Declaration of the Basic Duties of ASEAN Peoples and Governments
Declaration adopted by the First General Assembly of the Regional Council on Human Rights in Asia on December 9, 1983, in Jakarta, Indonesia, and presented to the ASEAN Secretariat on the same day. The Regional Council was a non-governmental organisation largely composed of jurists and others interested in human rights.
1. It is the duty of government to ensure a minimum decent standard of living for all the people, reduce the gap in access to goods and services by different economic and social sectors, and equalise wealth, power and opportunities without distinctions based on race, sex, language, religious belief, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin.
1. It is the duty of government to recognise that members of cultural communities have the same rights as other citizens including the right to participate on an equal basis in public life, and to take affirmative action to ensure such equality. Where equality has been denied in the past, it is the duty of government to provide special representation of cultural communities in order to obtain true equality. It is moreover the duty of government to enforce respect for the right of such peoples to preserve their identity, traditions, language, cultural heritage and customary laws, and enforce protection of their ancestral domains, providing them, if they so desire, with all care and facilities to develop, but respecting their right to determine for themselves the manner and extent of their relationship with the larger society. It is the duty of cultural communities, in turn, to exercise their rights with due respect for the legitimate interests of the nation as a whole, respecting the territorial integrity and political unity of the nation.
2. It is further the duty of government to review its land policies with a view to restoring all ancestral lands belonging to cultural communities to the tribe, bearing in mind the changes that have taken or are taking place in those communities.
3. Consequently, it is the duty of the military (a) to respect the rights of an persons and peoples in accordance with this Declaration, without discrimination based on race, sex, language, culture, religion, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin; and (b) to accept the popular will on questions of national policy, refraining from imposing its own views and opinions on the people.
2. It is the duty of government, under a state of emergency validly declared, to take only such measures restrictive of human rights as are strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, so that no less stringent measures would suffice, and to enforce such measures without discrimination based on race, sex, language, religious belief, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin.
Declaration of Tlahuitoltepec on the Fundamental Rights of the Indigenous Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Indo-Latin America
Tlahuitoltepec, Mexico, 18 May 1994.
We the representatives of the indigenous Indo-Latin American nations, nationalities and peoples unanimously agree that we have always been and will forever continue to be peoples with our own history, religion, culture, education, language and other fundamental characteristics of nations, nationalities and peoples.
We the indigenous nations, nationalities and peoples understand our cultures to be any manifestation that expresses the comprehensive concept of our relationship with our Mother Earth and our relationships among ourselves, as human beings in a community. Out cultures include elements such as language, social, political and economic customs, the arts, sciences, medicine and religion.
Declaration on the Rights of Asian Indigenous Tribal Peoples
Adopted at the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact General Assembly Meeting, Chiangmai, Thailand, 18-23 May 1993.
…We Asian indigenous peoples know who we are. We are the descendants of the original inhabitants of territories which have been conquered; and we consider ourselves distinct from the rest of the prevailing society. we have our own languages, religions, customs and world-view and we are determined to transmit these to future generations. We do not have centralised political institutions but are organised instead at the level of the community and have highly developed methods for arriving at decisions by consensus…
…Asian colonialists have joined hands with previous colonisers to recolonise us in the name of "nation-building" and "development" and to deprive us of our lights to self-determination. We are being pushed to extinction not only through invasion, planned population transfers and transmigration of other peoples to our territories but also through the efforts of dominant Asians to assimilate us, to impose languages, religions and political concepts which are alien to us…
…We assert the right to revitalise our traditional institutions, to speak our languages and live according to our world view and to educate our children on these…
Draft Convention on the Protection of Ethnic Groups in Europe
Federal Union of European Nationalities, Gdansk, Poland, 12 May 1994.
1. For the purposes of this Protocol the term "ethnic group" shall mean a community:
(d) which have ethnical, linguistic or cultural features different from those of the rest of the population,
1. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to the respect, evolution and development of their identity, i.e. they shall have the right freely to express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity, and to maintain and develop their culture in all its aspects, free of any attempts at assimilation.
4. Such special protective measures for the establishment and maintenance of equal opportunities shall be adopted by the state parties with regard to the rights of in particular:
1. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to use their mother tongue (ethnic group language) in private as well as in public, both orally and in writing.
2. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have this right also in contacts with the public administration, the judicial authorities and with all public institutions or institutions intended for public purposes regardless of their legal status; they shall be entitled to receive communications from these institutions in - or also in - their mother tongue (ethnic group language).
3. The exercise of this right shall be guaranteed in all administrative units of their settlement areas preferably directly, at least through translation.
4. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have in particular the right:
(a) when arrested, to be informed promptly in their mother tongue (ethnic group language) of the reasons of their arrest and of any charge against them;
(b) when charged with a criminal offence, to be informed in their mother tongue (ethnic group language) promptly and in detailed manner of the nature and cause of the accusation against them and to defend themselves in this language, if necessary with the free assistance of an interpreter.
5. In the settlement areas of persons belonging to ethnic groups they shall have the right to the use and equal status of their language in legislation, administration and judiciary, in particular within public collegial bodies and in communications such as official publications, general information, official signs as well as acts directed to the public sphere or intended for the public use.
6. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to use their own surnames and first names in their mother tongue (ethnic group language) and to have them officially recognised. This right shall also include the re-establishment of personal names in the form of their own language free of charge.
7. In the settlement areas of persons belonging to ethnic groups they shall have the right to local names, signs, inscriptions and other similar public information in the mother tongue (ethnic group language). This does not deprive the authorities of their right to display the above-mentioned information in the official language or languages of the state; however, any arbitrary modification of traditional denominations in the mother tongue (ethnic group language) which hitherto have been used exclusively in original form in an ethnic group language shall be inadmissible.
1. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to learn their mother tongue (ethnic group language) and to be instructed in it within the whole system of education including, besides the compulsory schooling, e.g. also the kindergartens, preschool education, secondary education, technical and vocational education, vocational continuing education, university and adult education.
2. This right shall be guaranteed through an appropriate number of state schools and other educational establishments, located in accordance with the geographical distribution of the persons belonging to an ethnic group.
3. Whenever outside the settlement areas of persons belonging to ethnic groups the minimum number of pupils required to build a class is not achieved in schools reasonably near, the pupils in question shall be in any case entitled to learn their mother tongue (ethnic group language).
4. For sectors outside the existing compulsory school system such as kindergartens, preschool education, secondary education, technical and vocational education, vocational continuing education, university and adult education, appropriate institutions guaranteeing the instruction in the mother tongue (ethnic group language) shall be established and diplomas issued abroad for courses completed in the mother tongue (ethnic group language) or in the nearest related language shall be recognised. If such institutions should not be demanded by a sufficient number of persons belonging to ethnic groups, the diplomas issued abroad for courses completed in their language or in the nearest language shall be recognised.
5. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to set up and manage their own schools, educational and training establishments within the framework of the legal education system.
6. To enjoy the right of education, persons belonging to ethnic groups shall at least be entitled at all levels and for all types of education, to a share in public grants proportionate to their share in the total population; this shall apply also for education abroad in the mother tongue (ethnic group language) or in the nearest related language.
7. Schooling of and in the mother tongue (ethnic group language) shall be in principle provided by teachers for whom the respective language is also their mother tongue. For educational systems based on joint teaching for persons belonging to ethnic groups and those of the majority population, special rules shall be provided taking into account in an appropriate manner the interests of persons belonging to ethnic groups.
8. In the case of minority schools the persons belonging to ethnic groups, within the framework of the general principles of national school legislation, shall have the right to:
(a) co-determination in the establishment of curricula, the appointment of teachers and the supervision of schools;
(b) adapt school subjects to their particular needs;
(c) instruction also of their own history and culture.
9. State parties shall be responsible for the financing of the educational system of persons belonging to ethnic groups. The state parties shall guarantee that pupils belonging to ethnic groups who wish to attend private schools, may do so. Such private schools shall be promoted or financed by the state party at least to the same extent as private schools in general are promoted or financed by that state.
10. The state parties shall guarantee that persons belonging to ethnic groups shall be taught the national language within the compulsory schooling system.
11. In areas in which ethnic groups are settled, persons belonging to the majority population shall be guaranteed to be taught the language of the ethnic group as well as their history and culture.
1. Persons belonging to ethnic groups shall have the right to disseminate and exchange information through print and audio-visual media in their mother tongue (ethnic group language); they shall have likewise the right to have access to such information within and across national frontiers.
2. In particular, they shall have the right to equal access to the state's or to other public mass media, as well as the right to their own means of communication and adequate public subsidies for this purpose.
3. The right of information shall include the freedom to receive television and radio programmes broadcast from foreign countries in which the same mother tongue is spoken.
4. In the settlement areas of persons belonging to ethnic groups, institutional multilingualism shall be compulsory in all public institutions or institutions intended for public purposes.
本公約由「國家自主權與區域主義之國際機構」(Internationales Institut für Nationalitätenrecht und Regionalismus) 起草，收錄於Edward Chaszar所著之《少數族群的國際問題》The International Problem of National Minorities，頁121-134，印第安那賓州大學1988年出版。
Draft of an International Convention on the Protection of National or Ethnic Groups or Minorities
Draft prepared by the Internationales Institut für Nationalitätenrecht und Regionalismus. Reprinted from Chaszar, Edward (1988), The International Problem of National Minorities, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, at pp. 121-134.
Every member of a national or ethnic group or minority has the right to use his own language or dialect in private, in all social, economic and similar relations, and in public, notwithstanding the legal position of his group or minority.
The state must not undertake, support or favour a policy of artificial or enforced assimilation.
Nobody may be denied the right to assimilate voluntarily with the majority of the population of the state of which he is a national.
2. A national or ethnic group or minority in the sense of the present Convention exists if a number of nationals of the given state, being in numerically inferior, non-dominant position, and possessing ethnic or linguistic characteristics differing from the rest of the population, show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity with a view towards preserving their culture, traditions, or language, and possessing also an adequate representation, asks for legal recognition as a national or ethnic group or minority.
2. The main kinds of protection on a national level are the following:
(c) linguistic autonomy;
The types of self-determination mentioned in Article 14 (b) and (c) may also be granted if, in a given territory of the state, nationals reside possessing ethnic or linguistic characteristics differing from the rest of the population and showing if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity with a view towards preserving their culture, traditions, or language and also possessing an adequate representation, ask for such an arrangement.
A national or ethnic minority or group has the right to use a specific wireless and television channel - channels to be accorded in concordance with relevant international agreements - and to transmit any program in its own language at adequate times.
Cultural autonomy consists further in an educational system providing instruction on all educational levels in the language of the group. Every child belonging to the group has the right to this education, provided the persons responsible for his education are willing to make use of this right. The relevant curricula have to take into account the needs of the group as well as the principles enshrined in the state's Constitution. Diplomas and certificates issued by the educational institutions of the group shall have public recognition. The provisions of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education of 1960 shall be applied respectively.
1. Linguistic autonomy consists in facilitating the use of the mother tongue before administrative and judicial authorities. If more than a certain percentage of the inhabitants of a certain judicial or administrative district - the percentage to be fixed by agreement between the competent state authorities and the representatives of the relevant minority or group - belong to one or more national or ethnic minority or group, their language has to be recognised as official languages. District may not be delimited in a way so as to prevent the realisation of this right. In cases of linguistic autonomy, topographic signs have to bear bi- or multilingual inscriptions.
2. This linguistic autonomy should particularly be observed with regard to the rights of personal liberty, of fair trial and in all matters of social welfare.
3. If necessary, state authorities shall consider the possibility of applying ethnic criteria with regard to the assignments of posts, especially in regions where the group language is recognised as the official language. In areas where the group resides, a percentage of the posts in the public service of the state, the provinces and communes - the percentage to be fixed by agreement between the competent state authorities and the representatives of the relevant minority or group - shall be made available to members of that minority or group.
本公約由「國家自主權與區域主義之國際機構」(Internationales Institut für Nationalitätenrecht und Regionalismus) 起草，收錄於Edward Chaszar所著之《少數族群的國際問題》The International Problem of National Minorities，頁135-143，印第安那賓州大學1988年出版。
Draft Protocol to the International Convention on the Protection of National or Ethnic Minorities or Groups, Applicable to the States Members of the Council of Europe
Draft prepared by the Internationales Institut für Nationalitätenrecht und Regionalismus. Reprinted from Chaszar, Edward (1988), The International Problem of National Minorities, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, at pp. 135-143.
The scope and extent of the competences to be attributed to organs of territorial autonomy shall be fixed by law in accordance with the legitimate representatives of the ethnic group. The autonomous organs shall be granted at least comprehensive competences of a cultural nature (cultural autonomy) as well as rights of decision in questions of basic social and economic policy.
The scope and extent of competences which are attributed to the organs of an autonomous corporate entity shall be fixed by law and in accordance with the legitimate representatives of the ethnic group. The law must prescribe the internal structure of the entity and shall envisage the cultural development and the respect for linguistic rights of the ethnic group.
In ethnic regions vested with territorial autonomy, the ethnic group's language is the official language of the administration - including mail service, railway service, public hospitals, supply institutions and public social assurances - and in courts of justice )in higher instances only if a party to a lawsuit has residence in the autonomous region; in case of juridical persons, if it has its seat in the autonomous region). The language used for internal purposes by the administration and the courts of justice shall be the language of the ethnic group in cases where the administrative organs and tribunals are competent for single communes or are established on the commune level (including organs of arbitration).
The ethnic group's language shall be the official language if in an autonomous corporate entity within a commune (including parts of the commune or factions of a commune equipped with independent sub-organs of the commune) at least 20 %, in administrative and judicial districts at least 6 %, or in larger administrative entities at least 5 % of the residing population use the language of the ethnic group.
In ethnic groups region vested with territorial autonomy, topographic inscriptions shall be in the language of the ethnic group. In territories vested with corporate autonomy, topographic inscriptions shall be bilingual but in any case equal to the official language with regard to type, size and arrangement of the written text. In both cases printed forms must also be available in the language of the ethnic or linguistic minority. Topographic inscriptions include all sign boards, the inscriptions and designations of offices, schools, railway stations, post offices, police stations, public hospitals, social assurances and inscriptions in public maps. On traffic sign boards the names of domestic communes located in an other language area are to appear only in the language of the other area.
The respective standard language is considered as "language of the ethnic group". The use of a dialect may be permitted orally in dealings with public offices, if all parties immediately concerned have a command of that dialect.
Kindergartens and preschool institutions are to be established for all children of members of ethnic groups requiring a preschool education provided that a sufficient number of children have applied for it. A decision as to the existence of these conditions shall be made in a generous and accommodating manner. The language of instruction and care of the children shall be the language of the ethnic group; Article 18 applies.
Ethnic groups are entitled to the establishment and maintenance of a sufficient number of elementary schools to be located in their area of settlement in compliance with compulsory education, and with the ethnic group's language as language of instruction. Linguistic minorities (groups of citizens, irrespective of any profession under Article 9, of a mother tongue other than that of the majority of the population of the state) have the same right for their hereditary linguistic regions. The official language is a compulsory subject of instruction for all elementary grades in so far as the autonomous authorities have so ordered. In elementary schools for linguistic minorities the official language is to be taught in any case.
Should parents or other persons responsible for children or pupils at higher educational institutions (including professional and/or other institutions of higher learning) wish, or should the ethnic group or an autonomous inspectorate of education (in case such an inspectorate is established - Article 25) so demand, such schools are to be instituted; school curricula shall provide for the language of the ethnic group as subject of instruction where a sufficient number of pupils have applied for it. A decision as to the existence of these conditions shall be made in a generous and accommodating manner.
Ethnic groups are entitled to the establishment of public universities or similar educational institutions whenever in the first semester a sufficient number of members of the ethnic group have applied for enrolment in each of the main curricula. A decision as to the existence of these conditions shall be made in a generous and accommodating manner.
On all levels of elementary and higher schools of the ethnic group or a linguistic minority it must be provided that the culture, the history, the social and economic structure of the ethnic group or the linguistic minority be a subject of the school curricula; the lessons are to be held in the language of the respective minority or group.
Ethnic groups are permitted autonomously to establish educational institutions and schools of the kind mentioned in Articles 19-22 in accordance to national legislation on education. In such cases the ethnic groups are responsible for the material and personnel expenditures of these institutions. If they are unable to meet the expenses, the state (or, if educational matters fall within the competence of parts of federal states, the relevant part of a federal state) is responsible for covering the costs.
Particular inspectorates of education shall be established for educational institutions and schools of ethnic groups and linguistic minorities. The civil servants of those entities must command the language of the ethnic group or of the linguistic minority as well as the official language.
If an ethnic group does not possess its own radio or television installations and cannot possess such installations due to a lack of financial means, the group has a right to adequate transmission time with the radio of public or publicly concessioned radio installations during suitable hours. A decision as to what has to be considered "adequate" and "suitable" shall be made in a generous and accommodating manner. Radio and television programmes intended for ethnic groups are to be prepared by members of the ethnic groups standing for the support of the preservation of the ethnic group. Ethnic groups may not be burdened with the costs of these programmes except for the usual broadcasting taxes. Should only private broadcasting corporations exist in the given state, that state (or part of a federal state) must provide the ethnic group with the means of arranging for programmes in their own language, composed by their own members in so far as they stand for the support of the preservation of the ethnic group. These provisions apply also to television services.
Members of ethnic groups (linguistic minorities) have the right to use their Christian and family names in the wording and style corresponding to the tradition of the ethnic group (linguistic minority). Official registers and documents are to be kept in the above mentioned language and are to be altered accordingly if so demanded. Special taxes may not be imposed for this service.
Access to all public offices and posts is to be granted to members of ethnic groups in the same manner as it is granted to members of the majority population. At all public offices whose competence comprises territories in which ethnic groups or parts of such groups in the sense of this Protocol reside, public servants must be appointed who belong to the relevant ethnic group and guarantee the support of the preservation of the ethnic group. The number of these public servants must correspond, within each type of service rank, to the percentage which is equal to that part of the ethnic group in relation to the whole population residing in this territory for which the relevant authority is competent. Public servants may only be entrusted with tasks which are of particular importance for the preservation and advancement of an ethnic group in case such public servants stand for the support of the preservation of the ethnic group.
Kiruna Declaration on Human Rights
World Council of Indigenous Peoples, Kiruna, Sweden, 27 September 1977.
We, therefore, wish to make clear those irrevocable and inborn rights which are due to us in our capacity as Aboriginals:
2. Right to maintain our culture, language and traditions in freedom;...
14. Right to an appropriate education in accordance with our culture and out traditions, without any foreign elements and within the framework of an educational system which recognises the values of our culture and acknowledges an official status to our language at all educational levels.
由LAWASTIA主辦，來自密克羅西尼亞、波里尼西亞、美拉尼西亞、澳大利亞以及紐西蘭大約20個代表團審查由專家撰寫的一份報告以及1989年5月15-17日在阿比亞、西薩摩亞所簽署的憲章提綱。下列選錄的是從《LAWASIA所贊助的太平洋人權憲章題綱報告》(1992) 22維多利亞大學威靈頓法律評論99。憲章的全文也可以在「亞太人權文件及資源」，Fernand de Varennes (ed.)，卷1，Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1998。
Pacific Charter of Human Rights
Under the auspices of LAWASIA, some 20 delegates from Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia, Australia and New Zealand examined a report of experts and subsequently arrived with the following proposed charter which was adopted in Apia, Western Samoa, 15-17 May 1989. The following extracts are reprinted from "Report on a proposed Pacific Charter of Human Rights prepared under the auspices of LAWASIA", (1992) 22 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 99. The full text of the Charter can also be found in "Asia-Pacific Human Rights Documents and Resources", Fernand de Varennes (Ed.), Volume 1, Kluwer Law International, The Hague, 1998.
Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, economic status, birth or other status.
(2) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence has the right:
(h) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if the person cannot understand or speak the language used in court;
In those Parties in which ethnic, religious or minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.
Statement of Workshop on Asia-Pacific Human Rights Education
Statement issued on 26 August 1996, Sydney, Australia, at workshop attended by human rights educators and representatives of human rights organisations in Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The participants at the Workshop of Asia-Pacific Human Rights Educators agreed upon the following principles and tasks:
28. Human rights education programs. The Workshop applauds the efforts of human rights education programs and initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. However, there is an urgent need to strengthen existing capacities for human rights education, as well as to develop new capacities, at regional, national and local levels. During the Decade, there must be coordinated efforts to enhance the capacity of human rights education programs for:
provision of public access to primary human rights documentation in relevant forms and languages;
Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights
This declaration is the result of efforts of a number of organizations (the International PEN Club's Translations and Linguistic Rights Committee and the Escarré International Centre for Ethnic Minorities and Nations) which entrusted its preparation to a committee of fifty experts. It was finally approved on 6 June 1996 in Barcelona, Spain, by two hundred and twenty persons from almost ninety different states, representing some one hundred NGOs and International PEN Club Centres. The text of the Universal Declaration can also be found in Spanish, French and Catalan versions at the Internet site of the Centre Internacional Escarré per a les Minories Ètniques i Nacionals.
The institutions and non-governmental organizations, signatories to the present Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, meeting in Barcelona from 6 to 9 June 1996,
Having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, in its preamble, expresses its "faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women"; and which, in its second article, establishes that "everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms" regardless of "race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status";
Having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966 (Article 27), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the same date which, in their preambles, state that human beings cannot be free unless conditions are created which enable them to enjoy both their civil and political rights and their economic, social and cultural rights;
Having regard to Resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992 of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organizations which adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National, Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities;
Having regard to the declarations and conventions of the Council of Europe, such as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, of 4 November 1950 (Article 14); the Convention of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe, of 29 June 1992, approving the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; the Declaration on National Minorities by the Summit Meeting of the Council of Europe on 9 October 1993; and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of November 1994;
Having regard to the Santiago de Compostela Declaration of the International PEN Club and the Declaration of 15 December 1993 of the Translations and Linguistic Rights Committee of the International PEN Club concerning the proposal to hold a World Conference on Linguistic Rights;
Considering that, in the Recife, Brazil, Declaration of 9 October 1987, the 12th Seminar of the International Association for the Development of Intercultural Communication recommended the United Nations Organization to take the necessary steps to approve and implement a Universal Declaration on Linguistic Rights;
Having regard to Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization of 26 June 1989 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries;
Having regard to the Universal Declaration of the Collective Rights of Peoples, Barcelona, May 1990, which declared that all peoples have the right to express and develop their culture, language and rules of organization and, to this end, to adopt political, educational, communications and governmental structures of their own, within different political frameworks;
Having regard to the Final Declaration of the General Assembly of the International Federation of Modern Language Teachers in Pécs (Hungary) on 16 August 1991, which recommended that linguistic rights be considered among the fundamental rights of the individual;
Having regard to the report of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, of 20 April 1994, concerning the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which assesses individual rights in the light of collective rights;
Having Regard to the draft Declaration of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved at session 1278 on 18 September 1995;
Considering that the majority of the world's endangered languages belong to non-sovereign peoples and that the main factors which prevent the development of these languages and accelerate the process of language substitution include the lack of self-government and the policy of states which impose their political and administrative structures and their language;
Considering that invasion, colonization, occupation and other instances of political, economic or social subordination often involve the direct imposition of a foreign language or, at the very least, distort perceptions of the value of languages and give rise to hierarchical linguistic attitudes which undermine the language loyalty of speakers; and considering that the languages of some peoples which have attained sovereignty are immersed in a process of language substitution as a result of a policy which favours the language of a former colonial or imperial power;
Considering that universalism must be based on a conception of linguistic and cultural diversity which prevails over trends towards homogenization and exclusionary isolation;
Considering that, in order to ensure peaceful coexistence between language communities, a series of overall principles must be found so as to guarantee the promotion and respect of all languages and their social use in public and in private;
Considering that various factors of an extralinguistic nature (historical, political, territorial, demographic, economic, sociocultural and sociolinguistic factors and those related to collective attitudes) give rise to problems which lead to the extinction, marginalization and degeneration of numerous languages, and that consequently linguistic rights must be examined in an overall perspective, so as to apply appropriate solutions in each case;
In the belief that a Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights is required in order to correct linguistic imbalances with a view to ensuring the respect and full development of all languages and establishing the principles for a just and equitable linguistic peace throughout the world as a key factor in the maintenance of harmonious social relations;
HEREBY DECLARE THAT
The situation of each language, in view of the foregoing considerations, is the result of the convergence and interaction of a wide range of factors of a political and legal, ideological and historical, demographic and territorial, economic and social, cultural, linguistic and sociolinguistic, interlinguistic and subjective nature.
More specifically, at the present time, these factors are defined by:
1.The age-old unifying tendency of the majority of states to reduce diversity and foster attitudes opposed to cultural plurality and linguistic pluralism.
2.The trend towards a worldwide economy and consequently towards a worldwide market of information, communications and culture, which disrupts the spheres of interrelation and the forms of interaction that guarantee the internal cohesion of language communities.
3.The economicist growth model put forward by transnational economic groups which seeks to identify deregulation with progress and competitive individualism with freedom and generates serious and growing economic, social, cultural and linguistic inequality.
Language communities are currently under pressure from dangers arising from a lack of self-government, a limited population or one that is partially or wholly dispersed, a fragile economy, an uncodified language, or a cultural model opposed to the dominant one, which make it impossible for many languages to survive and develop unless the following basic goals are taken into account:
In a political perspective, the goal of conceiving a way of organizing linguistic diversity so as to permit the effective participation of language communities in this new growth model.
In a cultural perspective, the goal of rendering the worldwide communications space compatible with the equitable participation of all peoples, language communities and individuals in the development process.
In an economic perspective, the goal of fostering sustainable development based on the participation of all and on respect for the ecological balance of societies and for equitable relationships between all languages and cultures.
For all these reasons, this Declaration takes language communities and not states as its point of departure and is to be viewed in the context of the reinforcement of international institutions capable of guaranteeing sustainable and equitable development for the whole of humanity. For these reasons also it aims to encourage the creation of a political framework for linguistic diversity based upon respect, harmonious coexistence and mutual benefit.
1. This Declaration considers as a language community any human society established historically in a particular territorial space, whether this space be recognized or not, which identifies itself as a people and has developed a common language as a natural means of communication and cultural cohesion between its members. The term language specific to a territory refers to the language of the community historically established in such a space.
2. This Declaration takes as its point of departure the principle that linguistic rights are individual and collective at one and the same time. In defining the full range of linguistic rights, it adopts as its referent the case of a historical language community within its own territorial space, this space being understood, not only as the geographical area where the community lives, but also as the social and functional space vital to the full development of the language. Only on this basis is it possible to define the rights of the language groups mentioned in point 5 of the present article, and those of individuals living outside the territory of their community, in terms of a gradation or continuum.
3. For the purpose of this Declaration, groups are also deemed to be in their own territory and to belong to a language community in the following circumstances:
i. when they are separated from the main body of their community by political or administrative boundaries; ii. when they have been historically established in a small area surrounded by members of other language communities; or iii. when they are established in an area which they share with the members of other language communities with similar historical antecedents.
4. This Declaration also considers nomad peoples within their historical areas of migration and peoples historically established in geographically dispersed locations as language communities in their own territory.
5. This Declaration considers as a language group any group of persons sharing the same language which is established in the territorial space of another language community but which does not possess historical antecedents equivalent to those of that community. Examples of such groups are immigrants, refugees, deported persons and members of diasporas.
1. This Declaration considers that, whenever various language communities and groups share the same territory, the rights formulated in this Declaration must be exercised on a basis of mutual respect and in such a way that democracy may be guaranteed to the greatest possible extent.
2. In order to establish the appropriate articulation between the respective rights of such language communities and groups and the persons belonging to them, the quest for a satisfactory sociolinguistic balance must take into account various factors, in addition to their respective historical antecedents in the territory and their democratically expressed will. Among such factors, which may call for compensatory treatment aimed at restoring a balance, are the following: the coercive nature of the migrations which have led to the coexistence of the different communities and groups, and their degree of political, socioeconomic and cultural vulnerability.
1. This Declaration considers the following to be inalienable personal rights which may be exercised in any situation:
the right to be recognized as a member of a language community;
the right to the use of one's own language both in private and in public;
the right to the use of one's own name;
the right to interrelate and associate with other members of one's language community of origin;
the right to maintain and develop one's own culture;
and all the other rights related to language which are recognized in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the same date.
2. This Declaration considers that the collective rights of language groups, may include the following, in addition to the rights attributed to the members of language groups in the foregoing paragraph, and in accordance with the conditions laid down in article 2.2:
the right for their own language and culture to be taught;
the right of access to cultural services;
the right to an equitable presence of their language and culture in the communications media;
the right to receive attention in their own language from government bodies and in socioeconomic relations.
3. The aforementioned rights of persons and language groups must in no way hinder the interrelation of such persons or groups with the host language community or their integration into that community. Nor must they restrict the rights of the host community or its members to the full public use of the community's own language throughout its territorial space.
1. This Declaration considers that persons who move to and settle in the territory of another language community have the right and the duty to maintain an attitude of integration towards this community. This term is understood to mean an additional socialization of such persons in such a way that they may preserve their original cultural characteristics while sharing with the society in which they have settled sufficient references, values and forms of behaviour to enable them to function socially without greater difficulties than those experienced by members of the host community.
2. This Declaration considers, on the other hand, that assimilation, a term which is understood to mean acculturation in the host society, in such a way that the original cultural characteristics are replaced by the references, values and forms of behaviour of the host society, must on no account be forced or induced and can only be the result of an entirely free decision.
This Declaration is based on the principle that the rights of all language communities are equal and independent of their legal status as official, regional or minority languages. Terms such as regional or minority languages are not used in this Declaration because, though in certain cases the recognition of regional or minority languages can facilitate the exercise of certain rights, these and other modifiers are frequently used to restrict the rights of language communities.
This Declaration considers that a language cannot be considered specific to a territory merely on the grounds that it is the official language of the state or has been traditionally used within the territory for administrative purposes or for certain cultural activities.
1. All languages are the expression of a collective identity and of a distinct way of perceiving and describing reality and must therefore be able to enjoy the conditions required for their development in all functions.
2. All languages are collectively constituted and are made available within a community for individual use as tools of cohesion, identification, communication and creative expression.
1. All language communities have the right to organize and manage their own resources so as to ensure the use of their language in all functions within society.
2. All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal whatever means are necessary to ensure the transmission and continuity of their language.
All language communities have the right to codify, standardize, preserve, develop and promote their linguistic system, without induced or forced interference.
1. All language communities have equal rights.
2. This Declaration considers discrimination against language communities to be inadmissible, whether it be based on their degree of political sovereignty, their situation defined in social, economic or other terms, the extent to which their languages have been codified, updated or modernized, or on any other criterion.
3. All necessary steps must be taken in order to implement this principle of equality and to render it real and effective.
All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal whatever means of translation into and from other languages are needed to guarantee the exercise of the rights contained in this Declaration.
1. Everyone has the right to carry out all activities in the public sphere in his/her language, provided it is the language specific to the territory where s/he resides.
2. Everyone has the right to use his/her language in the personal and family sphere.
1. Everyone has the right to know the language specific to the territory in which s/he lives.
2. Everyone has the right to be polyglot and to know and use the language most conducive to his/her personal development or social mobility, without prejudice to the guarantees established in this Declaration for the public use of the language specific to the territory.
The provisions of this Declaration cannot be interpreted or used to the detriment of any norm or practice deriving from the internal or international status of a language which is more favourable to its use within the territory to which it is specific.
Overall linguistic régime
Public administration and official bodies
1. All language communities are entitled to the official use of their language within their territory.
2. All language communities have the right for legal and administrative acts, public and private documents and records in public registers which are drawn up in the language of the territory to be valid and effective and no one can allege ignorance of this language.
All language communities have the right to communicate in their own language with the central, territorial, local and supraterritorial services of the public authorities and of those administrative divisions which include the territory to which the language is specific.
1. All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal and to obtain in their own language all official documents pertaining to relations which affect the territory to which the language is specific, whether such documents be in printed, machine-readable or any other form.
2. Forms and standard administrative documents, whether in printed, machine-readable or any other form, must be made available and placed at the disposal of the public in all territorial languages by the public authorities through the services which cover the territories to which each language is specific.
1. All language communities have the right for laws and other legal provisions which concern them to be published in the language specific to the territory.
2. Public authorities who have more than one territorially historic language within their jurisdiction must publish all laws and other legal provisions of a general nature in each of these languages, whether or not their speakers understand other languages.
1. Representative Assemblies must have as their official language(s) the language(s) historically spoken in the territory they represent.
2. This right also applies to the languages of the communities established in geographically dispersed locations referred to in Article 1, Paragraph 4.
1. Everyone has the right to use the language historically spoken in a territory, both orally and in writing, in the Courts of Justice located within that territory. The Courts of Justice must use the language specific to the territory in their internal actions and, if on account of the legal system in force within the state, the proceedings continue elsewhere, the use of the original language must be maintained.
2. Notwithstanding the above, everyone has the right to be tried in a language which s/he understands and can speak and to obtain the services of an interpreter free of charge.
All language communities have the right for records in public registers to be drawn up in the language specific to the territory.
All language communities have the right for documents authenticated by notaries public or certified by other authorized public servants to be drawn up in the language specific to the territory where the notary or other authorized public servant performs his/her functions.
1. Education must help to foster the capacity for linguistic and cultural self-expression of the language community of the territory where it is provided.
2. Education must help to maintain and develop the language spoken by the language community of the territory where it is provided.
3. Education must always be at the service of linguistic and cultural diversity and of harmonious relations between different language communities throughout the world.
4. Within the context of the foregoing principles, everyone has the right to learn any language.
All language communities have the right to decide to what extent their language is to be present, as a vehicular language and as an object of study, at all levels of education within their territory: preschool, primary, secondary, technical and vocational, university, and adult education.
All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal all the human and material resources necessary to ensure that their language is present to the extent they desire at all levels of education within their territory: properly trained teachers, appropriate teaching methods, text books, finance, buildings and equipment, traditional and innovative technology.
All language communities are entitled to an education which will enable their members to acquire a full command of their own language, including the different abilities relating to all the usual spheres of use, as well as the most extensive possible command of any other language they may wish to know.
All language communities are entitled to an education which will enable their members to acquire knowledge of any languages related to their own cultural tradition, such as literary or sacred languages which were formerly habitual languages of the community.
All language communities are entitled to an education which will enable their members to acquire a thorough knowledge of their cultural heritage (history, geography, literature, and other manifestations of their own culture), as well as the most extensive possible knowledge of any other culture they may wish to know
1. Everyone is entitled to receive an education in the language specific to the territory where s/he resides.
2. This right does not exclude the right to acquire oral and written knowledge of any language which may be of use to him/her as an instrument of communication with other language communities.
The language and culture of all language communities must be the subject of study and research at university level.
All language communities have the right to preserve and use their own system of proper names in all spheres and on all occasions.
1. All language communities have the right to use place names in the language specific to the territory, both orally and in writing, in the private, public and official spheres.
2. All language communities have the right to establish, preserve and revise autochthonous place names. Such place names cannot be arbitrarily abolished, distorted or adapted, nor can they be replaced if changes in the political situation, or changes of any other type, occur.
All language communities have the right to refer to themselves by the name used in their own language. Any translation into other languages must avoid ambiguous or pejorative denominations.
Everyone has the right to the use of his/her own name in his/her own language in all spheres, as well as the right, only when necessary, to the most accurate possible phonetic transcription of his/her name in another writing system.
Communications media and new technologies
All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal all the human and material resources required in order to ensure the desired degree of presence of their language and the desired degree of cultural self-expression in the communications media in their territory: properly trained personnel, finance, buildings and equipment, traditional and innovative technology.
All language communities have the right to receive, through the communications media, a thorough knowledge of their cultural heritage (history, geography, literature and other manifestations of their own culture), as well as the greatest possible amount of information about any other culture their members may wish to know.
The languages and cultures of all language communities must receive equitable and non-discriminatory treatment in the communications media throughout the world.
The communities described in Article 1, paragraphs 3 and 4, of this Declaration, and the groups mentioned in paragraph 5 of the same article, are entitled to an equitable representation of their language in the communications media of the territory where they are established or where they migrate. This right is to be exercised in harmony with the rights of the other language groups or communities in the territory.
In the field of information technology, all language communities are entitled to have at their disposal equipment adapted to their linguistic system and tools and products in their language, so as to derive full advantage from the potential offered by such technologies for publication, translation and information processing and for the dissemination of culture in general.
1. All language communities have the right to use, maintain and foster their language in all forms of cultural expression.
2. All language communities must be able to exercise this right to the full without any community's space being subjected to hegemonic occupation by a foreign culture.
All language communities have the right to full development within their own cultural sphere.
All language communities are entitled to access to the works produced in their language.
All language communities are entitled to access to intercultural programmes through the dissemination of adequate information, and to support for activities such as teaching the language to foreigners, translation, dubbing, post-synchronization and subtitling.
All language communities have the right for the language specific to the territory to occupy a pre-eminent position in cultural events and services (libraries, videothèques, cinemas, theatres, museums, archives, folklore, cultural industries, and all other manifestations of cultural life).
All language communities have the right to preserve their linguistic and cultural heritage, including its material manifestations, such as collections of documents, works of art and architecture, historic monuments and inscriptions in their own language.
The socioeconomic sphere
1. All language communities have the right to establish the use of their language in all socioeconomic activities within their territory.
2. All language communities are entitled to have at their disposal, in their own language, all the means necessary for the performance of their professional activities, such as documents and works of reference, instructions, forms and computer equipment, tools and products.
3. The use of other languages in this sphere can only be required in so far as it is justified by the nature of the professional activity involved. In no case can a more recently arrived language relegate or supersede the use of the language specific to the territory.
1. All language communities have the right to use their language with full legal validity in economic transactions of all types, such as the sale and purchase of goods and services, banking, insurance, job contracts and others.
2. No clause in such private acts can exclude or restrict the use of a language in the territory to which it is specific.
3. All language communities are entitled to have the documents required for the performance of the above-mentioned operations at their disposal in their own language. Such documents include forms, cheques, contracts, invoices, receipts, delivery notes, order forms, and others.
All language communities have the right to use their language in all types of socioeconomic organizations such as labour and union organizations, and employers', professional, trade and craft associations.
1. All language communities have the right for their language to occupy a pre-eminent place in advertising, signs, external signposting, and all other elements that make up the image of the country.
2. All language communities have the right to receive full oral and written information in their own language on the products and services proposed by commercial establishments in the territory, such as instructions for use, labels, lists of ingredients, advertising, guarantees and others.
3. All public signs and announcements affecting the safety of the public must be written at least in the language specific to the territory, in conditions which are not inferior to those of any other language.
1. Everyone has the right to use the language specific to the territory in his/her relations with firms, commercial establishments and private bodies and to be served or receive a reply in the same language.
2. Everyone has the right, as a client, customer, consumer or user, to receive oral and written information in the language specific to the territory from establishments open to the public.
Everyone has the right to carry out his/her professional activities in the language specific to the territory unless the functions inherent to the job require the use of other languages, as in the case of language teachers, translators or tourist guides.
The public authorities must take all appropriate steps to implement the rights proclaimed in this Declaration within their respective areas of jurisdiction. More specifically, international funds must be set up to foster the exercise of linguistic rights in communities which are demonstrably lacking in resources. Thus the public authorities must provide the necessary support so that the languages of the various communities may be codified, transcribed, taught, and used in the administration.
2. It is the duty of government, under a state of emergency validly declared, to take only such measures restrictive of human rights as are strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, so that no less stringent measures would suffice, and to enforce such measures without discrimination based on race, sex, language, religious belief, political conviction, economic or social status, or ethnic origin.
The public authorities must establish, in the light of existing legislation, the sanctions arising from the violation of the linguistic rights laid down in this Declaration.
This Declaration proposes the creation of a Council of Languages within the United Nations Organization. The General Assembly of the United Nations Organization is to be responsible for setting up this Council, defining its functions and appointing its members, and for creating a body in international law to protect language communities in the exercise of the rights recognized in this Declaration.
This Declaration recommends and promotes the creation of a World Commission on Linguistic Rights, a non-official, consultative body made up of representatives of non-governmental organizations and organizations working in the field of linguistic law.