Logo Minority Rights 2012

Minority Rights 2012

Every country has national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities within its borders. Persons belonging to minorities aspire to participate in the public, social, economic, cultural and religious life of the societies in which they live, on an equal footing with the rest of the population.

Twenty years ago, UN Member States adopted unanimously the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, an acknowledgment that a gap existed in minority rights protection. This gap persists today.

The Minority Rights Declaration established that States have an obligation to acknowledge and promote the rights of minorities to enjoy their own cultures and identities, to profess and practice their own religions and use their own languages.

The Declaration ushered in a new era for minority rights. It sets essential standards for protection and offers guidance to States as they seek to realize the human rights of minorities.


Statements and news
Statements, speeches, news releases and editorial pieces on minority issues by the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Independent Expert on minority issues and UN mechanisms.

Publications and information materials
Awareness raising materials to promote the importance of the Declaration in protecting the rights of minorities.

Visual designs
Develop your communications materials with the special design for the 20th anniversary.

Feature stories
Stories on people belonging to minorities and the work of the UN human rights system to protect their rights.

Meetings and events
Meetings and events to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Minority Rights Declaration.

Related links
The resources page provides links to other web pages of organizations working on the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

UN Declaration on Minority Rights at 20
See also
Contact us

Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH–1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9000
E-mail: minorities@ohchr.org