not be refused admission to a school outside their
regarded as constituting discrimination and that they were regular district, when no suitable schools for the minority
following a policy consistent with the principles set forth in concerned are available, These provisions are said to ensure
that convention. In a very large number of the countries that a child belonging to a minority can at all events attend
surveyed, discrimination in education is specifically a primary school established especially for members of that
prohibited by the constitution or by law. The constitution minority. In India, the constitution grants to all minorities
the right to establish and administer educational insti-
tutions of their choice, and this, it has been observed,
ST/TAO/HR/49, para. 28. implies a duty of non-interference by the State. In Norway,
6 B. Boutros-Ghali, lot. cit., pp. 73-14, 15. distinct schools have been established for the Lapps and

representatives of that population group are granted the Albanian minority, could be regarded as an exception,
right to participate in the decision-making process as Large-scale assistance is given to this university by the
elected members of the school boards, Similar measures University of Belgrade and other Yugoslav universities, as
concerning the Kurds are said to have been adopted in Iraq. well as by the State University of Tirana, Albania.
It has been reported that in Israel separate elementary and 349. As the available information tends to show, a
secondary schools have been established for members of the
Arab minority and that the curriculum and teaching number of factors, such as the level of socio-economic
methods are identical in Jewish and Arab schools. In development and the geographical concentration of the
Singapore, the three main ethnic groups operate their own groups concerned, may adversely influence the educational
schools. The Federal Republic of Germany guarantees to policy adopted in various countries with respect to mm-
ority groups. Some are more numerous and concentrated in
members of the Danish minority the right to operate their specific areas, while others are relatively small in number or
own schools. In Greece, the number of minority schools is are scattered throughout the country. Some live in devel-
reported to have increased from 86 elementary schools in
oped regions, while others reside in isolated areas. Such
1923 to 295 in 1975.
factors may affect profoundly the educational development
346. In the various Eastern European countries sur- of some minority groups and lead, in particular, to
veyed, the educational system is said to have taken into disparities in illiteracy ratios among various groups in the
account the special interest of the nationality groups same country. It has been reported, for example, that in
through the establishment and continued expansion of a Yugoslavia, though the educational standard of the whole
State-operated network of special educational facilities for population has improved notably within recent years, the
persons belonging to these groups, according to the ethnic percentage of persons with a secondary or higher education
composition of the population, the supply to pupils of in 1961 varied among the individual nationalities-4.4 for
textbooks free of charge, and the granting of scholarships the Turkish national group, 5.0 for the Albanians, 14.0 for
and other forms of material aid to pupils and students the Slovaks, 18.5 for the Hungarians, 21.6 for the Italians
belonging to the various ethnic groups. The Government of and 26.3 for the Slovenes. It was, however, stressed that the
Hungary, for example, reports that the education of number of persons throughout the country with a second-
members of national groups has been undergoing a notable ary or higher education had almost doubled in the ten-year
evolution since 1945, as shown by the increase registered in period from 1961 to 1971 and that educational standards
the number of educational institutes at the elementary and tended to rise more rapidly among the groups where they
secondary level established for those groups and in the had previously been the lowest. In the case of other
number of pupils attending these schools, and by the series nationalities, the rise in educational levels had proceeded
of measures taken concerning the training of the teaching at a fairly even rate as compared with the all-Yugoslav
staff. Teachers in national schools are now trained partly average.
in Hungary and partly outside Hungary in the ethnic 350. The available information further suggeststhat for
centres of the nationalities concerned. The Government a variety of reasons-historical circumstances, deprivation,
further notes that the educational policy with respect to inferior social status, prejudices on the part of the
national groups is co-ordinated by the Department for dominant sectors of society, de facto segregation-some
Nationalities at the Ministry of Education and by the minority groups confront in a number of countries severe
National Faculty of the Pedagogic Institute. Since 1949 obstacles in their quest for equality in the field of
more than 600 school books for national schools have education. In the United Kingdom the social environment is
been published, The Yugoslav Government observed that said to be the main cause of the educational backwardness
since 1945 a number of measures concerning the establish- of immigrant children, Their educational development is
ment of autonomous educational institutions using the plagued by lack of teachers, inadequate school buildings
languages of national minorities have been adopted, and overcrowded classrooms. Furthermore the extra strain
347. In some inst.ances, specific action has been taken caused by the arrival of an increasing number of immigrant
in order to adapt the educational system to the special children has been exacerbated in areas where the majority
needs of minority groups. In Sri Lanka, the language policy of immigrants are persons with a mother tongue other than
which is being applied has been considered as a measure English. In Iraq, the illiteracy rate among Kurds is reported
giving weight to the principle of equality of opportunity for to be higher than that of the rest of the population. The
all, including persons belonging to minority groups. One percentage of Kurds in secondary schools was half that of
essential innovation of that policy has been to define Arabs, and less than 7 per cent of university students came
literacy in reference to the local languages spoken by the from
; Kurdish areas. In the United States, non-white
two ethnic groups of the country. In the Philippines, a minority groups are said to face serious problems in their
special scholarship programme has been set up to assist educational development. With respect to the blacks, the
qualified and deserving members of the National Cultural Government writes that State aid, and more recently grants
Minorities who cannot afford a college education, The of federal funds, are helping to equalize educational
number of scholarships granted increased from 109 m opportunity. The lag in educational achievement among the
1958, when the programme started, to 6,000 in 1973. black population is recognized today as deriving in large
measure from more general cultural deprivation and similar
348. While countries often maintain separate elemen- factors. Children without inspiration from the home or
tary and secondary schools for minorities, universities are, community tend to start behind and stay behind, and they
however, usually found only in autonomous republics or often become drop-outs. As regards the Indians, it has been
regions of federal States where minorities live in compact observed that for a long time the federal authorities had not
groups. The University of Pristina in Yugoslavia, which has taken into account their real educational needs and had
been established mainly for the development of the indeed contributed to undermining their sense of identity

and faith in their own culture. Furthermore, the severe For example, while the literacy rate of Finnish- arid
disabilities of poverty and disease suffered by Indians made Swedish-speaking citizens is almost 100 per cent, only 26
their education more difficult. While much has been done per cent of the heads of Gypsy families were considered to
to improve Indian education, many problems remain be literate in 1969, 20 per cent of them had not completed
unsettled. fhe educational level of the Indians continues to primary education and 11 per cent had not mastered
be considerably lower than the national average. In this writing. In order to remedy that situation, government and
connexion the Government reports that efforts are being private organizations have launched a campaign against
undertaken with a view to redressing the situation. It also illiteracy among Gypsy adults. In a report issued in 1972 on
notes that at present the majority of Indian children arc the application of the UNESCO Convention agajnst
enrolled in public schools and that federal facilities are Discrimination in Education, the Government of Finland
operated for those who live in areas not served by public stated that within the framework of the educational re-
schools or who come from disorganized homes and require forms envisaged, the Committee on Linguistic Security had
boarding-home care in addition to educational services. proposed in 1971 several measures to be taken in order to
351. It has been observed that discriminatory treatment guarantee equal opportunity in education and to prevent
based on language and cultural differences is among the discrimination. Such measures included a guarantee that
main obstacles to equal educational opportunities for the minority schools would not be of inferior standards. Both
Spanish-speaking minority groups in the United States. It the Committee on Gypsy Education and the Committee on
has been noted that exceedingly high drop-out rates, low the Development of Lapp Education also suggested
achievement scores, inability to integrate into the larger measures designed to ensure that children of Gypsies and
society and low participation in higher education attest to Lapps do not suffer from discrimination and are able to
the fact that education for Spanish-speaking groups is enjoy standards equalling those of the majority of the
deficient. Among the practices which are said to limit the population. These committees, however, felt that the
ability of the Spanish-speaking groups to progress edu- implementation of the education programmes for these
cationally, mention has been made of the prohibition of the population groups calls for the co-operation of all the
use of Spanish in schools, tlte placement of minority Nordic States.
children in Educable Mentally Retarded classes, not 353. In Sweden, while the official policy is to avoid
because they belong there but because they have an special schools for minorities, the particular situation of the
insufficient knowledge of English, and the lack of language Lapps has led the Government to set up special nomad
programmes to prepare the Spanish-speaking child to schools in some places. In other cases, regular schools for
participate fully in the present English education pro- Lapps have also been established, which are organized
gramme. In this connexion, it has been reported that: according to the principles of the ordinary comprehensive
In May 1970, the U.S. Department of Health, Education and school. In addition to the regular school curriculum, those
Welfare took the first official step toward prohibiting discriminatory schools provide instruction in handicrafts and reindeer
treatment of children with language and cultural differences. A husbandry, two of the main activities of the Lapp popu-
memorandum was issued to all school districts having five percent or
more national-origin minority children, clarifying responsibilities for lation.
providing equal educational opportunity. The four points in the
memorandum: 354. The Government of Norway observes that one of
the main obstacles to the educational development of the
(1) Whenever language excludes national-origin children from
effective participation, school districts must take steps to rectify the Lapps has been the difficulty of obtaining suitable text-
language deficiency. books and of finding qualified people to prepare them.
(2) School districts must not assign pupils to Educable Mentally Since 1975 increased funds have been set aside for the
Retarded classes on the basis of criteria which essentially measure publication of school books for Lapps. Furthermore a
English language skills; nor may they deny students access to college separate department has been established in one teacher-
preparatory courses on the basis of the schools failure to teach training college to train Lapp teachers and to develop
language skills. teaching material in Lappish. Comprehensive research is
(3) Any ability grouping or tracking system must be designed to now being undertaken with a view to finding ways of
meet these needs as soon as possible, so as not to operate as a dead
end educational track. improving the situation of the Lapps. Mention has been
made of the proposal made to Parliament in 1973 to
(4) School districts are responsible for notifying the parents of
national-origin students of school activities called to the attention of establish a separate Lapp Schools Council and of the
other parents, even if it must be done in a language other than formation by the Ministry of Church and Education of a
English. Select Committee, induding representatives of the Lapps,
whose mandate is to report on the facilities for further
352. Gypsies and Lapps in Finland and Sweden and education for Lapps.
indigenous populations in several countries are also said to
confront particular difficulties. Although no existing 355. Problems of another type are confronted in
regulations prevent the Gypsies and Lapps of Finland from Malaysia: because of past inequalities whose effects are still
receiving an education similar to that of the main popu- being felt, the most numerous ethnic component of the
lation, the prevailing legislation is not as explicit about their population, although not a majority thereof, has found
educational rights as it is about the Swedish-speaking itself in a position of relative inferiority as a result of
minorities. As a result, despite various activities concerning policies applied during the colonial period. It has been
their education, they find themselves in an unequal observed with respect to Malaysia that ethnicity was one of
position, as compared with other children in the country. the elements associated with differences in literacy levels
among the various groups and that literacy standards among
Civil rights and education for the Spanish speaking, Civil Malays were generally lower than among the two other
Rkht~Dige~t, vol. 4, No. 4 (December 1971), pp. 12-13. major groups.

3. Promotion o/ fitcratrrre and tfw arts and customs.Ill Sri Sanka, the Section on Literature set up
within the Department of Cultural Affairs grants fmancial
. (a) Literature
assistance to literary societies and to writers belonging to
356. Action taken by States with a view to promoting various ethnic groups.
the literature of members of minority groups includes the 360. Research on the cultural background of popu-
publication and translation of books, financial assistance to lation groups has been used in some countries as a means to
writers, the establishment of specialized publishing enter-
promote the culture of these groups. Thus, in Burma a
prises, the creation of special culturai sections for minority government-sponsored programme of cultural revival
groups within departments of culture and, in developing
designed to rekindle national group identification in terms
countries in particular, work on the structure of the of Burmese cultural symbols was launched immediately
languages spoken.
after independence under the Ministry of Culture with the
357. The Romanian Government reports that the two help of a member of private learned societies. Under this
elements which are capable of ensuring the development of programme, research in Burmese literature is encouraged
a culture-full enjoyment of the cultural heritage, and the and books have been published or translated and distrib-
stimulation of creativity-are guaranteed in Romania. Thus uted in Burmese as well as in minority languages.
the co-inhabiting nationalities enjoy equal conditions for
the creation and circulation of Iiterary works through a 361. In the German Democratic Republic, in i9SI the
wide network of publishing houses and other cultural Institute for Sorb Ethnic Research of the Academy of
centres which publish and translate the works of members Sciences was founded at Bautzen, associating linguists,
of those nationalities. It is stated in this connexion that, historians, ethnographers and sociologists in joint research.
in addition to the special set tions maintained in most Research on the culture of the national groups in Hungary
publishing houses in Romania for the literature of the is carried out by a special committee of the Hungarian
co-inhabiting nationalities, a publishing house has since Academy of Sciences, while in Yugoslavia an Albanological
1969 been devoted exclusively to the publication of works Institute has been established with a view to studying the
in their languages. It is stated further that the literary culture of the Albanian nationality.
creativity of the co-inhabiting nationalities has flourished in 362, In Iraq the study of the history and culture of the
recent years. Literature in Hungarian, for example, has Kurds has been entrusted to the Kurdish Islamic Institute,
recently scored remarkable successes in the drama, in created under the Kurdish Academy Act of 1970. Further-
literary criticism and history, in the history of the folklore more an Order of the Revolutionary Council enacted on 24
civilization and in art history. In addition, the cultural and January 1970 empowered the scholars, poets and writers of
literary traditions of the Hungarian population have Turkmenistan to found a society to aid their people to
received particular attention from research workers, and publish literature, increase their linguistic capacity and
this flowering of the Hungarian cultural heritage has been work in association with Iraqi scholars. Act No, 183/1970
reflected in the appearance of several important works in established a Kurdish Literary Society the objects of which
recent years. Increased attention has also been paid by include preservation of the purity of the Kurdish language,
members of the co-inhabiting nationalities to the acqui- its development and its adaptation to the needs of science,
sition of a better knowledge of one anothers works. While literature and art. In accordance with Order 251 of the
Romanian authors have published studies on the merits of Council of 24 April 1972 granting the Syriac-speaking
the literature of the co-inhabiting nationalities, authors of ethnic groups of Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac origin equal
those nationalities have studied the fundamental aspects of cultural rights, an association of Assyrian-speaking scholars
Romanian literature. This dialogue has continued through and writers has been formed, with representatives in the
the translation of Romanian works into the languages of countrys learned and cultural societies. The same order
the co-inhabiting nationalities and, conversely, the trans- envisaged the establishment of an association for Syriac-
lation of the works of those nationalities into Romanian. It speaking authors and playwrights, to guarantee their
should also be noted that a commission of the co-inhabiting representation in the national federations and in literary
nationalities, whose aim is to contribute to their advance- and cultural associations. On 10 July 1972, an Act (No. 82
ment, functions within the Writers Union, and that the of 1972) was promulgated establishing the Syriac Language
Council of Culture and Education has a section concerned Academy as an independent body possessing the status of a
exclusively with the cultural activities of the co-inhabiting legal entity and endowed with financial and administrative
nationalities, autonomy, to act as a scientific and linguistic authority on
358. In the United Kingdom, funds for the develop- the Syriac language and to revive the Syriac language,
ment of Welsh and Scottish literature and for literary literature and cultural heritage.
activities and publication of books in the Welsh and Gaelic 363. The universities have also played an active role in
languages are allocated through the Welsh Arts Council and efforts undertaken in favour of the development of the
the Scottish Arts Council. Financial support is also given to literature of various ethnic groups. Thus, in Nigeria they
: writers to enable them to undertake specific projects. In have established institutes, departments or schools which
Yugoslavia particular attention is said to be given to the carry out studies and research in Nigerian languages,
publication of books in the languages of the nationalities promote research and publications in many aspects of
and to the establishment of publishing houses for each African culture, including language and history, and provide
nationality. degree courses in several of the Nigerian languages. For
359. In Ghana, one of the functions of the Bureau of example, the University of Ibadan has set up an Institute of
Ghana Languages is the production and translation of African Studies and a Department of Linguistics and
books in the nine officially sponsored languages spoken in Nigerian Languages. At the University of Nigeria, the
the country, portraying various aspects of Ghanaian culture activities of the Hansberry Institute of African Studies

include the production of annotated bibliographies and 366. Work on the structure of the Lapp language is
anthologies and the acquisition of oral and written pictoI?al being actively pursued in Norway as the need for a standard
and cartographic source material for the study of the orthography of Lappish is considered essential to the
history, government, law and religion of Nigeria. The development of the culture of the Lapps. In Colombia,
Institute of African Studies at the University of Ife language research has centred on the attempt to study and
regularly sponsors, alone or jointly with other organiz- record the countrys indigenous languages with a view to
ations, lectures, colloquia and seminars on various aspects devising a written system for each language so that it can be
of the Yoruba language. Topics covered included a survey translated into Spanish, In India, cultural research institutes
of the components of Yoruba oral literature, the growth of have been established in some states for the study of tribal
African culture, use of the Yoruba language in education, dialects. In Canada, systems of syllabics for the languages of
and the importance of the mother tongue as a medium of the indigenous populations are being devised by the
instruction. The main objective of the Centre for Nigerian Linguistic Section of the Education Division of the Depart-
Languages at the Ahmadu Be110 University is to publish ment of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In the
research findings and to build a library of source materials United States of America, with funds provided by the
in Nigerian languages. Its activities are at present devoted to Federal Government, a project to make the Navajo language
Hausa and they include a collection of Hausa poetry, a a written one has been undertaken.
Nausa grammar and the writing of reference books, 367. An analysis of the avaiIable information shows
textbooks, prose, poetry, plays, fiction and books for that the development of the culture of minority groups
general reading. In addition, the Centre is actively engaged may be severely hampered by problems linked to the
in the study of the less widely spoken Nigerian languages structure of the language spoken. Reference is made in this
which are in danger of disappearing. Furthermore, through connexion to the situation of the Croat minority in Austria.
seminars and journals, many of which are supported by the The Government of Austria has stated that the language of
universities, learned and professional associations, scholars its Croat minority is not being sufficiently developed and
and authors contribute to the development of literature in cultivated owing to the lack of a varied spectrum of
the various languages spoken in Nigeria. Furthermore, a Croatian literature, a fact which works against the preser-
number of literary journals are exclusively devoted to the vation of the Croat cultural heritage. It, is further pointed
study of Nigerian languages, history, customs, traditions, out that the Croat minority of Austria is largely cut off
art, music and rituals. from its cultural centre, as the language spoken by this
364. In the United Kingdom the universities in Scotland minority substantially differs from the Croatian language
are giving increasing attention to the study of Scottish spoken In Yugoslavia. Consequently, books published in
history and literature, though the extent varies from standard literary Croatian are not comprehensible to the
university to university. A School of Scottish Studies is Burgenland Croats, Moreover, the minority has no publish-
attached to the University of Edinburgh. In India, it has ing house of its own. It has, however, been observed in this
been reported, national academies have been created with a connexion that the Croat minority is not unanimous as to
view to promoting the culture of the various linguistic the action which should be taken to remedy the situation.
groups. While some Croat associations favour measures to preserve
and develop their language, another group, composed of the
365. Research work on the structure of the languages elected local officials of the Croat and bilingual com-
concerned is considered in many countries as being essential munities, holds that the Burgenland Croatian dialect lacks
to the development of ethnic and linguistic groups. Com- the linguistic equipment to cope with the ideas and
mittees have thus been set up in Ghana to consider the conditions of the modern world and the therefore no great
adoption of a uniform orthography for several languages, emphasis should be placed on the Croatian language in
The committee that was established to consider the efforts to preserve the Croatian national heritage.
adoption of a standard orthography for the three main
languages spoken in the southern part of the country has (b) rite arts
completed its work and another one has been set up for the
main languages spoken in the Northern and Upper Regions. 368. In several countries a number of measures have
At present a number of Ghanaian languages have writing been taken in order to promote, co-ordinate and direct the
systems and several of them have developed a rich cultural activities of ethnic groups in the arts field. One
literature. In Australia, Aboriginal languages have been such measure has been the creation by governments of
studied and recorded by a variety of public and private agencies financed by public funds. In Ghana, for example,
institutions. Since its creation in 1961, the Australian an Arts Council was established in 1959, its main functions
Institute of Aboriginal Studies has carried out a vigorous being the development of alI forms of art and the
and wide-ranging programme of research on Aboriginal preservation and encouragement of the traditional arts and
languages, In 1965 a Linguistic Programme was initiated culture of the country. Bach of the eight administrative
with a view to stimulating interest in these languages in the regions of the country has its own regional organizer and its
universities. The Institute has sponsored over 100 studies, own regional arts committee. Since the creation of that
some of them involving work on disappearing languages Council, there has been an impressive effort at qualitative
spoken by a few persons only. It has been observed that the improvement in all the art forms sponsored by the Council,
Government of the USSR has given particular attention to The Ghana drama studio was established in 1961 to .
the development of the national languages, in particular maintain the African tradition In the training of amateur
those of the smaller groups, The efforts undertaken have groups, and the Councils dance group gives instruction in __
led to the elaboration of alphabets and to the promotion of several types of traditional dancing of the different sections
written forms of languages that were previously only of the community. In Sri Lanka the Arts Council created
spoken, by Parliament in 1952 is divided into panels which

represent the various ethnic groups of the country and languages of the co-inhabiting nationalities in order to
whose activ?ties cover a wide range of arts. For example, provide their actors with training. The co-inhabiting
there are panels for Sir&ala drama, Tamil drama, Islamic nationalities are equally active in the fine arts and in music.
fine arts and Kandyan dancing, The Government further Apart from the Romanian opera, there is a Hungarian opera
provides reguIar financial support to the district arts with a high artistic reputation in the country. Many
councils and to the ballet dance troupes of the different performers of the co-inhabiting nationalities have received
regions. In the United Kingdom, government assistancefor State prizes. In addition many choirs and dance troupes
the arts in Wales and Scotland is afforded through two have been formed and fairs and popular art exhibitions have
bodies, the Welsh Arts Council and the Scottish Arts been organized to foster appreciation of the co-inhabiting
Council. Funds for art, music and drama are allocated by nationalities folklore, customs and traditions. In the
the Councils, which also provide grants to amateur United Kingdom the Welsh National Opera Company
societies, particularly for the commissioning of new works. operates under the aegis of the Welsh Arts Council, which
In the German Democratic Republic, a State-operated art also grants aid to art exhibitions and, through the Welsh
centre for the Sorb national group, the House of Sorb llleatre Company, to drama. The Council also sponsors the
Folk Art, has been established. In New Zealand an formation of regional art associations. In Ghana, with the
Institute of Maori Arts and Crafts operates under govern- Governments financial assistance, many ethnic groups
ment auspices. In Canada a Cultural Development Pro- organize their own folk dance clubs and musical groups,
gramme set up under the Department of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development provides grants to Indian individuals 4. Disseminatiotlof culture
and groups for the advancement of traditional cultural
activities. 371. It is generally agreed that a cultural policy, if it is
to be effective, must afford a variety of opportunities for
369. Other measures include activities such as the the widest dissemination of culture. A number of facilities
organization of arts festivals and exhibitions of art work, and methods are available in the modern world for this
the constitution of theatre companies and the formation of purpose. Apart from the traditional means, such as libraries,
dance troupes with a view to providing an opportunity to museums, press, theatres, concerts, etc., a most important
the ethnic groups of the country concerned to promote and role is played now by radio and television. Another element
protect their culture. In India, the central and state to be taken into account is the contribution which may be
governments recognize as public holidays the main festivals made by committees on the arts and culture, cultural
of all the important communities of the country, In associations, councils for cultural affairs, artists unions,
Nigeria, the organization at both the local and the national etc., in facilitating the diffusion of culture. In a number of
level, on an annual basis, of the Festival of Arts, in which countries action has been taken to promote the diffusion of
all the etlmic groups of the country participate, provides an the culture of ethnic groups by these means.
opportunity to promote and project the culture of the
Nigerian people. There are also numerous cultural organiz- 372. In Denmark, with funds provided by the Govern-
ations and clubs throughout the country designed to ment, the German minority operates its own library system.
stimulate the arts of the ethnic groups of the country and In Burma, the Government maintains five museums and a
to serve as places of exhibition for local artists. In addition, large number of public libraries in various regions of the
in several places, exhibition centres have been established country ln order to encourage public interest in the culture
for the display of contemporary works of art and local of the various ethnic groups and makes special efforts to
handicrafts. Since 1971, these organizations have begun to collect and display historical records and achievements,
arrange cultural fairs featuring handicrafts and art works of paintings and works of art by Burmese and artists of other
various ethnic origins. In Sweden, in recent years, as a result ethnic origins. In Sri Lanka, a government programme was
of the efforts undertaken by private Iapp associations, launched in 1969 designed to build up a national library
Lapp home craft designers have developed new forms of system in which the number of books written in the
decorative art which have brought about, to some extent, a languages spoken by all ethnic groups in the country wasto
revival of the Lapp handicraft tradition. In Austria, it has be considerably increased. It should be noted in this
been observed that in spite of the lack of cultural creativity connexion that until the 195Os, during the time when the
in the field of literature and fine arts among the Croatian country was under foreign domination, books in public
minority, the Croat artistic heritage is cultivated by libraries were almost exclusively in English. By 1968,
numerous music and glee clubs. The German Democratic through government action, about 90,000 titles in Sinhala
Republic reports a strong artistic revival among the Sorbs. and Tamil had been made available. In Poland and other
Since the Second World War more than 80 folklore groups countries of Eastern Europe, national groups are reported
have been constituted with the assistance of the House of to have been provided with a large number of libraries,
Sorb Folk Art. museums and cultural centres exclusively devoted to their
370. In several countries8 the cultural development of
ethnic groups finds expression in the existence of their own 373. In New Zealand the museums in the large cities
theatre companies, dance troupes and cultural clubs. For devote a major section to Maori cultural material. Museums
example, there are at present in Romania six Hungarian- in the Ukrainian SSR display material relating to the
language theatres, two German-language theatres and one history of the various national groups, their achievements
Yiddish theatre at Bucharest, while the Institute of and their participation to the cultural life of the country.
Dramatic Art periodically holds drama classes in the The National Museum of Canada maintains an extensive
programme of research and exhibition of Indian art and
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, culture. In Hungary, museums have a separate nationality
Hungary. section. In the United Kingdom, the National Library of

Wales, a government-aided institution, is a repository of public authorities and the members of the minority groups
documents and manuscripts relating to Wales from eadi~st concerned. Tlleir activities also include providing club and
times. Other cultural institutions include the National library facilities and organizing amateur artistic groups for
Museum of Wales, the Welsh Folk Museum, the National which performances and festivals are periodically arranged.
Library of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery of In Romania, workers councils of the co-inhabiting
Modern Art and the Royal Scottish Museum. nationalities have been set up inter alia to help in fostering
the artistic and cultural activities of those nationalities. In
374. fie available information reveals, however, that it Austria, Croats and Slovenes have set up their own cultural
may happen that in the same country the facilities offered
are not the same for all ethnic groups. For instance, it is associations. The Popular Council of the Carinthian
reported that the number of books available in Yugoslav Slovenes and the Central Union of Slovene Organizations in
libraries in the languages of the different nationalities Carinthia both maintain a great variety of subsidiary
cultural associations which organize various activities, in-
varies considerably from one group to another.
cluding efforts to maintain and preserve the customs and
375. At conferences held on the question of cultural traditions of the Croat and Slovene minorities. These
rights under the auspices of UNESCO, the importance of associations receive substantial subsidies from the federal
modern communication media for cultural dissemination and provincial authorities and, often, from local authorities.
and artistic creation has been stressed. At a conference held Mention should be made in particular of the Burgenland
in Helsinki in 1972, it was widely recognized that the media Popular Culture Service which has been set up by the
could play a prime role in the implementation of cultural provincial authorities in Burgenland to support the cultural
policies and, if properly used, could in particular enor- activities of the members of minority groups. In the Union
mously contribute to the enhancement of all traditional of Soviet Socialist Republics, as in Yugoslavia, the right of
forms of culture.9 members of national groups to establish associations
financed by public funds is granted by the constitution
376. Specific information on the use of communication itself. Thus all the national groups in Yugoslavia are said to
media such as radio and television for promoting the have formed cultural associations with a view to preserving
cultural development of persons belonging to minority their national identity. For example, the Hungarian and
groups is available for very few of the countries surveyed. Czech national groups maintain a large number of cultural
In Nigeria, radio and television, in the areas where they are centres throughout the country, and in all the Italian
available, are intensively used with a view to promoting the communities cultural centres have been formed.
various Nigerian cultures and languages. Programmes in the
Nigerian languages include, among other things, poetry, 378. It has been noted that the right of national
drama and music. With respect to Sweden, the Government minorities to preserve their culture is reinforced when these
has stated that it is considered of vital importance for the groups are allowed to maintain regularly unhindered
survival of Lappish self-awareness that the language and contacts with their ethnic centres. Thus the declaration
culture of the Lapps be represented on radio and television. made by the Government of Denmark regarding the rights
Regularly scheduled cultural programmes in the Lappish of persons belonging to the German minority contains a
language are broadcast throughout the Swedish Lapp provision stating that the special interest of the German
territory and, in this connexion, it should be mentioned minority in cultivating its cultural relations with Germany
that proposals have been made for the creation of a is recognized. In Yugoslavia, the federal constitution, the
common Scandinavian production centre for Lappish constitutions of the various republics and the municipal
broadcasts. In India, the main purpose of the National statutes contain provisions intended to ensure the right of
Programme of Regional Music ii to propagate the musical national minorities to maintain contact with their country
and folkloric traditions of the various regions. Once a of origin.
month an outstanding play in the language of one of the
linguistic groups is broadcast by the regional stations, The 5. Preservationof customsand legal traditions
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation has regular pro-
grammes related to Maori culture, It is reported that in 379. The right of persons belonging to ethnic minorities
Yugoslavia, as in some other countries, radio stations to preserve the customs and traditions which form an
regularly broadcast cultural programmes intended for integral part of their way of life constitutes a fundamental
members of all national groups. element in any system of protection of minorities, On the
377. In several countries members of minority groups other hand, it has also been argued that the maintenance of
have formed cultural associations, often with the financial distinct juridical institutions among minority groups ought
assistance of the government concerned, which play an to be conditioned by the States legislative policy, since a
State could not be expected to acquiesce in practices which
active role in the preservation and development of their
culture. In Poland, for example, a number of such could impede social progress or may be regarded as
socio-cultural associations have been constituted which set offensive to morality. In this connexion, the following
as their objective the propagation of culture in the observations were made at the seminar on the multinational
minorities own languages and also serve as liaison between society held in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, from 8 to 21 June
As to the limitations which should be placed on traditional group
SW Final Report on the Intergovernmental Conference on customs, participants were unanimous in stating that nothing should
Ckltural Policies in Europe, Helsinki, 19-28 June 1972, Part II, be prohibited unless it threatened the freedom of others or was
Report of Commission I, paxa.3. .
contrary to public order, morality or health-in the sense of
lo Aho in Australia; Bulgaria; Canada; Denmark; German constituting an offence known to the law-or conflicted with the
Democratic Republic; Germany, Federal Republic of; Hungary; New technological, social or economic advancement of the nation as a
Zeafand. whole. One speaker stressed, in particular, the need to eradicate

certain traditional remnants of the casle or cla.y,system, which are ruled by a code derived from South India and Moslems
crcctedintolerablebarriersbctwcenfellowcitizens. by their own customary law. The administration 0f justice
380. In the countries surveyed for which information is itself basedon the application of legal rules which have
on this question is available, the right of ethnic groups to evolved in part from three distinct customary laws.
maintain and preservetheir customsis rccognizcd, although 383. The application of the customary laws of certain
there are a few instances where the manifestation of groups is subject to reservationsin somecountries. In the
particular customs, such as the useof distinctive clothing, Philippines,for example, only marriagesbetween members
has been either actively discouragedor reluctantly tolerated of the national cultural communities living in non-
by State authorities. The available information further Christian provinces may be performed in accordancewith
revealsthat someminority groups, in particular those which their customs,rites and practices. In someother cases,the
occupy an inferior position in the society in which they freedom of personsbelonging to some minority ethnic
live, confront severeproblems in their efforts to maintain groups to follow their own customary law in matters of
their customs. The situation of the Gypsiesin Europe and personalstatus is subject to the requirementsof morality,
of the indigenous populations in various countries is public order and the general policy of the State. Thus, in
illustrative of that point. Malaysia, a special rule applies to Aboriginals: they are
381, Thepreservationof the legal traditions of minority allowed to retain their own customs, laws and social
groups in the field of private law is impeded by the trend institutions only when these are not incompatible with the
towards applying a uniform set of rules to all nationals. In national legalsystem. In Sudan, matters of personalstatus
federal States, matters of private law are usually under the are governed by customary laws, provided that such
jurisdiction of the local authorities. In Africa and Asia, customs are not contrary to justice, equity or good
particularly in thosecountries in which customary law is an conscience.
integral part of the general legal system, various ethnic
groups are still governed in matters of personalstatus and 384. There are instanceswhere somelegal traditions of
other fields of private law by their own rules. Also, Gypsies minority groupsare not consideredvalid. Thus the Govern-
in Europe and indigenouspopulationsin somecountries are ment of Guyana states that the traditional laws of the
allowed under certain conditions to apply their own Amerindiansare not recognized. In the Federal Republic of
Germany, as in other European countries, marriagesof
customary laws in the field of private law.
Gypsiesperformed according to their traditional laws are
382. In Ghana the customary law of the major ethnic not recognized by the State. Children born of these
group of the country remainsthe most important source of marriagesare therefore consideredillegitimate. In Israel,
law as regardsmarriage,devolution of succession,property despitethe deep-rootedtraditional customsof the members
and other family matters. Thus three types of marriageare of the Arab minority, the law makespolygamy an offence.
recognized: those performed under the statutory marriage In this connexion the Supreme Court of Israel has stated
ordinance, those conducted according to customary law that freedom of religion is not to be interpreted asfreedom
and those conducted under Islamic law. In Iran the law to do what the religion permits but freedom to fulfil what
further provides that, in order to ensurethe protection of the religion commands;the polygamy practisedby Moslems
the traditions of minority groups, the courts are under doesnot constitute a part of Moslem belief or its religious
obligation to enforce their customsin matters of personal commandments,The Government of Australia reports that
status. In the Niger the ancestral customs of each of the while official policy is not to interfere with traditional
ethnic groups which make up the Niger nation have been Aboriginal laws and customs, it has generally been con-
preserved in private law and the law governing personal sideredinappropriate to accord formal recognition to them.
status, Furthermore, in order to ensure that the special Thus, while the form of Aboriginal marriagehas not been
characteristics of every ethnic group are effectively re- officially restricted, neither has it been officially rec-
spected, the law governing the organization and com- ognized. In relation to certain social service benefits,
petence of the courts provides that the courts shall apply customary marriagesare fully recognized, but this adminis-
the custom of the parties in casesrelating to their capacity trative practice hasnot been extended to recognition of the
to make contracts and to participate in juridical pro- entitlement in relation to all the wives of p0lyganlOuS
ceedings, and in matters of personal status. In Laos, unions.
although there are no special laws on the subject, the
different ethnic groupshave preservedtheir legalcustomsin 385. It should be noted that not all African and Asian
matters of private law. Furthermore, a specialprocedure is countries recognizea plurilegal systemin matters of private
applicable to the mountain tribes. In this connexion article law. There appearsto be a trend towards discardingsuch
53 of the Code of Civil Procedureprovides asfollows: systems,in particular when they are consideredasa legacy
of the colonial period. In Morocco and in Tunisia, a number
*.. Nevertheless,before the close of proceedings in cases concerning
individualsbelongingto the mountainraces,whichhaveno written of ethnic groups were ruled by their own set of laws, by
records,the court shallcallin for consultation oneor morechiefsof decision taken during the Protectorate. In both countries,
the tribesconcernedin orderto acquaintitselfwith theirparticular upon achievementof independence,it was found that the
customsand usages. Such consultation shallb mentionedin the existence of several legal systems was detrimental to
national unity. As a result of the reform undertaken in
In Sri Lanka, each major ethnic group organizesfamily life Morocco in 1958,traditional Islamiclaw, Berbercustomary
according to its own system and, as a result, marriage, law and the French and Spanishcodeswhich were in force
family and inheritance are governed by a variety of codes. during the Protectorate were abrogated and replaced by a
While the Sinhalesefollow the Roman-Dutch law, Tamils civil code applicable to all. In someinstances,moderniz-
ation or the need to ensure the unity of the people were
ST/TAQ/HRJ23, para. 115. advancedas the main reasonsfor the adoption of reforms

designed to abrogate a countrys diverse family laws and of the activities of religious communities, and with deter-
substitute a civil code in their place. In Burma, for example, mining whether religious laws and customs in certain field?
it was decided in 1964 to apply a uniform set of laws to are recognized as valid within the State; (ii) the free
every region of the country in which the administration of participation by members of the religious minority in the
justice had been based on the customary laws of the worship and rites of their religion; (iii) the right of members
minority groups involved. The essential purpose of this of religious communities not to be compelled to participate
measure was to promote the common awareness of national in the activities of other religions; (iv) the right of persons
identity. In Ethiopia, local customs govern family law in belonging to religious minorities to administer the affairs of
many respects. However, the Government sought to provide their communities; (v) the question of the establishment
a uniform set of rules by the adoption in 1960 of a civil and maintenance of religious institutions and denomi-
code which in principle abrogates all previous rules unless national schools and the granting of financial assistance to
their retention was expressly provided for. There are, thus, such institutions and schools.
recognized ways in which the customs of each ethnic group
may still continue to apply.
1. Juridical stow of a religion professed6y a minority
9. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities
to profess and practise their own religion (a) TI7e questionofrecognition
386. The question of the rights of persons belonging to 388. From the point of view of the juridical relation-
religious minorities can be looked at, first, from the ship between the State and minority religions, the countries
standpoint of non-discrimination-which involves consider- surveyed fall into two broad categories: those in which a
ation of the problems presented by the enjoyment and religious community must be formally recognized in order
exercise of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, a to have a juridical status, and those in which no religion is
freedom which should, of course, be recognized for all accorded a juridical status, religion being considered a
individuals without discrimination of any kind-and also purely private affair.
from the point of view of special measures of protection. 389. It cannot be assumed that the mere fact of
By the very nature of religions and religious communities, separation of State and religion ensures nondiscrimination
the exercise of freedom of religion has many implications and that the existence of a State religion or the need for
not only at the individual level but also at the collective formal recognition necessarily gives rise to discrimination.
level, as witness the extremely complex nature of the In this connexion the observations made by Mr. Arcot
relations between States and the various religions. From the Krishnaswami, Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission
standpoint of special measures of protection, it would be for the question of religious rights and practices, are worth
more appropriate to concentrate on measures by which the recalling:
State can promote the material equality of religious There is no doubt that historically the principle of separation of
communities. Through a policy of subsidies, for instance, State and religion emerged as a reaction against the privileged
the State can give assistance to the activities of minority position of the Established Church or the State religion, and that its
communities. This aspect of the question tends to be purpose was to assure a large measure of equality to the members of
overlooked, and more attention is generally given to the various religions. Within the framework of this principle of
separation, however, de fuclo preeminence is sometimes achieved
multiple implications of freedom of thought, conscience by a particular religion and the law of the country-although equally
and religion at the collective level. In the opinion of the applicable to everyone-reflects in certain important matters the
Special Rapporteur, both the subject itself and the practical concepts of the predominant group. Thus rules regulating marriage
attitude of Governments, as revealed in the available and its dissolution are often taken over from the religious law of the
information, are such that the two aspects mentioned above predominant group. Similarly, official holidays and days of rest In
many countries correspond to a large extent to the religious
cannot be clearly separated, even though from the logical holidays and days of rest of the predominant group.
point of view they appear distinct. In the paragraphs that
The State, even when applying the principle of separation, may
follow, problems concerning freedom of thought, con- accord a special status to religious organizations, distinct from that
science and religion and problems relating to special accorded to other kinds of associations. But such a status may be
measures in favour of members of religious minorities, granted only on condition that the religious group satisfies certain
where such measures are conceivable or have been adopted, specified conditions-a possibility for some but not for others.
will be examined together. 2 Even if a State maintains strict neutrality as between various
faiths, inequality of treatment is not necessarily excluded. The
387. The following topics will be covered: (i) the demands of various religions are different, and a law prohibiting
question of the status granted to a religious minority: the certain acts, or enjoining the performance of others, may prevent
analysis of this question will be concerned with examining one religious group from performing an essential rite or from
the practice of formal recognition followed in some following a basic observance, but be of no importance at all to
another group.* 3
countries, as well as the problem of financing by the State
390. In Switzerland it is found that, in most of the
cantons with a predominantly Roman Catholic population,
2 AS indicated in paras. 225-227, a comprehensive study on the the Evangelical Church enjoys formal recognition by the
question of discrimination in the matter of religious rights and State. Conversely the Catholic Church also has to be
PraCtiCeS was prepared by Mr. Arcot Krishnaswami, Special Rap-
Porteur of the Sub-Commission. Furthermore, the question of the recognized in this way in those cantons where the popu-
elimination of all forms of religious intolerance is under active lation is predominantly Protestant. In Finland, while the
consideration by various organs of the United Nations. At the
request of the General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights
is elaborating a draft declaration on the subject. In the light of these 3Shrdy of Discrimination
in the Mutter of Religious Rights and
developments and in order to avoid unnecessaryduplication, tllis ?ractices (United Nations publication, Sales No, 6O,XlV.2),
chapterwill be limited in scope. pp. 41-48.

Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church Recognition c,q$ers on the religious community concerned the
have been granted by law a special national status, the status of a public corporation. In virtue of the right of self-determi-
nation granted such a corporation under the Constitution, the
operation of other religious communities is subject to community acquires an independcncc in internal affairs which is
specified conditions, They arc in particular required to limited only by generally applicable State law. The Act provides no
draft a statute for their community and to give to the definition of what constitutes internal church affairs. The term
Council of State a written announcement, signed by at least is understood to cover decisions concerning dogma, the form of
20 persons, of their establishment. Only after registration in worship, i.e. of service and ritual, disciplinary authority and spiritual
administration, in general, religious instruction and approval
the register of religions and confessions kept by the thereof, denominational schools and church discipline,
Ministry of Education is a religious community considered
as a juridical entity having all the capacities which such 392. In Poland, regulations concerning the legal rec-
status entails, It has been further cmphasized that because ognition of minority religions were adopted after the
of the position of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as the Second World War. It should be mentioned, in particular,
church of the overwhelm@ majority of the population and that by a special decree enacted in 1949 some of the
that of the Orthodox Church for historical reasons, these provisions of the law dealing with associations have been
two religions possess certain rights and privileges not amended in order to legalize the religious activities of small
possessed by others. In Japan, under the Religious Juridical denominations which until that time were functioning
Persons Law, persons wishing to establish a religious without legal recognition. The legal existence of a religious
organization need to file the regulations of the proposed denomination may now take the form of ordinary associ-
organization with the Government for authentication, and ations or of registered associationswhich, as such, are
to give public notice of their intention. lf the competent required to have a statute approved by the public
authority is satisfied that the organi?Wion is religious in authorities.
character, that its regulations are in conformity with the
law, and that it has followed the proper establishment (b) Financing by the State of the activities of religious
procedure, that authority authenticates the regulations, and contmurzities
the organization then comes into existence. In Israel, the 393. Financing by the State of religious activities is one
Government reports that recognition as a religious com- of the factors which may place members of minority
munity entails jurisdiction in matters of personal status, in religions at a disadvantageif the organizations of the
some instances concurrently with civil courts, in others, to religious majority receive subsidies from the State while the
the exclusion of the civil courts. Non-recognition of any others do not, or when individuals are compelled, through
religious community does not affect its right or the right of taxation, to support a religion to which they do not belong,
any of its members to the free exercise of their religion, but In this connexion, mention should be made of a provision
the courts of non-recognized religious communities have no contained in the draft declaration on the elimination of all
legal jurisdiction. forms of religious intolerance prepared by the Sub-Com-
391. In Austria also the law makes a clear distinction mission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
between legally recognized and non.recognized churches Minorities 4 according to which No State shall discrimi-
and religious communities. Only the former possess legal nate in the granting of subsidies, in taxation or in
personality. The Government has made the following exemptions From taxation, between different religions or
observations concerning the relevant provisions of the law beliefs or their adherents.
on the matter: 394. In various countries, the law prohibits government
Conditions under which members of untccognized religious financing of the activities of any religious group. Thus, the
denominations may obtain recognition and form religious com- Government of the Philippines has reported that no official
munities are set out in the Act of 20 May 1874. assistance of any kind is provided for any religious group
Paragraph P of this Act lays down as conditions for the and that no government funds or property may be used for
recognition of a religious community (1) that the doctrine, divine religious purposes. The constitution of Japan provides that
service, constitution and chosen title of the denomination shall
contain nothing which is contrary to law or morality, and (2) that no religious organization shall receive any privileges from
when the community is established the existence of at least one the State, Under the BilI of Rights, separation between
religious congregation organized in accordance with the terms of the Church and State in the United States of America means
Act shall be assured. Hence when the recognition of a religious that no law may provide for financial assistance to any
community in Austria is considered, a decisionmustalsobe taken religion or organization or give preference to one religion
regarding the establishment of at least one local religious congre
gation, for in the absence of such there can be no religious over another. This rule was applied by the Supreme Court
community. Responsibility for both these matters rests with the when it declared that no tax in any amount, large or small,
Minister of Education.Beforepermission for theestablishment of a can be levied to support any religious activities or insti-
religious congregation may be issued, however, it must in particular tutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form
be satisfactorily proved that the congxegation is to bc organized on
viable lines. The necessary full information may be embodied in the they may adopt to teach or practise religion.
draft constitution of the religious communityitself; otherwisea 39.5. In some other countries, only the State religion or
statute, likewise subject to ministerial approval, must be submitted.
b Under article 15 of the Basic State Act of 1867, internal the Established Church is entitled to financial assistance
organization is entirely a matter for the religious community itself. from public funds. Denmark is one example of this type of
Should an application for permission to establish a new religious situation. While the expenses of the Established Church are
.t* community be rejected on legal grounds, the rcjeotion is not to be covered in their greater part by State funds and by a special
interpreted as meaning that the denomination concerned is pro- Church tax imposed on members of that Church but
hibited; it merely remainsan unrecognized
adherents right io worship at home G secured by the Basic State
Act, 1867, while their right to public worship is also secured by the
more recent Treaty of SalntGxmain-en-Laye, 1918. l4 See A/8330, annex I.

collected by State authorities, no State funds are provic$ intolerance that everyone shall have the right to have
for the support of other religious communities. marriage rites performed in accordance with the prescrip-
396. In still others, financial assistance is given to some tions of his religion or belief and no one shall be compelled
minority religions on a de facto basis but not as a legal to undergo a religious marriage ceremony not in conformity
requirement. Regarding Sweden, for example, it has been with his convictions. Once the freedom to celebrate a
said that the Lutheran Church, which is the established religious marriage is recognized, it remains to bc ascertained
church of the country, is entitled to full financial support whether the State recognizes such a marriage as producing
by the Government, whereas the activities of minority effects at civil law. In some countries it does so; and
churches, as a rule, arc funded entirely by voluntary wherever this possibility is open, the marriage ceremonies
contributions. Jt will bc noted, however, that the State of minority religions should have the same effects as those
Church Committee which was set up by the Government to of the majority religion.
investigate State-Church relations has recommended that in 399. In a number of the countries surveyed, the
principle all religious communities should have an equal avaiable information indicates that, in varying ways, mar-
position and that Government support should be given riages performed according to the rites of a minority
according to the extent of their activities, Furthermore, religion are regarded as legally valid. Thus in Sweden, the
certain government subsidies have been given to churches marriage code provides that a marriage may be concluded in
outside the established Swedish Church. Through the a civil or religious ceremony and that a religious marriage
National Immigration and Naturaliza tion Board, religious may be solemnized according to the usages of any
associations and organizations connected with the Jewish religious society if so authorised by the Crown and if one
community in Sweden received, during the financial year or both of the prospective spouses is a member of that
1972/73, 10,000 Swedish crowns, the Roman Catholic society. Marriages solemnized according to the usages of
Church, 75,000 crowns, communities and organizations religious societies other than the Established Swedish
connected with Orthodox churches 82,445 crowns, and Church shall be solemnized by the person authorized to do
communities and organizations connected with Moslem SO.
minorities, 1,300 crowns. Government funds have also been
used to pay the salaries of Greek Orthodox priests. It 400. Under the terms of the Marriage Act of Finland,
should further be mentioned that, in some cases, church marriage may be concluded in a church ceremony. But after
buildings belonging to the Swedish Church can be used stating that a church ceremony can take place according to
under certain exceptional conditions by other churches. In the rites of any religious community other than the
Thailand, while the official policy, as proclaimed, is to Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Orthodox Church, to
promote Buddhism, the State religion, f-mancial assistance is which the Government has granted the right to celebrate
given to a number of other religious organizations. marriages, the law adds, however, that, if either of the
397. In several countries, the Government provides partners or both belong to a non-recognized religious
community, muriage must be concluded in a civil cer-
financial assistance, directly or indirectly, to all legally
established religious communities. In accordance with emony. The law further declares that the same rule applies
article 26 of the Austrian State Treaty of 1955, the if one of the partners belongs to a Christian religious
Government of Austria pays an annual sum of money to a community and the other to a non-Christian community, or
number of religious communities. Moreover, legally rec- if both belong to a non-Christian religious community. The
ognized religious communities have been accorded, as Governments of Denmark and Norway report that the fact
already indicated, the status of public-law entities and that a religious community is recognized has the conse-
enjoy the special status provided for such entities. This quence that ministers of this religion have the right to
entails, among other things, tax privileges allowing church perform acts such as weddings with civil validity. No such
expenses to be treated as special expenditures, exemption right is granted to non.recognized religious communities. In
from land tax for certain church buildings and a reduced Italy, under a law adopted in 1929, a person who wisheshis
rate of tax on estate inheritance and gifts, In other marriage to be performed by a minister of a religion other
instances, financial support to religious communities is than the Catholic religion must apply to the registrar who
provided through the payment of salaries to clergymen and would be competent to perform the marriage. Having
construction and maintenance of places of worship. 6 The ascertained that there is no obstacle to the marriage under
Government of Czechoslovakia, for example, reports that, civil law, the registrar issues a written authorization stating
in accordance with a law adopted in 1951, the State the name of the minister who is to perform the marriage
supports the expenses of all churches and religious com- and the date of the measure which sanctioned his appoint-
munities. ment. The Government of Canada reports that:
In general, religious laws and customs do not receive any
(c) Validity of the laws and customs of the re&io?l recognition except insofar as they are embodied in a statute. In
professed by a minority in the field of private law and Ontario, recognition is given to religious marriages by conferring
irz some other matters civil authority upon clergymen of any denomination which has been
in existence for a continuous period This allows the performance of
Celebration of marriage legally valid marriages by the religions officials of many minority
religions. In addition, where the religion does not have a clergy as
398. The Sub-Commission recommended in the draft such, an exemption may be made in their favour so as to allow
declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious ma&ages to be solemnized according to their customs, This now
exists in favour of the Society of Friends (Quakers) ,.. .
I5 A similar observation can be made concerning the United
Kingdom. 401. In India, Moslem, Christian and Parsee marriage
6 Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, customs are protected by special laws. In Trinidad and
Hungary, USSR, Yugoslavia. Tobago legally valid marriages may be performed according


to Hindu and Moslem rights, Sudanese law also provides is whether the State takes @to account the faith of persons
that a legally valid marriage may be performed according to belonging to religious minorities in this respect and allows
I 4 the customs of any religious group. There are, however, them to observe their religious holidays as official holidays.
instances where the validity of the marriages performed It may be mentioned that the draft declaration on the
according to the rites of religious minorities is subject to elimination of all forms of religious intolerance proposed
some restrictions. In the Philippines, for example, the Civil by the SubCommission contains a provision stating that
Code stipulates that marriages between members of the due account shall be taken of the prescriptions of each
Moslem minority may be performed according to their own religion or belief relating to days of rest and all discrimi-
rites only if they live in the non-Christian provinces. nation in this regard between persons of different religions
or beliefs shall be prohibited. Measures of that nature have
Other mafters of personal s talus been taken in some countries,
402, In several countries the validity of the laws and 406. It has been reported that in Egypt the State
customs of the religion professed by a minority is rec- recognizes the religious festivals of Christian minorities,
ognized in other matters of personal status. In India, for permits employers to suspend work in order to celebrate
example, family life continues to be governed in many their holidays and allows Christian employees of govem-
instances by the laws of the various religious communities. ment institutions paid leave on religious feast days, In
Although local governments are empowered to legislate in Malaysia, the schedule to the Holiday Ordinance lists 11
the field of private law, efforts undertaken to modify or public holidays, which include the religious celebrations of
eliminate certain customs which are regarded by the central the main ethnic and religious groups of the country. In
Government as obsolete in a modern State are reported to Poland, where the principle of separation of Church and
have met limited success. State is applied, the law recognizes the most important
403. In Malaysia, members of all religious minorities are Christian feasts as holidays. With regard to the members of
granted the right to follow their religious laws and customs religious groups which celebrate other religious holidays, a
in all matters of personal status, whereas in some countries principle of tolerance la practised whereby employees and
only certain specified minorities have been granted that employers are authorized to make mutually satisfactory
right. Thus, in Ethiopia a law was adopted in 1942 with a arrangements. In such cases, however, employees must
view to allowing Moslems of that country to apply the law subsequently make up for the days of leave granted to
of their religion in civil and religious matters which are them. In Sri Lanka, the religious festivals of the four major
governed by the Koran. The law allows members of the religions professed in the country are celebrated asnational
Moslem minority to set up their own courts in matters holidays. In Israel the non-Jews have the right to observe
affecting their family life. No such right appears to have their own weekly religious holidays and festivals as rest
been granted to other religious minorities. In Greece, days. The Government of Iraq reports that the Official
members of the Moslem community are governed by the Holiday Act of 1972 provides that religious festivals are
Koran in all matters reIating to family law. Israel haa additional public holidays for the following communities:
recognized the right of the Druzes to jurisdiction in matters Christian, Jewish, Samaean and Yazidi. Eighteen holidays
of personal status. Christian religious courts have also sole are officially observed in Pakistan, of which four are
jurisdiction in matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance national, eight Moslem, four Hindu and two Christian. In
and the executing of wills. In Singapore and in Thailand, addition, provision is made for 16 optional holidays, of
religious courts are empowered to hear casesrelating to the which two are national, four Moslem, three Hindu, two
personal status of the members of the Moslem religious Christian, two Parsee and three Sikh.
group. The Government of Iraq observes that under the 407. The observance as days of rest of the holidays of
constitution special religious courts have been set up for the all the religious groups may give rise to some difficulties. In
Christian and Jewish communities. this connexion the Government of Austria reports that the
404. The Egyptian Government reports that, although Holiday Rest Act of 1957 provides that to the extent
the State recognizes the identity of religious faiths and justifiable in a modern State with a modern economic
communities, the religious courts have been abolished and system, no work is to be done on the days prescribed as
only the national courts are competent to rule on matters holidays or days of rest by the religious communities most
of personal status. However, since the unification of the widespread in the country. To the extent that exceptions
courts has not been accompanied by unification of the to the general rule of rest on Sundays and holidays are
legislation, the law provides that decisions taken with permissible, the law also provides that persons working on
regard to personal status among non-Moslem Egyptians of those days must be granted the free time necessary to
the same faith should nevertheless be in accordance with attend religious services. Nevertheless, it would be out of
their religious law. There are, however, matters in wh.ich the the question to take account of all the holidays or days of
laws of religious minorities are not taken into account in rest of all the religious communities which now exist in the
Egypt. Questions of succession in particular are subject, for country without the most serious consequences for the
P all Egyptians of different religions, to an Act of 1943 which general public. However, as regards attendance at schools,
unified the provisions on the devolution of estates and pupils belonging to religious minorities are exempted from
made Moslem law applicable in all casesof succession. classesin order to observe the holidays of their religions.
)*i Observance of religious holidays Conscientiousobjection to military service
405. Every faith attaches great importance to the 408. In count&s where the principle of conscientious
observance of its religious holidays. The question that arises objection is recognized, members of religious minorities
would find themselves at a disadvantage if their religion was
I As in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singaporeand Thailand. excluded from the application of such principle. The

available information tends to indicate that all authorized (4 Freedom to obscrvc the rituals and the dietary and otl
religions are taken into account when conscientious ob- practices of his religion or belief and to produce or if nccess;
jection is a right recognized in legislation. import the objects, foods and other articles and facilities c
tomarily used in Its observances and practices;
Taking of an oath (e) Freedom to make pilgrimages and other journeys in c(
ncxjon with hjs religion or belief, whether inside or outside
409. In some circumstances, in particular when tes- country;
tifying before courts, individuals are required in many v) Equal legal protection for the places of worship or assemb
countries to take an oath and that oath is usually based on the rites, ceremonies and activities, and the places of djsposal of t
the religion professed by the majority of the population. It dead associated with hjs religion or belief;
can be affirmed that the right of persons belonging to (s) Freedom to organizc and maintain local, regional, natior
religious minorities is violated if they are compelled under and international assocjations in connexion with his religion
the law to take an oath in disregard of the prescriptions of belief, to participate in their activities, and to communicate with t
corefigionists and believers;
their faith. That situation was taken into account by the
Sub-Commission when it recommended in the draft declar- VI) Freedom from compulsion to take an oath of a rcligio
ation on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance
that no one shall be compelled to take an oath of a 413. In all the countries surveyed, including those
religious nature contrary to his convictions. which a religion has been declared the State religion, tl
410. In the countries for which information is available, constitution or the law proclaims the principle of freedo]
the rule is that no one should be compelled to take an oath of religion and generally guarantees to everyone tl
contrary to the prescriptions of his religion, at least when freedom to change his religion or belief and in particul;
such religion is legally recognized. the .freedom, either alone or in community with others, an
both in public and in private, to manifest his religion c
2. Freedom of personsbelonging to reiiB*ousminonties belief in worship, teaching and observance. In som
to participate in the worship and rites of their religion countries, this right is also guaranteed on the basis c
treaties concluded with other countries,
411. The right of everyone, including persons belonging
to minority groups, to freedom of thought and conscience 414. Undoubtedly, there are still cases where thi
and to participate in the worship and rites of his religion is principle has not been fully applied, and the United Nation
now a principle universally recognized. It is embodied in has undertaken within recent years efforts with a view ta
article I8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ensuring greater respect for the right to freedom of religion
and in article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Jt must be further pointed out that while this right is no%
Political Rights, universally accepted, it is also generally agreed that it ma:
412. The draft articles for an international convention be subject to some limitations. It may be recalled in th.i
on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance connexion that the above-quoted article 18 of the Inter
prepared by the Commission on Human Rightss contain national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights confirms thl
the following provisions: admissibility of certain limitations, when it states ir
paragraph 3 that freedom to manifest ones religion o.
Article III beliefs may be subject onIy to such limitations as an
1. States Parties undertake to ensure to everyone within their prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public
jurisdiction the right to freedom of thought, conscience,religion or safety,order, health or morals or the fundamental right!
belief. This r&h t shall include: and freedoms of others.
(u) Freedom to adhere or not to adhere to any religion or belief
and to change his religion or belief in accordance with the dictates 415. In nearly all the countries studied, limitations oi
of his conscience without being subjected either to any of the this kind have been introduced. Thus, in Sweden, the law
limitations referred to in article XII or to any coercion likely to
impair his freedom of choice or decision in the matter, provided dealing with freedom of conscience and religion specifies
that this subparagraph shall not be interpreted as extending to that everyone is entitled to practise his religion so long as
manifestations of religion or belief; he does not thereby disturb the peace or cause a public
(b) Freedom to manifest his religion or belief either alone or in nuisance. With respect to the Philippines, the Government
community with others, and in public or in private, without being reports that the State does not interfere in religious affairs
subjected to any discrimination on the ground of religion or belief; when they do not contravene the laws of the country. As
(c) Freedom to express opinions on questions concerning a regards Austria, the constitution provides that all inhabi-
religion or belief. tants of Austria shall be entitled to the free exercise
2. States Parties shall in particular ensure to everyone within whether public or private of any creed, religion or belief,
their jurisdiction: whose practices are not inconsistent with public order or
(a) Freedom to worhisp, to hold assemblies related to religion or public morals. The constitution of Ethiopia stressesthat
belief and to establish and maintain places of worship or assembly religious rites should not be utilized for political purposes
for these purposes; and should not be prejudicial to public order or morality,
(b) Freedom to teach, to disseminate and to learn his religion or whereas the constitution of Switzerland stipulates that the
belief and its sacred languages or traditions, to write, print and exercise of religious freedom is confined within the limits
publish religious books and texts, and to train personnel intending
to devote themselves to its practices or observances; compatible with law and order, According to the consti-
tution of Egypt, the State shall protect the freedom of
(c) Freedom to practise his religion or belief by establishing and
maintaining charitable and educational institutions and by ex- worship provided that law and order and morality are not
pressing in public life the implications of religion or belief; affected. The constitution of Tonga puts as a condition
for the exercise of the right of citizens to practise their
l8 See A/8330, annex III. religion that they do not commit evil and licentious acts.

3. The right of persons belonging to religiotts minorities Commission in the draft declaration on the elimination of
not to be compelled to participate in the activities of all forms of religious intolerance. In most of the countries
olher reiigions surveyed, including those having a State religion, such a
right has been affirmed in the constitution or in the law.
416. A corollary of the freedom of persons belonging to
Thus, in Malaysia the Constitution provides that no person
religious minorities to profess and practise their own
religion is the right not to be compelled to participate in shall be required to receive instruction in a religion other
than his own and for the purpose of this clause, the
the activities of other religions, In several of the countries religion of a person under the age of eighteen shall be
studied, measures have been taken to that effect either
decided by his parents or guardian. Under the terms of
by the constitution or by law. article 49 of the Swiss constitution, no one may be forced
417, The provisions contained in the constitutions of to receive any religious instruction, it being understood that
Sweden and Switzerland may be cited as examples of the the right to decide on the religious education of children up
type of action taken. In Sweden, the law provides that no to the age of 16 years vests in their parents or guardians.
one shall be compelled to belong to a religious denomi- According to the laws of Finland, no one may be compelled
nation, Any agreement contrary to this provision shall be to receive instruction in a religion to which he does not
null and void. In Switzerland, the constitution stresses adhere, The Nigerian constitution provides that no person
that no one may be forced to belong to any religious attending any place of education shall be required to
association, In connexion with the application of that receive religious instruction or take part in or attend any
right, two questions appear to require special attention: the religious ceremony or observances if such instruction,
payment of special taxes for the support of a religion, and ceremony and observances relate to a religion other than his
compulsory religious education in public schools. own. Regarding Ethiopia, it has been said that, while
religious instruction given in public schools is based upon
(a) The right of persons belonging to religious minorities the teaching of the National Church, every parent enjoys
not to be compelled to contribute financially to the full freedom to withdraw his child from religious classes.In
activities of a religious denomination other than their Austria, the School Organisation Act provides that a child
OWtl cannot be forced against his parents will to take part in the
418. The constitutions of some countries contain pro- religious rites or to follow instruction in a rehgion other
visions according to which no person should be compelled than his own.
to pay any tax, the proceeds of which are allocated in
whole or in part for the support of a religion other than his 4. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities to
own.2o In some other countries, in particular in the administer the affairs of their own religious communities
countries in which a religion has been declared the State 420. The available information indicates that the
religion, a special tax collected by State authorities is levied
State generally refrains from interference in questions
upon all citizens, irrespective of their faith, to support a
particular church. Measures to remedy the discriminatory relating to internal discipline in religious communities,
situation thus created have been adopted in some of these except in cases where the practices of a religion may
countries. In Sweden, for example, individuals who are not conflict with requirements of public order, good morals or
members of the Swedish Established Church pay a church national security. It also usually accords the same kind of
tax reduced by 70 per cent. The reduced amount for freedom as regards the administration of a churchs
non-members, it has been stated, has to be paid because the financial affairs, although in some instances the power of
Established Church is in charge of the civil registration of religious communities to undertake financial transactions is
the population, The Government of Norway reports that, subject to a number of restrictions, The Government of
while the law exempts non-members of the State Church Sweden has reported that general legislation regarding the
from personal contributions to the Church, a certain fmances of associations also applies to organizations of a
portion of the municipal taxes paid covers the expenses of religious character outside the Established Swedish Church
the State Church. Only taxpayers who are registered and that such legislation does not prevent a religious
members of an organized dissenter congregation are community from itself appointing its representatives or
exempted from this municipal tax. Otherwise, it is up to from making decisions relating to the property and assetsof
the munjcipal council to decide whether an exemption the community, In some countries, the right of members of
religious minorities to administer their own affairs is
should be granted.
contained in specific provisions of the constitution or the
@) IIRe right of persons belonging to religious minorities law, In Romania, under the terms of the constitution,
religious denominations have their own administration and
not to be compelled to follow instruction in a religion
other than their own manage their own property. Every religious denomination is
free to draw up its own organizational and operational
419. The principle according to which no one shall be statutes, to lay down the principles of eligibility to its
compelled to receive instruction in a religion or belief governing bodies, to determine the functions and powers
contrary to his convictions or, in the case of children, thereof and to lay down rules for their operation. The
contrary to the wishes of their parents or legal guardians leaders of religious denominations, without distinction as to
has been Included among those proposed by the Sub- nationality, are elected by the statutory authorities of their
denomination and recognized by decrees of the State
I9 Bulgaria;Bangladesh; Germany,FederalRepublicof; Guyana; Council. The constitution of Malaysia provides that every
Hungary;India; Iraq; Italy; Japan;Malaysia;NewZealand;Pakistan; religious group has the right to manage its own religious
UnitedKingdom;UkrainianSSR;UnitedStatesof America;USSR. affairs, to acquire and own property and hold and
*O India, Italy, Malaysia,Switzerland,UnitedStatesof America. administer it in accordance with the law. The Government

of Iran has reported that religious minorities decide for them were denied education in their religion. It is in these
themselves on the choice of their leaders and on the circumstances that during the post-coIonial period, popu-
conditions for appointment to a governing post in their lar agitation led to the taking over by the State of a
religious communities, and that there is no restriction on number of denominational schools. Also in Sudan, action is
the financial management of, or the acquisition and reported to have been taken to curb the expansion of
administration of property by, religious communities. In schools operated by Christian missionaries, Under a law
Austria, the right of religious minorities to administer their adopted after independence, non-Mohammedan religious
own affairs is guaranteed by law. Thus under the terms of schools are to be regulated by the Council of Ministers, No
article 26 of the Basic Law of 1867, every recognjzed religious school can be opened without the consent of the
religious society has the right to administer its internal Regulatory Ministry, which may grant such consent un-
affairs autonomously and rettins possession of its insti- conditionally or subject to such conditions as it seesfit.
tutions, endowments and funds devoted to worship, in- 424. A question of great importance for the operation
struction and welfare, but is, like every society, subject to and development of schools run by members of religious
the general law of the land. In various other countries the minorities is whether these schools are subsidized by the
right of persons belonging to religious minorities to State. The way this problem is dealt with varies from one
administer their own affairs is provided by law.2 * country to another, and often from one group to another
within a country. In some cases, such schools or some of
5. The right of persons belonging to religious minorities them receive financial assistance, while in others the
to establish educational institutions principle of strict neutrality between the State and religion
421. It is a widely held view that the right of members is applied and consequently no public funds are provided to
of religious groups to establish denominational schools, and denominational schools. Thus the Government of Sweden
to maintain institutions to train the personnel required for reports that it does not financially support the Catholic
the practices prescribed by their religion, is also a corollary schools established in the country, but provides funds for
of everyones freedom to manifest his own religion. one Jewish school, The official attitude is that in principle
the general Swedish compulsory school is responsible for
(a) Establishment of denominational schools the education of all children and, consequently, except in
422. In several countries, the establishment of schools is special circumstances, religious schools founded on private
considered to be the exclusive responsibility of States, and initiative do not receive State subsidies.
religious communities are not therefore permitted to 425. Under the terms of the constitution of Ethiopia,
establish separate schools. 2 2 However, in a great number of financial aid may be provided for the establishment and
the countries studied, various religious groups are reported maintenance of Moslem institutions or the instruction in
to have established their own schools at the primary and the Moslem religion of persons professing that religion.
secondary level, often with financial assistance from the Four exclusively Moslem schools are maintained by the
State. Thus, in Malaysia, the constitution accords to every Ministry of Education. It is further noted that scholarships
religious group the right to establish and maintain insti- or other forms of aid to students, such as free or subsidized
tutions for the education of children and to provide therein housing, meals, transportation and clothing are provided
instruction in its own religion. It further provides that there without discrimination. In Switzerland the federal court has
shall be no discrimination on the ground only of religion in ruled that subsidies for denominational schools are com-
any law relating to such institutions or in the admin- patible with the federal constitution but that the manner of
istration of any such law, The constitution of Nigeria granting such subisidies is a matter for the jurisdiction of
provides that no religious community or denomination each canton. In Finland, subject to requirements laid down
shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for by the law, schools established by religious communities
persons of that community or denomination in any may be subsidized by the State, The constitution of Fiji
educational institution maintained wholly by that com- provides that every religious community shall be entitled,
munity or denomination, at its own expense, to establish and maintain places of
423. There may be, however, instances where the education and to manage any place of education which it
question of the establishment of denominational schools wholly maintains.23 Notwithstanding, it has been reported
has been a subject of friction between various population that the Government of Fiji trains teachers for primary
groups. Thus it has been said, regarding Sri Lanka, that schools run by members of the Christian minorities and
after independence that question created controversy pays a substantial part of their salaries. In Austria,
because, as a result of the patronage extended to Christian according to the Act on Private Schools, total staff
missionary schools during the colonial period, schools expenses for teachers employed by authorized denomi-
managed by the Christian minority occupied a pre-eminent national schools are now paid. by the State. Furthermore,
position. Liberal State aid was available to these ~~l~oo1~, pupils attending denominational schools enjoy the same
while the funds allocated to public schools were said to be advantages as do the pupils of public schools, such as
grossly inadequate for their barest needs. A further cause of allowances, free transportation and free supply of edu-
bitterness against Christian denominational scl~ools was that cational material. This is also the case in a number of
the large numbers of non-Christian children who attended communities in the United States of America.
426. Since the public schools in all countries are
21 Bangladesh; Germany, Federal Republic of; Greece; India; educational institutions open to every child, the question
Iraq; Israel; Italy; Malaysia; Norway; Pakistan; Singapore;Thailand; may be asked whether pupils belonging to religious niin-
Turkey; United Kingdom; United States of America.
22 Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic,
Hungary, Poland, USSR, Yugoslavia. 23 Theconsiitutionof Nigeriacontainsa similarclause,
oritics are given in such schools the opportunity to receive C. The right of personsbelongingto linguisticminorities
instruction in their religion. In some instances, no such tb%z their own language
opporlunjties are offered, while in others religious in- 429. This section will describe the prevailing situation
struction is given on a voluntary basis. In still other in the various countries surveyed as regards the implemen-
countries, the State is under obligation to provide at its tation of the right granted to persons belonging to linguistic
own expense facilities for religious instruction in public minorities to use their own language. It contains some
schools. The Government of Sweden states that special general observations on the status of the languages spoken
religious instruction is not provided in the Swedish com- by the various linguistic groups and then deals with four
pulsory schools. In the Philippines lay schools offer main topics, relating to the use of these languages (a)in
religious instruction outside ihe normal curricula and non-official matters, (b) in official matters, (c) in communi-
school hours, Furthermore, these classes of religious in- cation media, and (d) in the school system.14
struction are voluntary on the part of teachers and students
and are undertaken only upon the petition of parents or I. Slatus of minority languages
guardians, The constitution of Switzerland provides that
the public schools shall be open to the adherents of all 430. As an author has noted, in federal States com-
faiths, who shall not be made to suffer in any way in their posed of diverse linguistic groups, the question whether
freedom of conscience or belief, Consequently, religious there should be a single or two or more official languages
instruction in public schools can only be optional. Most has always arisen,
municipalities in Switzerland, however, facilitate the pro- since linguistic minorities usually pressfor the recognition of their
vision of such instruction by making school premises languages as official federal languages because of anxiety that
otherwise they would be handicapped in participating in federal
available to ministers and pdests, Moreover, school prayers affairs. Opposing them, centralists have generally stressed the
are still the rule in many places. importance of a single national language not only to facilitate
inter-regional communications and administration but also to
427. The Government of Poland reports that the right provide a focus for unity. These conflicting points of view have
frequently clashed sharply and because language can affect access&
to give religious instruction is granted to each religious jobs and powers, the issue has invariably been an explosive one.
denomination. When secular education was introduced, the
State not only allowed religious instruction to be organized 43 1. By and large, these observations apply not only in
in special centres outside the schools but also took federal States but in all plurilinguistic countries, indepen-
measures to ensure that members of religious communities dently of the political system under which they are
would not be liable to additional expenditures by providing governed. In such countries, the selection of a language as a
a special remuneration to religious instructors and by national official language is primarily a political decision
placing them on an equal footing with public service based on a number of factors, such as the numerical
officials. In Finland, according to the Act on Elementary importance of the respective linguistic communities, their
Schools and the Act on the Principles of the School political and economic position within the country con-
System, when five or more pupils belong to the same cerned, the existence at the frontiers of the country
religious denomination, instruction in their own religion concerned of a powerful State in which the main language
shall be given to them, if so required by their parents or is one which is spoken by a minority group of that country
guardians. In Austria, the School Organization Act provides and also, particularly in the developing countries, the stage
that the public schools have, inter olia, the task of fostering
the talents and potential abilities of young persons, in 24 In this dlapter, reference will be madeon many occasionsto
accordance with religious values, and schools are therefore the national language, the official language, the mother
required to draw up syllabuses accordingly. Under the Act tongue. the lingua franca, the regional lanpuaae and the
on Religious Instruction, the preparation of manuals and indigenous langua$e. In order to avoid confusion,these terms will
educational material for the purposes of religious in- be used with the meaning given to them in a UNESCO reoort issued
struction is the responsibility of the legally recognized in 1953: 7he Useof l%kx~rclr Languages in E&&ion (Paris,
UNESCO, 1953), p. 46, as follows:
churches, The Act further provides that the staff expenses
for religious instructors at public schools are borne by the Indigenous Irmguage. The language of the people considered to
be the original inhabitants of an area.
State. A minimum number of five pupils is however
required for the application of this provision. Lingua franca. A language which is used habitually by people
whose mother tongues are different in order to facilitate
communication between them.
Mother or native tongue. The language which a person acquires
(b) EsiabIishmenfof educational institutions for the Pain- in early years and which normally becomes ti natural
ing of clergy instrument of thought and communication.
National Innguage. The language of a political, social and
428. In many of the countries surveyed, the State cultural entity.
provides facilities to religious minority groups to train their Officiul language. A language used in the businessof govem-
personnel, whereas in someothers, each religious group has ment - legislative, executive and judicial.
to provide the facilities for training its personnel at its own Regiona &nguage. A language which is used as a medium of
expense, While the available information does not reveal communication between peoples living within a certain area
any case where the State hinders or prevents a religion from who have different mother tongues.
training its clergy, it shows, however, that in a number of In the present report, the term vernacular language isusedin the
casesminority religions are given a treatment different from samesensea.3mother tongue.
that accorded to the State religion, which very often enjoys Ronald L Watts, Multicultural Societiesand Federalfsm,
considerable financial assistance from public authorities for Studies of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism,
that purpose. No. 8 (Ottawa, Canada, July 1967), p, 79.

of the development of the minority language as an effective Maori language as an official language, equal to English, was
means of wide communication in all fields. recently introduced.
432. Among the countries surveyed, various types of 434. According to a third type of approach, the
approach seem to have been followed as regards the languages of some minorities have been given an official
question of the status to be granted to the languages spoken status at a strictly regional level, but not at the national
by the various linguistic groups. One type of solution given level. An example of such an approach is given by Austria:
to the problem is to declare national or official all the article 8 of the federal constitution declares German to be
languages spoken by the main linguistic groups. In Switzer- the official language of the country, without prejudice,
land, for example, although 75.5 per cent of the population however, to the rights which may be granted to linguistic
belong to the German linguistic group, and the French, minorities by federal laws or by international treaties. In
Italian and Romansh groups comprise only 20,4 and a little fact, under the terms of the State Treaty of 1955, the
less than 1 per cent of the population, respectively, the four Slovene and Croat languages are recognized as official
languages spoken in the country have been declared by the languages in addition to German in those distri$s of
federal constitution national languages (it is to be noted, Carinthia, Burgenland and Styria where the populatron is
however, that under the same constitution, only three of Slovene, Croat or mixed. In the Soviet Union, in each union
those languages- French, German and Italian-were republic, autonomous republic or autonomous region the
declared official languages). Furthermore, within multi- national language is used on the same footing as Russian. In
lingual cantons, two or more of these languages may be Italy, in the Valley of Aosta, French is on an equal footing
declared official languages of the canton. Thus, German and with Italian; in the province of Bolzano, German has the
French are both officiai languages of three cantons, while in same status, and in the area corresponding to the former
another canton the official languages are German, Italian Territory of Trieste equal treatment between the Italian
and Romansh. In these cases, the principle of territoriality and Slovenian languages is guaranteed. In Iraq, article 2 of
also applies in the sense that some areas within the canton the Kurdistan Territorial Autonomy Act, adopted in 1974,
may recognize only one of the languages of the canton as states that Kurdish is an official language of the Kurdish
its official language. At the cantonal level, all the languages region together with Arabic. A similar situation occurs in
of the canton enjoy equal status, although the main some developing countries where the former colonial
language of the canton is given preference in the interpret- language has retained its place as the official language, at
ation of legal texts. However, on the federal level, equality the national level, and the main languages of the various
of all the official languages is absolute and in the population groups are accorded official status in the areas
interpretation of divergent multilingual texts, their meaning where they are spoken. Ghana and Nigeria are examples of
is determined by the history of their implementation. In this situation.
Belgium, where there are three linguistic groups, French,
435. In the fourth type of solution, minority languages
Dutch and German are recognized as national languages. In have not been granted official status either at the national
Singapore, Chinese, Malay and Tamil are official languages. or at the regional level but their use is guaranteed by the
433. In a second type of approach, some minority constitution, by law or by treaties in a wide range of
languages, but not all, have been designated as official activities. In Sweden, the Government reports that while no
languages. Thus, in Finland the language of the Swedish minority language has been granted official status by the
minority, but not that of the Lapps, has been designated as constitution, the use of these languages is guaranteed in a
a national language in addition to Finnish by article 14 of variety of fields. With respect to Denmark, the govem-
the constitution. The Language Act of 1 June 1922, which mental statement of 1955 guarantees the use of the German
in accordance with the constitution makes no distinction language in specified matters. A similar situation obtains in
between the status of Finnish and that of Swedish, treats several other countries, including Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,
both languages equally in all respects, although the Swedish Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka and the United
population comprises less than 10 per cent of the total States of America. Lastly, it is to be noted that among the
population. Since the country is divided into monolingual countries of Africa and Asia for which information on this
Finnish or Swedish or bilingual communes, the practical point is available, a number have not granted official status
effect of that law is to accord the same status to a Finnish to any of the languages spoken by persons belonging to
minority in a predominantly Swedish district as to a minority groups. They have instead selected, as national
Swedish minority in a predominantly Finnish district, It language, the language spoken either by the majority of the.
may be useful to note in this connexion that a commune is population, as in the case of Algeria, Egypt, Iran and
considered to be bilingual if at least 10 per cent of the Morocco, or the language spoken by one of the main ethnic
inhabitants belong to the minority group. Any commune in groups of the country, as in the case of Ethiopia and the
which the number of persons belonging to the minority Philippines.
exceeds 5,000 is also considered to be bilingual. Israel,
Canada, Czechoslovakia and New Zealand offer further 2. Use of minority languages in non-official matters
examples of such an approach, In Israel, Arabic has been
declared an official language in addition to Hebrew, Under 436. The available information furnishes no example
the Official Languages Act, the English and French showing that the right of persons belonging to linguistic
languases are the official languages of Canada, though other minorities to use their own language in non-official matters
mmority languages do not enjoy the benefits of this status. has been prohibited or made the subject of legal restric-
LikeWiSe, in Czechoslovakia, under article 6 of the consti- tions, although it has been reported in a few instances that
tution, only the Slovak language is granted status equal to the use of these languages is not particularly encouraged.
that of the Czech language. In New Zealand, draft However governments which have supplied information on
legislation that would provide for the recognition of the this question generally emphasize the freedom of members

of linguistic groups to use, as WY wish, their own language Italian, For example, simultaneous translation during
in matters such as social life, private relations, commerce debates is provided only in German and French and, except
and religious services. in especially important cases, working documents of the
Federal Assembly, including committee reports, are issued
437. The Government of Iran writes that while Parsec is in those two languages only. In the Federal Council, the
the official language in the administration and at the executive branch of government, the linguistic groups are
university, the Assyrian, Armenian and Jewish minorities equitably represented, although there is no constitutional
are free to use their own language in their social and or legislative guarantee of proportional representation. At
cultural relations, in religious ceremonies, in schools and in the local level, the principle of linguistic territoriality is
newspapers. The Government of Finland reports that strictly applied and the languages of the cantons are those
Swedish is used in all these spheres. In Denmark and the which are used in the legislation and executive organs of the
Federal Republic of Germany, the declarations made by the canton concerned. It should further be noted that although
two Governments in 1955 provide that persons belonging
Romansh is not an official language, important orders of
to the [German or Danish] minority and their organizations the Federal Council are translated into that language. In
shall not be prevented from using the language of their
choice, either in speech or in writing. The Government of Finland, the representatives of the Swedish-speaking min-
ority are granted the right to use their own language in
Austria declares that all minorities in the country have the Parliament, but interpretation from Finnish to Swedish is
inalienable right to use their language in private life, in
not provided, nor are legislative acts automatically trans-
commerce and in religion. The Government of Egypt,
after recalling article 2 of the constitution, which provides lated into Swedish.
that Arabic is the only language spoken by the Egyptian 441. In Canada, under the Act Respecting the Status of
people and is therefore the sole official language of the the Official Languages of Canada of 7 July 1969, all
country, states that minorities in Egypt are guaranteed the notices, rules, orders, regulations and by-laws promulgated
right to use their own language in their religious rites and in or issued under the authority of the Parliament of Canada
their private schools. In Lebanon the Assyrians are increas- must appear in both languages. Section 5 provides for the
ingly using Arabic as their spoken language, but they issuing of all final decisions, orders and judgements of any
continue to use Syriac for religious purposes, Many judicial or quasi-judicial body established by Parliament in
Christian Communities use Syriac as a liturgical language, both French and English, where the circumstances require
others use Greek, Arabic or Latin, and the Jews continue to it, and section 9 provides that government departments in
use Hebrew. The Government of India reports that there is the National Capital Region or other central locations, or
no law which hinders the use of any language a person in a federal bilingual district must ensure that services
chooses in everyday life or in public or in assembly. The can be provided in both official languages. Moreover, any
Government of Bangladesh states that there is no restriction enterprise providing services to the travelling public must
on the use of dialect in informal transactions. ensure that either official language can be used in the
provision of those services anywhere in the country.
438. In Norway the Church has used Lappish longer
and more often than any other institution. In Lapp districts 442. In Czechoslovakia, under article 6 of the consti-
the whole church service is conducted in Lappish, often tution,
with simultaneous translation into Norwegian. Lappish the Czech and the Slovak languages are used with equal authenticity
hymn-books have been published, and the publication of in declarations of law and other generally binding legal regulations.
other literature in Lappish is supported by government In the proceedings of all State organs of the CSSR and the two
grants. republics, in proceedings before them and in the other contacts they
have with citizens, both languages are used with equal authenticity.
3. Useof minority languagesin official matters 443. Under article 140 of the constitution of the USSR,
439. This section of the report will describe the policy laws passed by the Supreme Soviet must be published in the
followed in various States as regards the use of minority languages of all the union republics, while laws adopted by
languages by legislative and executive State organs in the the supreme soviet of each soviet socialist republic are
coutis, and by administrative authorities. One observation published in the languages of the peoples that make up the
can be made at the outset: while in some countries population of the republic concerned.
minority languages are used extensively in official matters,
in some other countries their use is restricted to specified 444. In Yugoslavia, under article 269 of the consti-
activities. tution, federal laws and other regulations and general acts
are to be passed, and published in the Official Gazette of
(a) Use of minority languages in the legidative and the SFRY, in their authentic textual version in the
execulive branchesof government languages of the peoples of Yugoslavia, as established by
the constitutions of the republics, and all such acts are to
440. Minority languages are more likely to be used in be published in the official Gazette as authentic texts
the executive and legislative branches of government in also in the languages of the Albanian and Hungarian
countries where minority languages have been granted nationalities.
official status, either at the national or the regional level.
Thus, in Switzerland, the three official languages-French, 445. In Belgium, laws are passed, approved, pro-
German and Italian-have equal status in the Federal mulgated and published in the French and Flemish
Parliament, although in practice they are treated in a languages; royal decrees and departmental orders must also
different manner. While all laws are published in the three be drafted in French and Flemish. They may, however, be
languages, the German and French languages are in certain monolingual if they relate only to a monolingual region or
other respects in a privileged position as compared to concern monolinguaI officials.

446. ln&w Zealand the use of Maori in the Parliament (b) Use of minority languages in dealings with administrat-
is provided for in the Standing Orders of the House of ive authorities
Representatives, if a member SO wishes. According to the 451. In some of the countries surveyed, the right of
Government, Maori members of Parliament have made little persons belonging to linguistic minorities to use their own
use of this provision. language when dealing with administrative authorities is
guaranteed by the constitution or by law, or by bilateral
447. In Singapore all debates and discussions in Parlia- treaties or other special arrangements. Methods used to
ment and in committee hearings are conducted in four
implement that right usually include translation of texts at
official languages (Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English) with the Governments expense, the hiring of interpreters and
simultaneous translation. the appointment of personnel having a fluent knowledge of
448. In some developing countries, though minority minority languages in the public services located in areas
languages have not been granted a status equal to that of where there is a concentration of persons belonging to the
the national language, they are given some kind of group concerned. It should be further noted that within the
recognition as regards their use in the legislative and same country it happens in some cases that not all the
executive organs of the States concerned. Thus in Sri minority languages enjoy the benefit of that right. In some
Lanka, while all laws must be enacted in SinhaIa under the cases, also, practices of a similar nature are followed,
terms of the constitution, it is also provided that they will though not prescribed by any text of a legal nature.
be translated into Tamil as expeditiously as possible, In 452. In Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany
Nigeria the language used by local assemblies is the lingua the right of the German and Danish minorities respectively
franca of the region concerned, although English retains its to use their own language before the courts and adminis-
dominant position at the federal level and in many of the trative authorities is laid down in the legislation. In
states. For example, the Legislative House of the Northern Switzerland, at the local level, as a result of the principle of
Region conducts its business in both English and Hausa. linguistic territoriality, the major language of the area is
Laws are generally printed in English and occasionally in used in contacts with the authorities. Communications
Hausa, but in case of conflict preference is given to the between the Federal Council and its ministerial depart-
English text. In the House of Representatives in Fiji, ments, on the one hand, and the cantons, on the other
speeches may be made in English or they may be made in hand, are generally conducted in the language of the
Fijian or Ilindustani, the mother tongues of the two major cantons. In internal matters, civil servants are free to
linguistic groups, but interpretation from one language into employ their mother tongue, but they are, in principle,
the others is provided at the discretion of the speaker. required to master two official languages. According to
Furthermore, all bills, motions, amendments and other Iraqi Law, every inhabitant of the Kurdish region may use
proceedings must be submitted in English. It is further Kurdish in administrative proceedings in the region.
specifically prescribed that no proceedings of the House
will be delayed by reason only of the fact that no 453. In Finland, the use of only one of the minority
interpretation was provided. Also, while petitions may be languages is guaranteed in the areas where the minority is
drafted in Fijian and Hindustani, they must be concentrated. According to article 14 of the Constitution
accompanied by an English translation. In India, although Act, the right of Finnish citizens to use their mother
Hindi or English are used in the Parliament, the presiding tongue, whether Finnish or Swedish, before administrative
officer of each House is empowered to permit any member authorities and to obtain from them documents in such
who cannot express himself in either of those two languages language is to be guaranteed by law. The General Language
to speak in his mother tongue. So far as the states are Act, which was enacted in accordance with the above-
concerned, the language or languages to be used in the mentioned constitutional provision, provides, in addition,
legislatures are the official language or languages of the that Swedish is the official language of State authorities in
state or Hindi or English However, if a member cannot the province of the lUand Islands and that that language
express himself in any of these languages, the presiding will also be used in correspondence between officials of the
officer may permit him to use his mother tongue. provincial governments and State officials serving in the
province, and between all such officials and the Council of
449. In Romania, although no law provides for the State, the central authorities and other authorities having
direct translation of legislative acts, a decree of 1971 administrative jurisdiction over the province. The law
provides that in districts where, alongside the Romanian further requires that no person may be employed in that
population, there is a population belonging to the co- province unless he possessesa complete mastery of spoken
inhabiting nationalities, special attention shall be paid to and written Swedish. Elsewhere in Finland, according to
the dissemination of the legislation in force in the languages the Language Act, citizens are required in their dealings
of these groups. with administrative authorities to use the language of the
district in monolingual districts, whereas in bilingual
450. In Austria, the federal and provincial representa- districts or at the national level either language may be
tive bodies use only the German language in the course of used. Also, official notices, announcements and communi-
their deliberations. All laws are promulgated in German and cations in bilingual districts must be in both languages.
according to the Government the question of the use of Furthermore, at the municipal level, according to the Act
minority languages in federal and provincial legislatures has of 1 June 1922concerning the knowledge of languages
not so far arisen. However, on the municipal level, in required of civil servants, the holder of an office for which
communes in which there is an important minority popu- a university degree is required must fully know the language
lation, the languages of those minorities are among those of a monolingual district and be able to understand the
used in the deliberations of municipal organs. other national language of the country. The same rules
apply to central State authorities. CivjJ servants inministries linguistic minorities. In certain spheres of activity, the
and other departments must, therefore, be fully competent labour market in particular, extensive documentation is
in Finnish and have a satisfactory knowledge, both oral and provided to minority members in their own languages.
written, of Swedish, Though the language of the administration is Swedish,
454. In Sri Lanka, although Sinhala is constitutionahy letters written to authorities in a minority language must
not be rejected by the authorities, according to administrat-
the officiai language, Tarnil is used before administrative ive instructions in force. In this connexion, a central
authorities under certain conditions. The Tamil Language
Act contains a provision allowing for the reasonable use of translation service has been established by the national
that language in northern and eastern provinces of Sri immigration and naturalization board, amond others, and in
Lanka. Reasonable use was defined in the law as use in about 40 places local immigration centres provide the
educational instruction, for entrance examinations for the services of interpreters. The law also provides that in their
civil service of those provinces and for prescribed adminis- dealings with administrative authorities, persons belonging
trative purposes. Tan&speaking persons are thus given to linguistic minorities are entitled to be assisted by an
the right to correspond with the local and central govem- interpreter free of charge. Under the Administrative Pro
ments in their own language. Under the authority of the cedure Act, the administrative authorities themselves can,
language legislation, the Department of Official Language on their own initiative, appoint an interpreter to assist them
Affairs was established at the national level to carry out in their dealings with non-Swedish-speaking nationals,
programmes necessary to the implementation of the new 459. In Yugoslavia, the statute on the manner of
language policy. At present all government forms are issued realization of the right of members of nationalities to use
in both Sir&ala and Tamil. their languages and alphabets before republican agencies
455. In Romania, article 22 of the constitution provides provides that in proceedings before such agencies they shall
that in districts inhabited by a population of other than use their own languages and alphabets; that they may
Romanian nationality, all organs and institutions shall also submit applications, lodge complaints, bring charges, or
use the language of that nationality in speech and in writing make recommendations, requests and other submissions in
and shall appoint officials from among that population or their own language; and that at their request they shall be
from among other citizens conversent with the language provided in their own language with transcripts of de-
and way of life of the local population. cisions, verdicts and other acts which decide their rights and
456. In Italy, in the Valley of Aosta free use of the duties and also with testimony, certificates, confirmations,
French language is permitted in contacts with the political, explanations, etc. If a petition is submitted in the language
administrative and judicial authorities. In the area of the of a nationality, it shall be considered as valid. The Federal
former Territory of Trieste, persons belonging to the Executive Councils guidelines of June 1970, for accelerat-
Slovenian minority are free to use their own language in ing the work of federal organs of the administration on
contacts with the administrative and judicial authorities. implementing the Federal Assembly Resolution relative to
The same applies to German-speaking persons in the the application of constitutional provisions on language
Province of Bolzano. equality require, among other things, that federal adminis-
trative organs assurethe following conditions: the equitable
457. As to Austria, it has already been noted that, use of the languages and alphabets of the peoples of
under the terms of the State Treaty of 1955, the Slovene Yugoslavia in the drafting of documents and other
and Croat languages are recognized as official languages in materials, the keeping of official books, accounting and
addition to German in the administrative districts of internal administrative regulations, as well as in
Carinthia, Burgenland and Styria where there are Slovene, correspondence and in other kinds of contacts with other
Croat or mixed populations. The Treaty further provides federal organs and organizations at federal level; the
that Austrian nationals of the Slovene or Croat minorities exclusive use of the language and alphabet employed in the
of the above-mentioned provinces shall participate in the respective republic in correspondence and other contacts
administrative system in these areas. The use of the Slovene with organs and organizations in the republics, including
language before administrative authorities of the province the circulation of documents and other materials; the use
of Carinthia and of the federal government is further by all participants in proceedings initiated or conducted by
reinforced by directives issued by both the provincial and federal administrative organs of their own language in line
the federal governments, instructing the administrative with valid regulations and the issue, to such participants, of
authorities to use the services of interpreters and to all communications (summonses etc.), and all decisions
translate relevant documents, at government expense, relating to these proceedings, in the language and alphabet
whenever necessary, in their dealings with members of the of the nation or national minority to which they belong.26
Slovene community. Hence petitions in Slovene are now
admissible in the federal administrative system and must be 460. In Belgium, the Royal Decree of 18 July 1966
accepted by the authorities. While no special rules have co-ordinating the laws on the use of languages in adminis-
been issued for the use of the Croatian language irr trative matters lays it down that local authorities in the
r French-speaking region or the Flemish-speaking region must
Burgenland, similar practices are followed in that province
and the Croatian language can in fact be used before draft notices, communications and forms intended for the
administrative authorities. public, exclusively in the language of the region. In the
0 communes of the German-speaking region, notices, com-
458. In Sweden, although there are no laws on the munications and forms intended for the public are issued in
question, a government programme has been in operation
since 196.5 under which information from government and --
local authorities is translated to an increasing extent into a 26 NadaDragiE,Nations and Nationalities of Yugoslavia (Bel-
large number of languages spoken by immigrants and grade,Medjunarodna Politika, 1974), pp, 264-266.
German and French. In the communes on the language 464. In Sweden,s while the law provides for the
borderline, they are issued in French and Flemish. Thus a exclusive use of the Swedish language in courts, it neverthe-
local authority in the French-speaking, the Flemish- less requires the courts to appoint interpreters whenever a
speaking or the German-speaking region uses exclusively the party to a suit is not versed in Swedish. Under this system,
language of its own region in its relations with private extensive use of interpreters is made and, as an illustration
persons, without prejudice to the option open to it to reply of the importance of the practice, it should be mentioned
to persons residing in another language region in the that on the suggestion of the commission an immigrants,
language those persons employ. The reply must however interpreters arc now required to hold a university degree, A
always be in the language the private person employs when training and examination programme has also been estab-
the latter addresses in French or in German an authority in lished under the supervision of the National Immigration
a Malmedy commune or in a commune of the German- and Naturalization Board. In the fmancial year 1970/71,
speaking region, In the communes on the language border- the costs for interpretation at the courts of appeal and city
line, authorities are required to address private persons in courts amounted to about 900,000 Swedish crowns.
whichever of the two languages-French or Flemish-those 465. In Switzerland, the composition of the federal
persons have employed or have asked shall be employed. courts reflects the language structure of the country, and in
461. I&e Norwegian Government states that, although the cantons the principle of linguistic territoriality is
the rules governing use of language in the civil service applied. Before the federal courts, appeals concerning civil
provide no legal authority for the use of L.appish in the suits are conducted in the language of the canton where the
administration, no prohibition can be deduced from this suit originated, while in criminal cases the language of the
against the use of Lappish by a civil servant replying to a accused is used, if it is one of the official languages. In
letter written in that language. Denmark, the government statement of 1955 guarantees to
462. The constitution of India provides that every members of the German minority the use of their own
person shah be entitled to submit a representation for the language before the courts. Interpretation is provided when
redress of any grievance to any office or authority of the necessary.
Union or a State in any of the languages used in the Union 466, In Sri Lanka, although the language of the courts
or in the State, as the case may be. The Government is, in principle, Sinhala, the National Assembly has been
further reports that at district level and below, where a empowered under the constitution to provide otherwise in
linguistic minority constitutes 15 to 20 per cent of the the case of institutions exercising jurisdiction in the TamiI
population, important government notices, rules and other areas. In these areas, parties and applicants in court
publications are to be published in minority languages also. proceedings or their representatives may submit their
At the district level, where 60 per cent of the population pleadings, applications, motions and petitions in Tamil and
uses a language other than the official one, that language participate in the proceedings in Tamil. Every participant in
may be recognized as an additional official language for the case-parties, judge, members of the jury-not con-
that district. Knowledge of the state official language is a versant with the language used in court has the right to
prerequisite for recruitment to state services, and the interpretation and to translation into Tamil of any part of
option of using English or Hindi as a medium of exam- the record at the expense of the State. As regards the use of
ination is allowed. A test of proficiency in the state official other minority languages, the law empowers the Minister of
language is held during the period of probation. Justice, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers,
to issue instructions permitting the use of a language other
(c) Use of minority languages in courts than Sinhala or Tarnil by a judge. In Fiji, English is by law
463. In several countries, the use of minority languages the language used in courts, but under the provisions of the
in courts has been regulated by the constitution or the law, code of criminal procedure, evidence given in a language
although in many cases the measures adopted are not not understood by the accused, while he is present in
directed at the protection of members of minority groups person, must be interpreted to him. Also, when documents
but at allowing any person, whether he is a national or a are submitted for the purpose of formal proof, the court
foreigner involved in a court action, to understand the may, if it deems necessary, order a translation of such
proceedings.27 The extent of the rights granted varies from material.
country to country but methods generally applied to 467. In Finland, the right of members of the Swedish-
implement the right of persons belonging to minority speaking minority in predominantly Finnish districts to use
groups to use their own language before the tribunals may their own language before the courts and to receive relevant
include the designation of interpreters, the translation of documents in that language, free of charge, is guaranteed by
documents and, in some countries where persons belonging the constitution and by law. The law further requires that
to certain linguistic groups are recognized officially as opinions and judgements of the Supreme Court in all
minorities, the appointment of judges belonging to the matters affecting the province of &and Islands, where the
minority group concerned or the establishment of an Swedish-speaking minority is concentrated, shall be issued
administration of justice which reflects the language struc- in Swedish,
ture of the country. 468. In Romania, the right of the co-inhabiting
nationalities to use their own language before the courts at
all stages of the proceedings is guaranteed by the consti-

27 See Smdy of Equal@ in the Administration of Justice 28 Similarly, Bulgaria, German Democratic Republic, Iraq,
Waited Nations publication, Sales No. E.71.XIV.3), paras. 72.73, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey,
176-177. Ukrainian SSR, United Kingdom
tution and by a series of laws, in particular t.he codes of drafted in French or German according to the language
CiVd and criminal procedure, the Jucjicial (&anhation Act used by the person concesed in his statements or, in the
and the Act setting up the mixed courts. thus, in regions or absence of any statement, aicording to the requirements of
districts inhabited by these nation&tjes*+, &e parties to a the case. The proceedings in disputed actions before civil
lawsuit and the titnessea not only have the r&ht to use and commercial courts are in principle in the language of
their own language but may also ask for translation of all the region in which the coutt sits. However, where there are
the documents in the case and for the assistance of an several defendants in the same case and the defendant has
interpreter if necessary, Moreover it will be noted that, the right to choose the language of the proceedings, the
under article 22 of the constitution, all organs and language requested by the majority is employed. The judge
htit~tior~s of the State are required to employ in these may nevertheless refuse to accede to this request if the
regions a number of officials conversant with the language elements of the case show that the majority of the
of the nationality concerned. defendants possesssufficient knowledge of the language in
which the document initiating the case was drafted. In the
469. With respect to Austria, the Federal Act of 19 event of the defendants being equally divided, the judge
March 1959, which was adopted for the implementation of himself decides what language the proceedings are to be in,
the provisions of article 7 (3) of the State Treaty of 1955, taking.the requirements of the case into account.
designated three districts in the province of Carinthia where
the Slovenian language must be used in courts and provided 472. In Canada every court exercising any criminal
that in those districts petitions may be written in Slovenian. jurisdiction conferred upon it by or pursuant to an Act of
In proceedings before the courts, the parties concerned and the Parliament of Canada has the duty to ensure that any
witnesses may choose to speak Slovenian, whether or not person may give evidence before it in the official language
they know German. Should a person avail himself of this of his choice, and, if it is located in the National Capital
right, the proceedings must be conducted in German and Region or a federal bilingual district, it has the duty to
Slovenian, with the assistance of interpreters if necessary. ensure that, upon request by any party to the proceedings,
Records of the proceedings must be kept in both languages it can make available facilities for simultaneous interpret-
and, while the judge is required to announce the courts ation.
decision in German, that decision must be immediately 473. In India the language of the higher courts con-
translated if Slovenian was used in the proceedings. The tinues to be English; but, so far as the lower courts are
same rule applies to written decisions or rulings. Before the concerned, the language used for all purposes (except for
court of appeal, however, petitions must be written in the judgement or order, which has to be written in English)
German and public records are also kept in that language, is that of the particular region. Under the Act of 1963, the
but the cost of translation continues to be borne by the governor of a state, with the consent of the President, may
State. While there is no similar legal provision regarding authorize the use of Hindi for the purpose of any
Styria or Burgenland, these provinces, as well as those judgement, decree or order passed or made by the high
judicial districts of Carinthia which are not covered under court of the state, and where such judgement, decree or
the law of 19 March 1959, are nevertheless covered by order is in any other language, those texts must be
article 66 of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which accompanied by a translation & the English language.
provides that non-German-speaking Austrian citizens are to
be given reasonable facilities to use their languages in court, 474. In Italy, the German-speaking population of the
whether in writing or orally. Furthermore, Austria is a Province of Bolzano is permitted to use German in all
party to the European Convention for the Protection of dealings with the judicial authorities.
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, under which 475. In Peru, under decree 21156 (1975), the judiciary
anyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to the must take all the necessary steps to ensure that, as from
free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or 1 January 1977, court casesthe parties to which are able to
speak the language used in court. speak only Quechua are to be conducted in that language.
470. Under the constitution of Malaysia, all proceedings 476. In the United States of America the Government
except the taking of evidence shall, in principle, be in states that, in some cases, Indian tribal courts conduct
English for a period of ten years after independence and business in a tribal language, and transcripts of court cases
thereafter until Parliament otherwise provides. In the are in both the tribal language and in English. Some tribes
Philippines, only Tagalog, the official language of the have official interpreters who speak both the tribal language
country, is used in court proceedings, but interpreters may and English and who are called upon to function in
be provided if necessary. particular tribal situations, The rights of the individual
Indian as viewed from the non-Indian community are not
471, In Belgium, documents concerning the investi- adequately protected in many Indian court processes on
gation and evidence of crimes and offences and documents reservations where the judicial system is a tribal one. Both
relating to taxation are drafted in French in the Walloon the American Indian leadership and the Bureau of Indian
communes and in Flemish in the Flemish communes. In the Affairs are making efforts to improve this situation.
communes of greater Brussels, the documents are drafted in
French or Flemish according to the language used by the 477. In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the
person concerned in his statements or, in the absence of constitution establishes the complete equality of all citizens
any statement, according to the requirements of the case, in legal matters and specifies that every citizen has the right
The documents are drafted in German in the German- to use his native language in court proceedings. In each
speaking communes of the jurisdictional cantons of Eupen, union republic, autonomous republic or autonomous
Saint-Vith and MalmBdy. In the other German-speaking region, the national language is used for judicial proceed-
communes of Verviers arrondissement,the documents are ings. Persons not knowing the language concerned are

guaranteed the opportunity of acquainting themselves with Lappish na&,may be translated in its entirety, when its
the material of the case through an interpreter. These Norwegian form provides an apt name and the translation
provisions are contained in article 110 of the Soviet excludes all doubt as to the original name. If the translation
constitution and in the corresponding articles of the has a close acoustic resemblance to the original, the Lappish
constitutions of all the union republics and autonomous name may be entered on the map beside the translation.
republics. Thus article 78 of the Tatar ASSR stipulates that The Geographical Survey of Norway has taken steps to have
legal proceedings shall be conducted in the Tatar language these regulations annulled, with a view to establishing in the
in rural or urban districts where a majority of the area the same system as is used for the rest of the country,
population is Tatar, in the Russian language in rural or that is, that in principle the name forms to be entered on
urban districts where the majority of the population is the maps must be those used by the local population.
Russian, and in both languages in the central courts.
Persons not knowing these languages may fully acquaint 4. Use of minority Ianguages in communication media
themselves with the material of the case through an
interpreter and use their own language in court. (a) Newspapers and other publications
478. In Yugoslavia, proceedings are conducted with the 480. When information on this question is provided by
assistance of a court interpreter if the official conducting governments, they generally state that, subject to the
the proceedings does not have sufficient knowledge of the general laws governing the matter, no obstacles exist, in
language of the nationality of the party concerned. As a principle, to the publication of newspapers, books or
rule, persons who, on the basis of special regulations, have periodicals in the language of any minority group by the
been designated permanent court interpreters for a given members of such groups, In many of the countries surveyed
language shall be appointed as interpreters. As an ex- the available information indicates the existence of news-
ception, the court before which the proceedings are being papers and publications in minority languages.
conducted may appoint as interpreters persons who are not
permanent court interpreters, if competent institutions 481. In Austria, the Slovene minority owns two pub-
have determined that they are capable of performing lishing companies and its press comprises weeklies and
interpretation from the Serbo-Croatian language into the cultural magazines as well as a number of youth periodicals
language of the nationality and vice versa. and other publications. In Sri Lanka and Malaysia, a
number of newspapers are published in the languages of
(d) Use of minor& languages to name geographic places some of the minority groups. In New Zealand the Maori
and Island Affairs Department produces a quarterly
479. Information on this question is available for a biringual magazine containing matters of interest to the
small number of countries. In Sweden, many places in the Maori people. In Pakistan a number of newspapers are
northern part of the country bear only Lapp and Finnish printed in a variety of languages other than Urdu and
names, while in Denmark, Danish is the sole language used English; they are printed in Sindhi, Pushtu, Gujarati and
for places in the North Schleswig, the province where the Punjabi. In France, newspapers are published in German,
German minority is concentrated. In Austria, the question Basque and Breton. In Alsace, for example, a large number
has been dealt with by treaty provisions, by the consti- of newspapers and periodicals are published in German. In
tution and by law. Under article 7 (3) of the Treaty of Yugoslavia, newspapers are published in the languages of all
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which article has been incorporated the nationalities. A newspaper in the language of the
into the constitution, in the administrative and judicial Romanies (Gypsies) has been published recently. In the
districts of Carinthia, Burgenland and Styria, where there German Democratic Republic the nationally-owned
are Slovene, Croat or mixed population, the Slovene or Domovina publishing house is the editor of 11 Sorb-
Croat language shall be accepted as an official language in language newspapers and periodicals.
addition to German. In such districts topographical termin-
ology and inscriptions shall be in the Slovene or Croat 482. In Norway two newspapers are issued partly in
language as well as in German. The Government of Austria Norwegian and partly in Lappish. There is also a periodical
has however reported that the law adopted in 1972 to published by the Ministry of Agriculture partly in
implement that provision could not be enforced because Norwegian and partly in Lappish. The religious publi-
part of the majority population was strongly opposed to it. cation Nuorttanoste appears only in Lappish, and
The Government of Iraq reports that it appears from an Samenes Vinn, the Lapp Missionary Societys press
examination of the geographical names of various regions in medium, usually includes an article in Lappish. The public
Iraq that regions inhabited by linguistic minorities-for notices addressed to the national press in connexlon with
example, by Kurds, Turkmens or Assyrians-bear names the information service on statutes and regulations in force
borrowed from their language. In Italy, in the Province of are also sent to the Lappish-language publications, which
Bolzano place names are indicated in both German and themselves translate as much of the material as they deem
Italian in German-speaking areas. The Government of necessary. In addition, some information brochures have
Norway reports that the regulations in force concerning the been issued in Lappish, for example by the National
use of Norwegian names on the maps of northern Norway Insurance Institution on national insurance questions,
envisage that, if the local population uses only a Lappish 483. In the union republics and the autonomous repub-
name, this is entered on the map. If, however, the local lics of the USSR, newspapers and periodicals are published
population uses also a Norwegian name, as a general rule in national and minority languages. Thus, in Uzbekistan
OdY the Norwegian name is entered on the map. If the 207 periodicals out of 294 are published in Uzbek; in
Lappish name in question is of such kind as to represent a Turkmenistan a total of 3 10 newspapers and 44 periodicals
particularly good description of the locality concerned, this are published, most of them in Turkmen; in the Basbkir
too shall be entered on the map, space permitting, The SSR a total of 93 newspapers and 6 periodicals are
published, most of them h tb .hdigenous national of school programmes are broadcast each week in the
lfl%WiW. In the Buryat Autonomous Republic the total languages of the two main linguistic groups of the country.
newspaper print in 1956 was 29 million copies, most of 488. In Austria, a 45-minute radio programme h
them in the Buryat language. Slovenian is broadcast daily in the province of Cainthia,
484. In Iraq a department for printing and publishing in Wowever,despite strong protests by associations of persons
Kurdish issues a Kurdish-language magazine and a news- belonging to minorities, no television programmes are
paper. An order of the Revolutionary Council, N89 of 24 conducted in a minority language. In Malaysia, for an
January 1970, recognizcd the cultural rights of the Turk- over-all weekly air-time of about 457 hours, Radio Malaysia
mens and envisaged the publication of a weekly review and devotes 192 hours to programmes produced in the
a monthly journal in the Turkmen language. An order of languages of two of the major minority groups of the
the Revolutionary Council, 251 of 24 April 1972, granted country. Special information programmes are broadcast six
cultural rights to the Ithurian, Chaldean and Assyrian hours weekly in two aboriginal languages. In addition, the
minorities speaking the Assyrian language and envisaged the television uses minority languages in its locally produced
publication of a monthly magazine in the Syriac language. programmes.
485. Some governments have felt it necessary to help 489. In Israel, the Arabic radio programme consists of
minorities in this particular field of activity and subsidize political commentary, press reviews, entertainment, and 15
their publications. In Nigeria, for example, special efforts newscastseach day. Educational broadcasts are beamed to
are being made, in particular by the language institutes of the countrys Arab schools. In addition, there are religious
the main universities, to increase the number of publi- programmes and a daily hour of Arab music. In New
cations in the various languages of the country. In Sweden, Zealand, there are regular Maori language news broadcasts
there is a general policy in this respect and under that and in addition, under a reorganization of the Broadcasting
policy a special government subsidy is granted to a Lapp Service, a radio station is to be set up in Auckland which
periodical. It may also be mentioned, in this connexion, will cater especially to the Maori people and other
that a committee of Parliament found objectionable the Polynesians in New Zealand, In Hungary, programmes for
decision of the Committee for press support to withhold a minorities are broadcast by three wireless stations in the
subsidy to a newspaper published in a minority language on German, Serbo-Croatian and Slovak languages. In the
the grounds that it wasnot published in Swedish. German Democratic Republic there have been radio broad-
casts in Sorbian since 1948, and for 20 years now Cottbus
(b) Radio and television radio station has run a special Sorb studio.
486, In most of the countries for which information on 490. In Norway, there is a separate news programme in
the use of minority languages in radio and television is the Lapp language on the national network. Lappish is also
available, the broadcasting systems are under State control. used for a regular morning news bulletin transmitted over
In general, even where linguistic groups are not officially the national radio network as well as for a local programme
recognized as groups requiring special rights, attempts have every afternoon. Lappish speech or text is used sporadically
been made, by different methods, according to the country on television. In Iraq a Kurdish language section wasset up
concerned, to allow each linguistic group to the entertained in the Iraq Broadcasting Service thirty years ago, and a
and informed in its mother tongue. In some instances a Turkmen section was added in 1959. A notice of March
separate broadcasting system is set up for each language 1970 announced an increase in Kurdish time at the Kirkuk
group. Where only one broadcasting system operates, a television station; and a special Kurdish language television
number of hours, either weekly or daily, are devoted to station is being completed. In Pakistan, broadcasts are made
programmes in minority languages. in 22 different languages.
487. Regular programmes in Lapp and in Finnish are 491. In the United States of America there are Spanish
available in the State-owned broadcasting and television radio and television stations in areas where there are large
systems of Sweden. In the statement of 1955 concerning numbers of Spanish-speaking people. The Government
the rights of the German minority, Denmark pledged that states that it has appropriated funds for radio broadcasts in
within the framework of the rules which may at any time Indian languages. In Canada, French being an official
apply to the use of the State broadcasting system, language, the French-speaking minority receives radio and
reasonable regard shall be paid to that minority. In television service in that language. Radio broadcasting in
Switzerland, three complete and equal systems of radio and other minority languages (Croatian, German, Greek, Italian,
television representing the three official languages have Polish, Portuguese, Slovene and Ukrainian) is growing at a
been set up. The Moroccan broadcasting system has an fast rate. In the United Kingdom the British Broadcasting
information programme in Berber, while the Nigeria Broad- Corporation broadcasts news, music and church services in
casting Corpqration maintains a network of 17 stations Gaelic and Welsh.
L spread throughout the country which broadcast pro-
grammes irk a large number of local languages. In Fiji, in 492. In Italy, the Slovenian ethnic group has its own
addition to English, programmes are broadcast in the radio station. In Yugoslavia there are radio programmes in
mother tongues of the two major ethnic groups of the the languages of all the nationalities and national groups
country. Since 1966, both the national and commercial living within the republics and television programmes in
services of the broadcasting corporation of Sri Lanka Albanian, Hungarian and, on a smaller scale, Turkish. After
include programmes in Sinhda and Tarnil as well as in the completion of a television studio in the Autonomous
English. In 1970 more than 70 hours were broadcast each Province of Voivodina, there will also be television pro-
week in Sinhala and 60 in Tarnil. Moreover, about 20 hours grammes in Romanian, Rutbenian and Slovak.

5. ,!&e of minori@ languages in the school system theoretical training and alI their practiceteachingin the mother
tongue. In those regions where there is a multiplidty of languages, It
493. In multi-ethnic and multilinguistic countries, the may be very difficult to do this, ...
use of the languages of the various population groups in the Popular opposition IO use of mother tongue. Some people in a
educational system is a crucial test for determining the locality may be unmoved by the bencflts to be derivedfrom the use
ability of these groups to maintain and develop their own of the mother tongue in education and may be convinced that
characteristics, their own culture and their own traditions. education in the mother tongue is to their disadvantage. We believe
fhe language of a minority group being an essential element that cducationists must carry public opinion with them if their
policy is to be effective in the long run, since, in the last resort, the
of its culture, its capacity to survive as a cultural group is in people of a country must always be in a position to express their
jeopardy if no instruction is given in that language. free choice in the matter of the language in which their children are
nercfore, the efficacy of measures concerning the cultural to be educated; and v,z urge that the educational authorities should
life of a group which is deprived of instruction in its own make every effort to take the people into consultation and win their
confidence. The problem will lose many of its elements of conflict if
languageis open to question. the people are confident that the use of languages in the educational
system does not favour any section of the population at the expense
494, However, in developing countries there may be of others. ,..
practical difficulties which could impede the use of the
Lingun franca. Sometimes, as in the case of Swahili in parts of East
mother tongue of minority groupsas languagesof instruc- Africa, there is a lingua franca which is so widely used that there is a
tion. l-he UNESCO report on the use of vernacular great temptation to use il instead of the mother tongue as tie
languagesin education lists some of these difficulties as medium of instruction. This has the great advantage of economy
follows: and of simplicity of administration, and in particular cases in the
problem of supplying textbooks and other reading matter, both for
Inadequacy of the vocabulary. The first diificulty is that the schoolchildren and adults. ...29
language may not yet have a vocabulary sufficient for the needs of
the curriculum.In this case a second language will have to be 495. The additional cost to governments of the speciaf
introduced at an early stage, and as soon as the pupils llave learntarrangements necessary for providing instruction in min-
enoughof it the secondlanguagecan becomethe mediumof ority languages is one of the factors that may impede the
development of the use of minority languages as languages
Shortage of educational materi&. One of the most important and of instruction. This question is therefore intimately linked
difficult problemsconnectedwith the use of the vernacular with the economic position of the countries concerned.
languages in education is that of providing reading materials. It will
often happen that even a language which is quite capable of being Providing instruction in minority languages generally in-
used as a medium of instruction will be almostor entirely without volves the construction of new buildings, the printing of
school books or other materials. The difficulty is not so much in new textbooks and often an enormous work of translation,
printing, since there are various machines and techniques Jn and also the training of new staff, In countries where
existence which are designed to produce books and other printed
matter in small quantity. The difficulty is to find or train competent minority schools operate within the public school system,
authors or translators; to obtain supplies to materials (such as paper, the State usually bears all the costs. In Sweden, for
type and machinery) in days of general shortage; to distribute the example, in the financial year 1974, the public schools
finished product under conditions of great distances and poor received grants of about 20 million Swedish crowns for the
communications; and aboveall to find the money. These are
practical problems, extremely difficult and of the highest import- instruction they provided in minority languages. In Austria,
ance. ... as in Romania, the State ensures that minority schools
Multiplicity of languages in a locality, If a given locality has a where a minority language is a language of instruction enjoy
variety of languages it may be difficult to provide schooling in each the same status asother schools, including the granting of
mother tongue simply because there are too few students speaking fmancial assistance, the free distribution of textbooks to
certainof the languages. In such cases it may be necessary to select pupils and the training of teachers.
one of the languages as the medium of instruction, at the cost of
using a language other than the mother tongue of some of the 496. In the countries surveyed, the rules governing the
students. ... use of minority languages in the school system differ from
Multiplicity of languages in a country. A country which faces the country to country and from group to group within a
problem of providing schools for a number of different linguistic country and also according to the level of education
groups may find itself temporarily unable-for lack of resources and envisaged. Indeed, measures that may be considered prac-
personnel-toprovidefor alI of themin the mothertongue.In this
case, it may have to begin with the language spoken by the largest tical at the primary level may not necessarily be applicable
populationsor havingthe mostdevelopedliteratureof the greatest at the secondary or at the university level. The following
number of teachers. The ideal of education in the mother tongue for paragraphs contain a description of the measures adopted in
the small groups can be worked toward as conditions make it the various countries surveyed as regards the use of
minority languages in the school system.
The shortage of suitably trained teachers. Teachers who have (a) Establishmentof privaCeschools
themselves received their education and professional training in a
second language have real difficulty in learning to teach in the 497. In some countries, one of the methods followed
mother tongue. The main reasons for this difficulty are of two concerning the use of minority languages in the school
kinds.First: they haveto teachsubjectsin a language whichisnot system is to allow personsbelongingto linguistic minorities
the language in which they are accustomed to think about them; to establish their own private scl~ools at the primary or at
and some of what they have to teach involves concepts which are
alien to their pupils culture and therefore have to be interpreted in the secondary level in which instruction will be given in
a tongue to which they are alien. Secondly, there is often a lack of their own language. For example, in Turkey, the Armenian,
suitablebooks to guide or help them both in teachingand in Greek and Jewish minorities have their own private schools
teaching through the mother tongue; they have to depend, .
therefore,moreon their owninitiative and skill than when teaching
throughthe second language in which they themselves have been a 7?le Use of Vernacular Languages in Education, Monographs
trained.In thoseregionswherea mothertongueisspokenby a large on Fundamental Education, No. VIII (Paris UNESCO, 1953),
population, it should not be difficult to give teachers much of their pp. 5@54.

Of IX-e-primary, primary and secondary level in accordance subjects of instruction in elementary and secondary schools.
with the Treaty of busanne (in 1971, there were 50 such Furthermore, efforts are being made to provide for teacher aides
proficient in native Manitoba languages to help children with little
P SCHOOL in Turkey), Jn these cases, no particular problems knowledge of English to adapt themselves to the school situation.
arise. However, the States concerned usually exercise some Special training for native Manitobans (Indians) is provided with
control over the functioning of these schools in order to native language teacher aides to adults with a view to help bridge the
ensure that they do not operate under standards inferior to gap between those whose basic language is Cree or Saulteaux on the
one hand, and English on the other hand. However, as already
those of Statearun schools. stated, small groups of families living apart from population centres
of their own language group do suffer from lack of educational
(3) Use of mimrity la~guugesat the primary kwl in the opportunities in their mother tongue.
public school system Public French-language schools arc provided for the French-
498. The use of minority languages in the public school speaking minority in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward
systems of the various countries surveyed is in some Island. These schools arc operated by the school board of the
instances guaranteed by the constitution or by special laws, district and have to apply the same educational standards as all the
or by both. In a few cases,such a guarantee is contained in other schools of the provinces.3
treaties or other instruments of an international character, 501. In Switzerland, the language used in the school
such as the declarations of the Governments of Denmark systems of the four linguistic regions of the country-
and the Federal Republic of Germany of 1955, Arrange- German, French, Italian and Romansh-is the language of
ments to implement the right thus granted generally include the corresponding region. Under the constitution,
the establishment of separate schools, or the creation of education is basically a cantonal matter and intervention by
separate sections or separate classes in the same school. the Federal Government is limited to financial assistance, In
Most of the regulations concerning the use of minority unilingual cantons, however, no special schools are, in
languages in the public school systems concern the primary principle, provided to children belonging to another
level. The use of minority languages in secondary schools or language group. In Finland, primary education is organized
higher education, according to the information available, is at communal level but is subsidized by the State. The
made possible in only a very few of the countries surveyed. language of instruction is therefore the language of the
499. In countries in which the languages of minority commune.
groups have been designated as official languages, either on 502. In Austria, the rule guaranteeing the use of
a national or on a regional level, such languages are minority languages as languages of instruction in the school
generally admitted as languages of instruction at the system at the primary level is laid down in the constitution,
primary level, in the areas where the minority groups and detailed provisions on its implementation are contained
concerned are concentrated. Examples of this type of in two basic laws: the Linguistic Minority School Act for
situation are found in Switzerland, Finland, Austria and, in Carinthia of 19 March 1959 and the Burgenland Provincial
a more complex form, some developing countries.30 School Act of 1937. Under these laws, the right to use the
500. In Canada, which is a bilingual and bicultural Slovenian and Croatian languages as languages of instruc-
country, there are two official languages, English and tion or to learn them as a compulsory subject is granted to
French, though provision for the use of French as a every pupil whose parents so wish. As a rule, primary
medium of instruction is not embodied in the legislation of schools are operated for the Slovene minority in munici-
all the provinces. Each province has a different approach: palities of the province of Carinthia in which bilingual
The provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick use only the two instruction was given in the academic years 1958/59. In the
official languages of Canada, which are treated on an equal basis municipalities concerned, all pupils belonging to the
within their educational systems. While Ontario and British Slovene minority may obtain instruction in schools that are
Columbia have no legislation governing this question, by tradition
and for practical reasons, English alone is used as medium of particularly established for the benefit of that minority.
instruction in British Columbia, while a French language advisory For both the Slovene and Croat minorities, three types of
committee entitled to make recommendations to the local school primary schools are provided: schools with Slovenian or
board has been set up in Ontario. The School Act of 1970 of Croatian as the sole languages of instruction; bilingual
Alberta authorizes the use of French or any other language than the schools with both German and Slovenian as languages of
two official ones. Teaching materials and programmes of study must
be approved by the Minister of Education, and the standard of instruction, and German schools in which special sections
education in other languages must be the same as that required for for instruction in Slovenian or Croatian have been set up.
instruction given in English. In Saskatchewan, the School Act allows
for the use of French as language of instruction if it has been 503. By the Nigerian constitution, each state deter-
authorized by the board of a school district. The amended School mines for itself its policy on the language of instruction in
Act of 1970 of Manitoba provides for the use of English and French primary school education; under that policy the various
as medium of instruction in public schools, and an English language states have generally designated the mother tongue of the
advisory committee has been established together with a French
language advisory committee to whom the Minister of Education ethnic group of the region as the language of instruction,
might refer appropriate matters on the subject. According to but with certain conditions. Whether there is a reasonable
administrative provisions in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, amount of literature in the language concerned and an
French may be used as a first language in schools belonging to adequate supply of teachers who speak the language are
francophone areas, and can be chosen as an optional second factors which influence the decision taken. Within recent
language at all levels from grades 7 to 12. Other languages such as
Ukrainian and German have not been given the same privileges as times, clearly defmed patterns have emerged in the process
French in Manitoba, although both these languages are acceptable as
UNESCO, Second Report of the Committee on Conventions
3o Further examples of this approach may be found in Belgium, and Recommendations in Education (General Conference, seven-
Canada, the German Democratic Republic, Peru, the USSR and teenth session, Paris, 1972) (17 C/15, 15 September 1972),
Yugoslavia. pp. 99-100.
of selecting the language to be designa ted as the langunge of give effect to this Act, units using the language of the
instruction. The first pattern is that applied in an area co-inhabiting nationality as the language of instruction have
which has one of the three major Nigerian languages- been established in the schools in districts where members
Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba-as the mother tongue. In such a of such a nationality live. Article 9 of the Act reads as
, case, the selection of that language as language of instruc- follows:
tion is the rule. ?he second pattern emerges in an area Education at all levels shall be carried on in Romanian.
where one of the three major Nigerian languages is widely In accordmu: with the provisions of the Constitution, education
spoken although it is not the mother tongue. In this case, as at alI levels shall also be carried on in the language of the
primers in the smaller languages are usually not available co-inhabiting na tiontitier.
and teachers who speak that language are in short supply, The Ministry of Education shall train the teaching staff needed in
the policy generally adopted is to make the major language order to carry on education in the languages of the co-inhabiting
the medium of instruction. The tlurd pattern is found in an nationalities.
area in which the mother tongue languages are relatively Candidates sitting the entrance examinations prescribed by this
numerous but where no common major language is spoken. Act shall be entitled to take in their mother tongue the tests in
subjects which they have studied in that tongue.
In those situations, the policy is to use English as a medium
of instruction from the start and to teach in the vernacular 508. In France, under a law adopted in 1956, teachers
when teachers who speak the language are available. It in primary schools can devote one hour per week of the
should, however, be obeserved that the present trend in time reserved for subjects outside the programme to teach
Nigeria is to develop the mother tongue whenever that regional languages as optional subjects.
process does not raise insurmountable obstacles. 509. In Czechoslovakia, the School Law in force pro-
504. In Fiji, in the lowest classesof primary schools the vides that the teaching at the schools established for
mother tongue languages of the two major ethnic groups children of Hungarian, Ukrainian and Polish nationality
are the media of instruction: Hindustani and Urdu in the shall be in the mother tongue. The Ministry of Education
case of Indians and Bauan for Fijians.32 From about the and Culture can authorize some schools to teach some
fifth class onwards English becomes the medium of subjects in a language other from Czech or Slovak.
instruction. In Ghana, the major Ghanaian languages are However, if the language used in teaching is not Czech or
used under certain conditions as a medium of instruction in Slovak, one of these languages is also taught. In Hungary, a
primary schools, although English remains the principal law of 1961 on the system of education in the Hungarian
language of instruction. The pattern followed varies accord- Peoples Republic lays down that school-age children
ing to the regions. In some areas English is used and a belonging to nationalities shall be given facilities for
Ghanaian language is taught as a subject throughout the receiving education in their native tongue, There are two
primary course. In some others, a Ghanaian language is used types of minority elementary schools. In the first type of
in the lowest classes but is gradually replaced by English school the majority of the lessons are given in the mother
from the second year. The goal is to develop and maintain tongue, but some of the lessons in the Hungarian language
literacy in both English and the Ghanaian languages, It will and the natural sciences are taught in Hungarian, In
be noted in this connexion that the primary aim of a mass practice, there is a bilingual education in this type of
literacy campaign which was started some years ago is to school: in the case of subjects taught in Hungarian, the
teach adults to read and write in their own language. technical terms and the most important expressions are also
Furthermore the Government has set up a programme of taught in the mother tongue. In the second type of school
publication of textbooks in Ghanaian languages. the majority of the classes are held in Hungarian, ac-
companied by a mother-tongue education for the non-
50.5. ln some countries where minority languages have Hungarian pupils and for the Hungarian children wishing to
not been granted official status on the national level or on a
master the language of a national minority. There is a
regional basis, special laws or other measures have been bilingual education in the grammar schools of
enacted to allow the use of these languages in the primary
nationalities similar to that given in elementary schools
school system, The situation in Poland and Romania of the first type. In the Ukrainian SSR, under article 26 of
appears to illustrate this type of approach. the National Education Act of the Ukrainian SSR of 28
506. With respect to Poland, it has been stated that June 1974, pupils have the opportunity of being taught in
although the degree of ethnic homogeneity achieved as a their mother tongue or in the language of another people of
result of post-war boundary changes greatly reduced the the USSR. The parents or those replacing them have the
need to maintain schools conducted in languages other than right to choose for the children a school in which
Polish, the Government continues the pre-war policy of instruction is given in the language they desire. Along with
supporting two basic types of minority schools, one with Ukrainian schools, there are many schools in which classes
the minority language as the language of instruction and are conducted in Russian, Polish, Hungarian or Moldavian.
another where that language is one of the compulsory
subjects taught. 510. In Australia the Governments policy is that
Aboriginal children living in predominantly Aboriginal
507. In Romania the Act of 13 May 1968, adopted communities should receive their early education in their
pursuant to article 22 of the constitution, provides for own language, and funds are provided in support of
education at all levels to be carried on both in Romanian Aboriginal linguistic work and bilingual education pro-
and in the language of the co-inhabiting nationalities. To grammes throughout Australia. In Indonesia teaching is in
the regional vernacular for the first three years and after
32 Ihe Fijian languagehas many dialects. The one that has been that in Indonesian, except in cases where the children
adopted for universal use, and is recognized as standard Fijian, is the already know the national language and are able to use it
dialect of Bau. from the beginning, as in certain areas of Sumatra. In Iraq,
article 6 of the Local Languages Act, passed in 1931, lays Romania, whenever in% district the number of children
down that the language of instruction in the kindergarten belonging to minority groups reaches at least 6 in the
and elementary schools shall be the domestic language of lowest classes and 15 in the higher ones, separate units.
most of the -pupils: Arabic, Kurdish or Turkish.-The sections or classes must be established.. In- 1971-1972;
Council directed, in its order No, 251 of 24 April 1972, German was used as a language of instruction in about
that Assyrian should be the language of instruction in 3,230 units or sections attended by more than 280,ooO
schools where the pupils speaking it predominated, The pupils. In Finland, primary education being a communal
Syriac language is the main language of instruction in all the responsibility, it follows that the language used in primary
primary schools with a majority of Syriac-speaking pupils, schools is that of the commune. At the present time, a
and Arabic is taught as the compulsory second language. In minority school, as a rule, must be set up if the number of
Italy, under legislative acts in force in the provinces of children speaking a minority language reaches 18. This rule
Bolzano, Trieste and Corizia, school instruction is given to applies in principle whether the commune is bilingual or
the pupils in the mother tongue; in the Valley of Aosta, the monolingual. In Hungary, kindergarten and primary schools
same number .of hours weekly is devoted to instruction in teaching minority languages or language teaching groups are
the French language as is spent on instruction in the Italian established in villages where there are about 15 children of
language, and certain lessons are given in French. In Greece a particular minority. In view of the great dispersion of the
and Turkey the use of the mother tongue in primary national minorities, there is often a compromise on the
schools in districts inhabited by minority groups is provided participation rate of 15, and it may occur that minority
for in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. In Norway, Lapp scl~oolsor groups are run with only 7 pupils. In India, at
parents are free to choose for their children initial least one teacher is appointed to teach in the mother
instruction in Lapp or Norwegian. The children who have tongue at the primary level if there are 40 pupils in a class
their fist instruction in are taught Norwegian as a desirous of learning in that language. With respect to
foreign language, which at a further stage can then be used Yugoslavia, it has been said that:
as a medium of instruction. The syllabus in the elementary A certain number of members of the nationalities do not go to
schools in districts with substantial Lapp elements in the elementary schools with instruction in their mother tongue. The
population has its starting-point in the Lapps own language percentage share of such children in the entire population of a given
and traditions. In the case of the United Kingdom, special nationality varies both by nationality and region amounting to 56
per cent in the caseof some nationalities. The situation in this
provision is made for education in the minority language in respect is most favourable among children of Italian and Bulgarian
areas where the potential speakers of the minority language nationality. The reasons why members of some of the nationalities
form the majority. In the United States of America, title do not acquire education, at least elementary, in their mother
VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of tongue, differ and it is virtually impossible to derive one common
rule. The reasonin some cases is the comparatively small number of
1968 authorized funding of bilingual education pro- members of a nationality who live scattered over large territories,
grammes for children from low-income families who have this making it difficult or practically impossible to open elementary
limited English speaking ability. school departments with instruction in the mother tongue of the
nationality. Such is the case, for example, with the Ruthinians, over
511. In Sweden, children belonging to minority groups, 60 per cent of whose children do not attend classes in their mother
in principle, receive their basic education in the ordinary tongue. Some 3,000 children of school age of Ruthinian nationality
public schools, in which two hours a week is devoted to live on the territory of the SR of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the SR of
instruction in the respective minority language. In Croatia and the Autonomous Province of Voivodina. Now, in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, owing to a high degree of dispersion, it has not
exceptional circumstances they may be offered possibilities been possible to organize complete instruction for them in their
through special arrangements to study in their own mother mother tongue, although they are able to learn their national
tongue as special homework or as remedial instruction. language as an additional subject. The situation is similar in Croatia,
During 1972, 9,000 children were taught a minority but for one exception, while in Voivodina, where the concentration
of this nationality is highest, ower 50 per cent of all Ruthinian
language in 116 municipalities. Jn the case of the Finnish children attend classes in their mother tongue. The situation as
minority it has, however, been observed that in the large regards the number of children covered by compulsory eight-year
cities there are now classeswhere virtually only Finnish is elementary education is particularly favourable among the Bulgarian
used. nationality, despite the fact that they live in a mountainous region
where communications are poor, thanks primarily to tradition. That
512. In some countries, the use of minority languages as teaching in the national language can be organized in developed
languages of instruction depends on the number of pupils regions even under conditions of a small population of a given
attending the classes. In Austria, the Bmgenland Provincial nationality and a correspondingly small number of pupils is shown
School Act provides that a minority language will be a by the example of the Italian nationality.33
language of instruction if the last census has shown that 70 513. It is now generally agreed that when persons
per cent of the school district population is composed of belonging to minority groups cannot pursue their education
members of that linguistic minority. When the percentage is in their own language beyond the primary level, they
between 30 and 70 per cent, bilingual schools are to be should be taught the official language, in particular in order
established in which both the national language and the to be able to enter educational establishments of a
minority language are to be used as languages of instruc- secondary or higher level on an equal footing with all other
tion. If the percentage is less than 30 per cent, the State pupils. In this connexion, article 5 of the UNESCO Conven-
language is the only language of instruction, but the district tion against Discrimination in Education provides that the
school board must ensure that children belonging to the right of members of minority groups to carry on their own
minority are taught their mother tongue. In other cases,the educational activities should not be exercised in a manner
introduction of the minority language as a compulsory
subject requires the consent of the chairman of the
provincial school board, but such authorization may not be 33 Nada Dragi&, Nations and Nationalities of Yugoslavia (Bel-
denied if at least 20 children attend the classes. JJJ grade, Medjunarodna Politika, 1974), pp. 351-352.

which prevents them from understanding the language of %edium of instruction in higher education is the fact that
the community as a whole. students in colleges and universities are drawn from a wide
range of ethnic groups speaking different languages. In
514. In the separate schools established for minorities Nigeria a similar situation prevails; however, a new policy
in Austria, instruction is given in the minority language in appears to be emerging with the announcement in
all grades but the language of the main population is November 1971 by the Commissioner of Education in the
extensively taught as a compulsory subject. In bilingual Mid-Western State that Hausa would soon be a subject in
schools both languages are, approximately to the same the secondary schools of the State.
extent, languages of instruction in the low grades, while in
the higher classes the minority language is taught only as a 519. In a very few of the countries surveyed, education
compulsory subject. In New Zealand, instruction is carried is given in secondary schools in minority languages. In
out in English, but Maori is taught as a compulsory or Austria, a secondary school with instruction in Slovenian
optional subject in some schools. has been established, In Canada, a law adopted in the
Province of Quebec provides that instruction may be given
515. In some of the developing countries where the ln French or English where there are 23 pupils in a
language of one of the ethnic groups has been granted the secondary school who could be grouped together for
status of the national language, that language has been also instruction and whose parents desire them to be taught in
designated as the sole language of instruction for primary either French or English, The board of the school district,
education; this policy is officially declared to have the aim division or area may-or, if the parents of the pupils in
of fostering a sense of national unity. In Ethiopia, for question petition the board, shall-group those pupils in a
example, tiaric is the sole official language in primary class and provide for instruction in the desired language.
schools, In the Philippines, minority languages are used The law further provides that the competent minister may
only as auxiliary or support languages, but in Malaysia in his discretion specify a language of instruction where
primary education continues to be offered in Chinese and there are fewer than the required number of pupils. In
in Indian languages, although Malay is the countrys Czechoslovakia there are secondary schools and vocational
national language. schools where Hungarian, Ukrainian or Polish are used as
516. The available information further indicates that the medium of instruction, In Finland, a large number of
members of some minorities receive a different treatment Swedish secondary schools have been established. Further-
from that accorded to others. The Lapps, the Gypsies and, more, as regards the teaching of Swedish, reciprocity
in general, the indigenous populations are examples of between the two languages is complete. Swedish is taught in
minority groups which are placed in a disadvantaged Finnish schools in as many lessons as Finnish in Swedish
position in the countries where they live. Thus, in Finland, schools. In India the constitution provides for the use of
while the Swedish minority receives primary education in modern Indian languages as media of instruction at the
its mother tongue according to the law on compulsory secondary level, For the purpose of providing instruction at
education, the Lapps do not fully benefit from such a the secondary level in a mother tongue of the linguistic
privilege, The Primary Education Act of 1958, which minorities, a minimum strength of 60 pupils in the last four
contains provisions dealing specifically with the situation of classesand 15 pupils in each class will be necessary,and for
the Lappish minority, only provides that the education of the first four years a strength of 15 in each class will be
Lapps should be arranged in their mother tongue in primary sufficient. In Italy, In the province of Bolzano instruction
schools according to the needs and possibilities, such as in secondary schools is given In the mother tongue of the
sufficient teachers familiar with the Lapp language and the pupils by teachers whose mother tongue is the same, In
availability of textbooks. However, as the problem of the Romania, in accordance with the Act of 13 May 1968,
most suitable orthography for Lappish has not yet been while no separate secondary schools have been established,
solved, Finnish remains the main language of instruction in special sections or units have been set up in secondary
a few schools set up in areas inhabited by Lapps; in those schools and in a number of schools of higher education
regions, Lapp is used in oral instruction as an aid, In which provide courses in the minority languages on an
Sweden, while schools for the Lapps have been established increasing number of subjects. In the Union of Soviet
in various places in areas inhabited by Lapps, they have Socialist Republics, the mother tongue is used for in-
been organized according to the principles of the ordinary struction in grades I to X in all the union republics and in
public schools, with Swedish as the main language of grades I to VIII or I to VI in the autonomous republics.
instruction. Only in a few nomad schools is Lappish used as
a language of instruction in the lower grades of primary (d) Use of minority languages in the universities
schools. 520. In principle, in countries where minority languages
have been declared official languages on a national or on a
(c) Use of minonty languages in secondary schools regional basis, there exist universities giving instruction in
517. In most of the countries surveyed, secondary these languages. 34 In Finland, in addition to an auton-
education is not provided in minority languages. Lack of omous university giving instruction in Swedish, students
funds, unavailability of competent teaching staff, and a with Swedish mother tongue can also attend a number of
desire not to fragment the educational system are generally purely Swedish colleges, Furthermore, the State University,
considered the main factors for this exclusion, in the which has a number of chairs with Swedish as the language
developing countries in particular. of instruction, allows the students to use Swedish or
518. In Ghana and Nigeria, instruction in the local Finnish at examinations. In Iraq, the Suleiman University
languages is limited to primary education. At all other
levels, the language of instruction is English. One of the 34 Belgium, Canada,the USSR and Yugoslavia
, offer examplesef
reasons advanced for the designation of English as the sole sucha situation.
Act, adopted in 196T.Iays down that the languages of 2. Avenues ofrecourse open to membersof minonties
instruction in the university are to be Arabic and Kurdish. and penal rulesprotecting their interests
In India, a decision was taken in 1967 to use Indian 524. The available information tends to show that no
languages as Ianguagcs of instruction at the undergaduate procedures of a judicial character dealing specifically with
level. the rights proclaimed in article 27 of the Covenant have
521. The available information tends, however, to show been adopted in any of the countries surveyed. Obser-
that, as a general rule, universities using minority languages vations made on this question generally indicate that
are not created unless linguistic groups are concentrated in members of a minority enjoy exactly the same status as any
areas which form a political subdivision of the State. As other citizens and that the ordinary judicial system consti-
indicated earlier, one remarkable exception is the Uni- tutes the normal avenue of recourse open to all persons
versity of PriXna in Yugoslavia, which &es instruction in who allege that their rights have been-violated. There is
Albanian. nothing to indicate that in the countries surveyed any
individual who wishes to initiate proceedings may be
D. Procedures provided in order to ensure the respect of the precluded from doing so on grounds of race, religion or
rights granted to members of ethnic, religious and language.
linguistic minorities 525. In many countries, however, avenues of recourse
before civil courts against violations of the principle of
1. General observations equality and non-discrimination are provided by the consti-
522. A cruciaI question which arises in connexion with tution or by the law. In this connexion, the Austrian
article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Government observes that the institution of a Consti-
Political Rights is whether appropriate procedures designed tutional Court ensures that any administrative measure or
to deal effectively with violations of the rights granted to legislative enactment violating the principle of equality is
members of minority groups have been adopted, In subject to judicial review. It has further stressed that no
principle the need for such procedures is widely recognized. other rule of Austrian federal constitutional law has led to
States parties to the Covenant specifically undertook under so rich a crop of case law as the principle of equality and
article 2, paragraph 3, to ensure that any person who had non-discrimination. The Constitutional Court has always
had one of the rights or one of the freedoms recognized in interpreted this provision as meaning that legislators as well
the Covenant violated would have an effective remedy, that as executive authorities should in their dealings with
any person claiming such a remedy would have his right problems of citizens be guided by an objective analysis of
thereto determined by competent authorities, and that the the caseconcerned. According to the Constitutional Courts
competent authorities would enforce such remedies when jurisprudence, the principles of equality and non-discrimi-
granted. These principles clearly apply to violations of nation provide all-embracing protection against arbitrary
article 27. Moreover, means of implementation are provided legislation and law-enforcement measures. Of special
for in the Covenant and in the Optional Protocol theretos3 interest in this context was a ruling of the Court declaring
The need for measures which ensure that the Covenant is void a clause of the Victims of Persecution Art which
completely effective has thus been recognized at both the favoured only the German-speaking population, on the
domestic and the international level. grounds that it was unconstitutional because it violated the
principle of equality. On that occasion, the Court categ-
523. So far as domestic measures are concerned, the orically stated that discrimination against the language of
importance of meaningful avenues of recourse was dis- a minority could never form an objectively justifiable basis
cussed at the seminar on the multinational society held in for a legal provision.
Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, in 1965, in the following terms:
526, The available information also indicates that in
..* severalparticipants stressedthat Bills of Rights enunciated in
Constitutions could remain mere empty pronouncements unless some countries the law allows anyone with grievances and
affirmed by comprehensive and detailed legislation providing for complaints to approach, by way of petitions in particular,
judicial remedies against the violation of fundamental human appropriate organs of the State other than the regular
freedoms which the courts and the administration conscientiously courts, including ombudsmen where they exist, for redress
applied. ParticuEar emphasis was laid by certain speakers on the
absolute need for an independent judiciary ever ready to provide the and to use existing administrative procedures in order to
judicial remedy which, in their view, was the most effective have illegal administrative acts declared void.
guarantee of civic rights. Some speakers pointed out, in this 527. The penal laws of several of the countries surveyed
connexion, that the possibilities of judicial redress must be
accessible to all on the same footing .,. also contain provisions that can be invoked by persons
belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, when
Legislative and judicial action, in the opinion of certain par-
ticipants, was not in itself sufficient: it had to be buttressed by certain rights granted to them have been violated. The legal
progressive administrative measures, including, in the opinion of provisions referred to are essentially those dealing with
some, the establishment of conciliation machinery which could be incitement to hatred of members of ethnic or religious
called upon before the more drastic recourse to civil or penal groups and violations of the principle of freedom of
proceedings. Some speakers drew attention to the successful results conscience and religion. It will be noted in this report that
achieved in certain countries by the Parliamentary Commissioner, or
Ombudsman, who had the power to investigate every allegation of in some of these countries the penal codes have been
administrative misfeasance and, if persuasion failed, to report amended to include new provisions punishing discrimi-
thereon to Parliament or even to initiate proceedings before the nation on account of race or national or ethnic origin as a
courts; it was widely agreed, however, that the applicability of this result of the ratification by these countries of the Inter-
institution to all countries had not yet been adequately studied.36
national Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
35 Seeparas.552-558. Racial Discrimination.
36 STJTAOJHRI23, paraa. 41-42. 37 Denmark, Finland, Sweden.
-(*I 528. Incitement to hatred on the grounds of ethnic If the offence is committed In time of war, tho punishment rha
origin is considered a crime by the constitution and the be death and total contiscation of fortune.
laws of several of the countries surveyed. Thus, in Complicity in the commission of gcnecidc rl~oll be punirhablc b
Sweden, the penal code punishes a number of acts which rigorous imprisonment for not ICSSthan five and not more than 1
have been defined as agitation against a national group, years, the deprivation of certain rights and prrtial confiscation c
Section 8 of the Swedish penal code reads as follows:
Anyone who publicly or otherwise in a statement or other 531. The available information further indicates that i:
communication that is distributed to the public threatens a large number of countries surveyed, violations of the righ
or expresses contempt for a national group of a particular to freedom of conscience and religion are considered
race, with a particular skin colour, of a particular national crime.q0 The acts punishable as offences against freedom o
or ethnic origin, or of a particular religion, shall be guilty of conscience and religion include insults to the religion of ;
agitation against a national group and liable to imprison- group, disruption of religious ceremanies, interference witl
ment not exceeding two years or, if the offence is slight, to religious practices by violence or threats, vilification o
a tine. In Denmark and in Finland, the penal code humiliation of citizens on account of their religion, printin
punishes by a fiie or imprisonment any person who in of books or other religious publications recognized as holy
public or with the deliberate aim of dissemination to wider by a religious group with deliberate alterations in the texl
circles makes any statement or announcement by which a such as to distort its meaning, imitation of a religious
group or groups of persons are threatened, ridiculed or ceremony or religious act in a public place in order to make
humiliated because of their race, national extraction, ethnic it an object of ridicule or entertainment to those present
origin or religion. and affronts to religious sentiments, such as desecration of
529. In Poland, the penal code forbids the spreading of objects of religious reverence.
hatred among ethnic groups as well as public commen-
dations of interethnic strife. In Romania, both the consti- 3. Establishmentat the national level of speciaiorgans
of an adntinisrrative or political nature
tution and the penal code contain provisions dealing with
incitement to hatred on the grounds of national origin. 532. In several of the countries surveyed, organs of an
Under article 317 of the Romanian penal code, National- administrative or political nature have been instituted with
ist-chauvinist propaganda and incitement to national or the task of assisting in the implementation of governmental
racial hatred shall be punishable by rigorous imprisonment policies relating to members of minority groups. The
for not less than six months and not more than five years. following paragraphs contain in a summarized form a
Propaganda based on race, ethnic origin or ethnic re- description of the main attributions and activities of these
gionalism is also expressly dealt with in the penal code of organs.
Niger, which provides that any act of racial or ethnic 533. In Australia the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975
discrimination, any regionalist propaganda and any manifes- established the office of a Commissioner for Community
tation likely to arouse the citizens against one another shall Relations, whose main functions are to inquire into alleged
be punishable by a penalty of imprisonment or forced infringements of the Act and to endeavour to develop and
residence, conduct programmes aimed at combating racial discrimi-
530. It should also be noted that in many countries the nation. The Act has also established the Community
law punishes a number of acts as constituting the crime of Relations Council as the central mechanism for reviewing
genocide. jg As an example, artic le 357 of the Romanian governmental and national policies relating to the pro-
Penal Code can be quoted; it reads as follows: hibition of racial discrimination. The Councils functions
Any person who commits any of the following offences with are to advise and make recommendations to the responsible
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or Minister and the Commissioner concerning the implemen-
religious community or group:. tation of the International Convention on the Elimination
(a> Kitling members of the community or group; of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the promotion of
(B) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the educational, study and research programmes, and the
community or group; promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship
(c) Inflicting on the community or group conditions of life or amongst racial and ethnic groups. Mention should also be
treatment calculated to bring about its physical destruction; made of the newly constituted Department of immigration
(4 Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the and Ethnic Affairs. The functions of the Ethnic Affairs
community or group; Unit include the development, in consultation with the
(e> Forcibly transferring children belonging to one community ethnic communities, of approaches to remedy the devalu-
or group to another community or group ation of ethnic cultures and ensure preservation of cultural
shall be liable to the death penalty and total confiscation of fortune traditions of migrant communities within the context of a
or to rigorous imprisonment for not less than 15 and not more than diverse but cohesive envolving Australian culture.
20 years, the deprivation of certain rights and partial confiscation of
fortune. 534. In Austria, contact committees have been set up
within the Federal Chancellery for the Slovene-speaking
and the Croatian-speaking minorities. These committees,
which are required to meet at regular intervals, include
3B Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, German
Democratic Republic, Iraq, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Panama, members of the Federal Government, the provincial govern-
Poland, Romania, Sweden,United Kingdom, USSR. ment concerned, the political parties represented in Par-
39 Bulgaria, Costa Rica, German Democratic Republic, Hungary liament and the provincial legislative assemblies concerned,
Romania 10 these may be added all those States which havl
ratified and put into force the Convention on the Prevention and 4o As in Belgium, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway,
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Pakistan, Thailand.

as wdi as representatives of the minority groups, Their suggestions to the Council of State on measures to be taken
main task is to consider measures for the implementation of in order to promote the culture of the Lapps, to attend to
the provisions of the State Treaty of 1955 relating to their cultural needs and to improve their conditions of life,
minority rights as well as other action relating to the On all matters concerning the Lapp population, the
peaceful cohabitation of the various ethnic groups. They Commission is consulted by State as well as local auth-
are also empowered to deal with problems concerning the orities. Also a special organization, the Gypsy Mission, was
ethnic groups as a whole and with problems concerning established in 1906 to improve communications between
individual members of these groups aswell. The institution the Gypsy population and the appropriate communal
of these contact committees was intended to promote authorities. In referring to these organizations, the Govern-
harmonious relations between ethnic groups and tolerant ment has emphasized that measures are intended mainly to
attitudes toward minorities. promote the full integration into society of those parts of
535. In Belgium, the constitution set up cultural Gypsy and Lapp communities that have retained their
councils for the French and Flemish cultural communi- traditional ways of life.
ties.4 These cultural councils, each in its own sphere, 539. In Hungary a Nationality Advisory Committee
decide by decree upon cultural matters, education, co- composed of government representatives and members of
operation between cultural communities, and the use of organizations of the various nationality groups has been
languages. The decrees issued by the councils have force in established. Its main task is to make studies on the situation
the French-speaking region and the Flemish-speaking region of the national groups and to assist in the implementation
respectjvely, and also apply to institutions in the bilingual of the Governments policies towards nationalities. Also, in
Brussels metropolitan region which by virtue of their places where national groups reside, the local city councils
activities are to be regarded as belonging exclusively to one have set up nationality committees with a view to sub-
cultural community or to the other, The law of 21 July mitting proposals and recommendations on matters relating
1971 on the powers and proceedings of #he cultural to these groups.
councils Provides that each cultural council shall have the 540. In India, the constitution provides for the appoint-
right of inquiry and the right to receive written petitions. ment by the President of a special Officer for Linguistic
Each council moreover has a committee the function of Minorities, whose duty is to investigate all matters relating
which is to encourage co-operation between the French to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under
cultural community and the Flemish cultural community. the constitution and report to the President upon those
Meeting in joint session, these committees constitute the matters at such intervals as the President may direct. Such
united co-operation committees. reports are to be laid before each House of Parliament and
536. In Canada the office of a Commissioner of Official sent to the governments of the states concerned.
Languages has been created. Under the Official Languages 541. In Mexico the main functions of the Instituto
Act of 1969, National Indigenista are to study matters relating to the
it is the duty of the Commissioner to take all actions and measures indigenous populations, to make appropriate recommen-
within his authority with a view to ensuring recognition of the dations and to report on the implementation of action
status of each of 6e official languages and compliance with the
spirit and intent of this Act in ihe administration of the affairs of taken for improving their situation.
the institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada and, 542. In New Zealand, two government agencies have
for that purpose, to conduct and carry out investigations either on
his own initiative or pursuant to any complaint made to him and to been created to deal with questions relating to Maoris; the
report and make recommendations with respectthereto as provided Department of Maori and Island Affairs, which co-ordinates
in this Act.41 and implements government policies in respect of Maoris,
537. In the Federal Republic of Germany an advisory and the New Zealand Maori Council, which, as a consulta-
committee for questions concerning the Danish minority tive body, expresses its views on all proposed legislation
has been set up in the Federal Ministry of Interior in order affecting the Maori population. Also the office of a Race
to compensate for the fact that the Danish minority is Relations Conciliator was created under the Race Relations
without representation in the Bundestag since 1961. Under Act of 1971. The Conciliator is empowered to investigate,
the chairmanship of the Minister of the Interior, the either on his own initiative or on the basis of a complaint,
committee is composed of two representatives of each of any act or practice which appears to constitute a violation
the three Bundestag parties, one representative of Schles- of the provisions prohibiting discrimination. Where the
wig-Holstein, one representative of the Federal Ministry for Conciliator is of the opinion that a breach has occurred, his
Intra-German Relations and three representatives of the function is to secure a settlement between the parties
Southern Schleswig Electors Association, an association of concerned and, in appropriate cases, a satisfactory assur-
the Danish minority. ance against the repetition of discriminatory acts or
omissions. If a settlement cannot be reached the Conciliator
538. In Finland, the Government has established a may recommend that the Attorney General bring.a suit
Commission on Lappish Affairs composed of represen- against the person considered to have committed a breach
tatives of the Ministries of Justice, Education and Agricul- of the law.
ture and of representatives of the various organisations of
the Lapps. The functions of the Commission are to make 543. In Norway two organs dealing with questions
concerning the Lapp population have been established. One
of these, the Norwegian Lapp Council, consisting of eight
41 The Cultural Council forthe German cultural community was members, all of whom are Lapps, in an advisory body set
set up by a law. up to make recommendations on matters concerning the
42 Commissioner of Official Languages: First Annual Report economic, social and cultural situation of the Lapps. The
1970-1972 (Canada, Information Canada, 197f), p. 1. other is a Select Committee consisting of government

representatives and of Lapp representatives, which has been co-inhabiting nntionalities at the level of local authorities, the
established by the Ministry of Church and Education to courts, cultural establlshmcnts and other public institutions,
examine questions relating to the educational development The Councils of the Hungarian, German, Serbian and Ukrainian
of the Lapps. nationalities arc continuously consulted by the departmental com-
mittccs of the Romnnian Communist Party in order to identify and
544. In the Philippines, the Government has established solve the specific problems of the population in their sectors of
by law an agency known as the Commission on National activity. Furthcrmorc, as members of the Socialist Unity Front, the
Councils of the nationalities take part in the Fronts activities at the
Integration. This Commission is said to be the Governments departmental level, and particularly In the examination and public
arm for national integration and its objective is to achieve discussion of the principal documents issued by tbe Party and the
within the political system the recognition of the different State, of the annual long-term plans for the development of the
religious, ethnic and cultural groups within the State and to national economy, education, science and culture and, in short, of
all measures designed to ensure the general progress of the country.
effectuate in a more rapid and complete manner the
economic, social, moral and political advancement of the Consequently the representatives of the cc&habiting national-
national cultural communities and to render real, complete ities arc aware of the relevance and utility of these Councils .. .
and permanent the integration of [these] communities into In their first three years of existence, the Councils of the
the body politic. The composition and functions of this co-inhabiting nationalities, both at the centre and at the depart-
mental Ievcl, showed that they could play the part assigned to them
Commission are laid down in section I and II of the .I. Their activity undoubtedly contributes to the promotion of
above-mentioned law as follows: political and civic freedoms and forcefully reaffirms the unity and
brotherhood of the Romanian people with the co-inhabiting
Section 1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress to nationalities.43
foster, accelerate and accomplish by all means and in a systematic,
rapid and complete manner the moral, material, economic, social 546. The constitution of Singapore has established a
and political advancement of the non-Christian Filipinos, hereinafter Presidential Council for Minority Rights. The main func-
called National Cultural Communities, into the body politic.
tions of the council are to consider and report on matters
Section 2. To effectuate the said policy and to achieve the aims concerning persons belonging to racial and religious min-
and objectives of this Act, there is created a Commission to be
known as the Commission on National Integration, hereinafter orities which may be referred to it by Parliament or by the
called the Commission, which shall be composed of a Chairman and Government. In particular, it may draw attention to any
two other members. The Chairman of the Commission, who shall bill or to any regulation which in its opinion is likely to be,
also bc known as the Commissioner on National Integration, and the if applied, disadvantageous to a community and not equally
two other members, who shall be known as the Associate disadvantageous to persons of other communities.
Commissioners on National Integration or Associate Commissioners,
shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the 547. In Sweden, a Commission on Lapp Affairs was set
consent of the Commission on Appointments and each of them shall up in 1970 for the purpose of taking measures in favour of
bc selected solely upon the basis of expert knowledge of the
customs and social organizations of the said National Cultural the development of the language and the culture of the
Communities and their economic, educational, religious and pal- Lapps. Its main task will be to examine the various
itical problems. problems confronting the Lapps in Swedish society, par-
ticularly those Lapps who left reindeer husbandry and
Furthermore, a public assistance unit has been set up by the
moved away from breeding areas. It is now estimated that
Commission on National Integration in order to hear 75 per cent of the personsin Sweden identifying themselves
complaints, grievances and requests by members of min- with Lappish culture and speaking Lappish are no longer
ority groups and provide assistance to them whenever
necessary. engaged in reindeer breeding. The Commission will also
attempt to ascertain their degree of identification with
545. In Romania, workers councils composed of other Lapp groups and their attitudes towards their own
people belonging to the Hungarian, German, Serbian and culture and to the various forms of assistance provided by
Ukrainian minorities were established in 1968 in order to the State. The task of creating a policy for other ethnic and
enable members of those minorities to participate actively linguistic minorities has been entrusted to another govem-
in the economic, political and cultural life of the country. ment commission, the Commission on Immigrants, which
They vary in number according to the numerical size of the will propose measures for the improvement of their culture
minority, but operate under exactly the same rules. The and for financial assistance by the State to immigrant and
councils are empowered to take part in the discussions of minority organizations.
the main organs of State about the economy, science and 548, In the United States of America, under the Civil
culture and about measures relating to the general progress Rights Acts of 1957 and 1964, two bodies have been set up
of society. In addition, the councils are required to assist to deal with matters relating to racial minority groups: the
State bodies in examining questions of specific interest to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Community
the minority concerned and to help in stimulating creative Relations Service. The functions of the Commission include
scientific, artistic and literary work in their mother tongue. the study of legal development and the appraisal of federal
One author gives the following account of what these policies relating to equal protection of the law in such areas
councils have done since they came into being: as education. It has also been authorized to serve as a
The Councils of the co-inhabiting nationalities did a great deal in national clearing-house for civil rights information. One of
1970 to improve the education provided in the languages of the the functions of the Community Relations Service is to aid
co-inhabiting nationagties, with regard both to the size of school communities in developing plans to improve racial relations
units and to curricula and textbooks. They also helped to improve
Policy with regard to publications in the languages of the co-in- and understanding through conferences, publications and
habiting nationalities ,.. after a verv detailed survey of local
conditions for the publication and circulation of books. They
co-operated in the action undertaken by the Government to study 43 JBnos Demeter, Eduard Eisenburger and Valentin Lipatti, SW
the application of the Act concerning the Organization and la question nationale en Roumanie, Faits et chiffes (Bucharest,
Operation of Peoples Councils to the use of the languages of the Editions Meridiane, 1972) pp. 60-61.

technical assistance. As regards the indigenous population, tions and recommendations, if any, to the State party
four committees within the Congress are primarily con- concerned and to the petitioner. The Committee is to
cerned with Indian matters, Within the Executive Branch, a include in its annual report a summary of such communi-
Bureau of Indian Affairs has been set up at the Department cations and, where appropriate, a summary of the expla-
of the Interior. Another organ, the National Council of nations and statements of the States parties concerned and
Indian Opportunity, which is headed by the Vice-President of its own suggestions and recommendations,
of the United States and whose members are Indians
selected by the Vice-President , serves as an umbrella over all (b) international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Indian programmes. and Optional Protocol thereto
552. The Covenant also provides for a reporting pro-
4. International machinery offering uvenues of recourse cedure as the main method of international implemen-
to members of minority groups tation. The instrumentality of implementation is the
549. Under the International Convention on the Elim- Human Rights Committee, an organ established by the
ination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the States parties to the Covenant. The Committee consists of
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights there 18 members elected by the States parties and serving in
exists international machinery which can be used as an their personal capacity. The States parties to the Inter-
avenue of recourse by members of minority groups who national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights undertake
feel that their rights have been violated. to submit reports on the measures they have adopted which
give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant and on
the progress made in the enjoyment of those rights. These
(a) Intemutional Convention on the Elimination of AlI
reports are submitted to the Human Rights Committee, the
Forms of Racial Discrimination task of which is to study the reports submitted by the
550. Article 8 of the Convention provides for the States parties and to transmit its reports and such general
establishment of an international body, the Committee on comments as it may consider appropriate to the States
the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It is composed of parties, The Committee may also transmit these comments
18 experts of high moral standing and acknowledged to the Economic and Social Council along with the copies
impartiality elected by States parties to the Convention of the reports which it has received from States parties. The
from among their nationals who serve in their personal States parties have the right to submit observations on any
capacity, consideration being given to equitable geo- comments that may be made (articles 28, 29 and 40 of the
graphical distribution and to the representation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).
different forms of civilization as well as of the principal
legal systems. 553. In addition to the reporting system, the Inter-
national Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also
551. Under the terms of article 14 a State party may at provides for a system of inter-State proceedings in matters
any time declare that it recognizes the competence of the concerning the application of the Covenant and for the
Committee to receive and consider communications from conciliation of differences arising in this regard. Under the
individuals or groups of individuals within its jurisdiction Covenant this system is optional. It operates only if a State
claiming to be victims of a violation by that State party of party declares that it recognizes the competence of the
any of the rights set forth in the Convention. Any State Human Rights Committee to receive and consider com-
party which makes such a declaration may establish or munications to the effect that a State party claims that
indicate a body within its national legal order which shall another State party is not fulfilling its obligations under the
be competent to receive and consider Petitions from Covenant. This optional system operates only on a recipro-
individuals and groups of individuals within its jurisdiction cal basis. Only a State which has made a declaration
who claim to be victims of a violation of any of the rights recognizing the competence of the Human Rights Com-
set forth in the Convention and who have exhausted other mittee in regard to itself is authorized to set the procedure
available local remedies. In the event of failure to obtain in motion with regard to another State party which has also
satisfaction from the national body, the petitioner is to recognized this competence of the Committee. Moreover,
have the right to communicate the matter to the Com- the system will start operating only when the States parties
mittee within six months. The Committee is to bring have made declarations recognizing the competence of the
confidentially any communication referred to it to the Committee in regard to State-to-State proceedings.
attention of the State party alleged to be violating any
provision of the Convention, but the identity of the 554. If these general conditions are complied with, a
individual or groups of individuals concerned is not to be State party to the Covenant may, if it considers that
revealed without his or their express consent. Within three another State party is not giving effect to the provisions of
months, the receiving State is to submit to the Committee the Covenant, bring the matter to the attention of that
written explanations or statements clarifying the matter State party. The receiving State shall afford the State which
and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that sent the communication an explanation or any other
State. The Committee is to consider communications in the statement clarifying the matter. If the matter is not
light of all information made available to it by the State adjusted to the satisfaction of both States parties concerned
party concerned and by the petitioner. The Committee is within six months either State has the right to refer the
not to consider any communication from a petitioner matter to the Human Rights Committee. It is a condition
unless it has ascertained that the petitioner has exhausted for any action on the part of the Committee that all
all available domestic remedies. However, this is not to be available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhaus-
the rule where the application of the remedies is unreason- ted in the matter in conformity with the generally
ably prolonged. The Committee is to forward its sugges- recognized principles of international law. This is not the

rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably S!??. The Optional Protocol provides, as far as the
prolonged. The task of the Committee is to make available States parties to the Protocol are concerned, for a third
its good offlces to the States parties concerned with a view method of implementation of the International Covenant
to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect on Civil and Political Rights, additional to the reporting
for human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognjzed procedure and the system of State-to-State communication
in the Covenant, The examination of State-to-State com- and conciliation. A State party to the Covenant that
munications of the described type takes place in closed becomes a party to the Protocol recognizes the competence
meetings of the Committee. The States concerned have the of the Committee to receive and consider communications
right to be represented when the matter is being considered from individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be
in the Committee and to make oral and written sub- victims of a violation by that State party of any of the
missions. If a solution is reached the Committee confines its rights set forth in the Covenant. The right to communicate
report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution with the Committee is given to individuals claiming to be
reached. If a solution based on respect for human rights and victims of a violation, irrespective of their nationality or
fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Covenants is not lack of it, The right to address communications to the
reached, the Committee confiies its report to a brief Committee is subject to the exhaustion by the individual
statement of the facts. The written submissions and the concerned of all available domestic remedies. A communi-
record of the oral submissions by the parties concerned are cation which is anonymous or which the Human Rights
attached to the report which is communicated to the States Committee considers to be an abuse of the right of
parties (article 41). submission of such communications or to be incompatible
555. The Covenant provides for the establishment of an with the provisions of the Covenant is inadmissible. The
additional organ: if a matter referred to the Committee is Committee is called upon to bring any communication
not resolved to the satisfaction of the parties concerned, submitted to it under the Protocol to the attention of the
the Human Rights Committee may, with the prior consent State party concerned. The receiving State undertakes to
of the States parties concerned, appoint an ad hoc submit to the Committee written explanations or state-
Conciliation Commission. The Commission shall consist of ments clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that
five persons acceptabIe to the States parties concerned. If may have been taken by that State, The Committee
the States parties fail to reach agreement on all or part of considers communications received under the Protocol in
the composition of the Commission, the Human Rights the light of all written information made available to it by
Committee is authorized to fill the vacancies on the the individual and by the State party concerned. The
Commission by electing the necessary number of members Protocol provides that the Human Rights Committee shall
from among its own (the Committees) members by secret not consider any communication unless it has ascertained
ballot, by a two-thirds majority vote. The main task of the that the matter is not being examined under another
ad hoc Conciliation Commission is to make available its procedure of international investigation or settlement. The
good offices to the States parties concerned with a view to rule of exhaustion of all available domestic remedies applies
an amicable solution on the basis of respect for the under the Protocol in the same way as it applies under the
Covenant. If such a solution is not reached, the Com- Covenant.
missions report shall embody its findings on all questions
of fact as well as its views on the possibilities of an amicable
solution of the matter (article 42).
556. The Human Rights Committee is to submit to the 558. Following its consideration of communications,
General Assembly through the Economic and Social the Commission is to forward its views to the State party
Council an annual report on its activities (article 45). concerned and to the individual.
Chapter V


1, Freliminav observations Protection of Minorities had on several occasions submitted

draft definitions to the Commission on Human Rights,
5.59. An analysis of the data collected shows clearly which had not however reached any decision on the
that the application of the principles set forth in article 27
of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights defiiitions.
is an extremely complex matter which does not readily 561. At the present stage, it would be illusory to
admit of a uniform solution, These principles, like all other suppose that a definiton likely to command general
rules laid down in the Covenants were unquestionably approval could be achieved. In the view of the Special
meant to have universal application; it is therefore desirable Rapporteur, such a definition would certainly be of great
that they should be put into effect wherever ethnic, value on the doctrinal plane, but it should not be
religious or linguistic minorities exist, Nevertheless, when it considered a pre-condition for the application of the
comes to determining what groups constitute minorities, all principles set forth in article 27 of the Covenant. There are
kinds of difficulties arise. We have seen that, religious other examples of the occasional application of a rule in
minorities apart, relatively few States expressly recogni2.e positive law without general agreement having been reached
the existence in their populations of groups described as on the precise meaning of its terms, It should be noted in
ethnic or linguistic minorities and that, while a consider- this connexion that the Commission on Human Rights did
able number of States have introduced measures granting not consider it necessary to define the term minority
special rights to various ethnic and linguistic groups, the before setting up the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
majority prefer not to apply the term minorities to them. Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. it will also be
The scope of the measures also varies from country to recalled that the General Assembly of the United Nations
country, and very frequently from group to group within a did not wait for an exhaustive and universal definition of
country. Nevertheless, in spite of reticence, differences of the notion of the right of peoples to self-determination
opinion, and persisting wariness of any international system before proclaiming the application of the principle.
for the protection of minorities, some general criteria for
the application of article 27 must be laid down. The 562. The problem of defining the term minority has
extremely terse wording of the article calls for additional never been an obstacle to the drawing-up of the numerous
international instruments containing provisions on the
indications; the wide diversity of situations that arise must
be taken into account, without prejudice, however, to the rights of certain groups of the population to preserve their
universal applicability of the rule. In this connexion, the culture and use their own language. The terminology used
observations of participants in the seminar held in Ohrid, to refer to such groups varies from one instrument to
Yugoslavia, in 1974 should be borne in mind: another. We have seen, for example, that the UNESCO
Convention against Discrimination in Education mentions
... though the basic principles of respect for human rights were national minorities, while the expression national,
applicable to members of all minorities, the variety of the historical
and socioeconomic conditions under which minorities had been ethnical, racial or religious group is used in the Convention
formed and developed in various regions of the world might require on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
a diversified approach to the problem of the protection and Genocide and racial or ethnic groups in the International
promotion of their human rights. Minorities, having developed in
countries very different from the point of view of their historical, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
economic and social evolution, each had their own characteristics. It Discrimination. Further examples are the fact that the
was pointed out that, taking into account the specific economic and agreement signed in 1946 between the Italian and Austrian
social features of the developing countries, European criteria and Governments speaks of the German-speaking inhabitants
the results of European experience could not necessarily apply to of Bolzano Province and some communes of Trent0
the question of minorities in those countries. Some speakers felt,
however, that all minorities, notwithstanding their diversity, had Province; that the agreement between Pakistan and India
certain f