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Minorities enrich the societies of each and every country in the world. Yet too often, minorities face multiple forms of discrimination, resulting in marginalization, violence and exclusion.

We must aim to ensure that no one is afraid to self-identify as a member of a minority, fearing disadvantage will come out of that decision. Persons belonging to minorities must be guaranteed protection of their existence and identity. To achieve effective participation of minorities and end their exclusion, we must embrace diversity through the promotion and implementation of international human rights law and standards.

Our work

Minority rights are an integral part of the United Nations work for the promotion and protection of human rights, sustainable human development, peace and security. Our office plays a leading role within the UN system in this respect. We support the various UN human rights mechanisms that work to further the rights of minorities worldwide. We lead the work of the UN Network on Racial Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities. Further, we provide support to the Forum on Minority Issues and to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

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Who else is involved

UN Forum on Minority Issues

The forum was established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 6/15 of 28 September 2007 and was renewed by resolution 19/23 of 23 March 2012. It is a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. It also contributes to the work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

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Special Rapporteur on minority issues

Established in 2005 by the Commission on Human Rights, the mandate works to promote the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

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