Education, Language and the Human Rights of Minorities
"The rights of linguistic minorities are human rights that must be respected, including in relation to the appropriate degree of use of minority languages. Education deals with what is perhaps the central linguistic right of minorities, and is also fundamental to the maintenance of linguistic diversity. A language that is not taught is a language that will ultimately vanish. The benefits of education in the mother language are now fairly well established scientifically through studies of minority children in different parts of the world."
This conference, organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues and the Tom Lantos Institute, will provide regional insights for the development of a set of guidelines and recommendations focusing on education in and teaching of minority languages. Discussions at the conferences will also inform the recommendations of the 12th session of the UN Forum in 2019.
Other objectives include, in relation to the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum:
-Raising awareness of the ways in which the education in and the teaching of minority languages is anchored in international human rights obligations;
-Providing a platform for more informal exchange on practical challenges of minority language education in Asia and the Pacific among various stakeholders;
-Identifying and discussing the central issues of topical concern related to education and minority languages in Asia and the Pacific;
-Amplifying the voices of minority communities in assessing and improving minority language education policies and offering expert input into their specific concerns.
The format of the regional forum will consist of plenaries and working groups addressing the following key themes:
- Human Rights pertaining to minority language education
- Public policy objectives and practices for education in minority languages
- Effective practices in education in and teaching of minority languages including resources and management for the effective implementation
Following the introduction of the key themes by an expert panel, there will be smaller working groups addressing each theme in greater detail. The aim of these discussions will be to develop draft recommendations. Participants will select the working group they wish to be part of during the registration process.
The Forum shall be open to the participation of states; intergovernmental organisations including United Nations agencies and mechanisms; national human rights institutions and other relevant national bodies; academics and experts on minority issues; representatives of minorities as well as civil society organisations specialising in minority issues.
Participation is open to individuals involved in minority issues in the Asia-Pacific region only (see attached list of states below), and with a clear focus and expertise on the education in and teaching of minority languages.
Registration closes at midnight CET on Wednesday 18th September 2019.
Working languages: English