Minority language education is crucial for the recognition, protection and promotion of minority identity, and remains a key issue for many minorities. For this reason, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes, named minority language education as one of the thematic priorities of his mandate, and made this the theme of the 2019 UN Forum on Minority Issues. In addition, the Special Rapporteur convened three regional forums on this topic.
In order to provide a comprehensive overview of international human rights norms related to minority language education, TLI created an online database in 2019. The database was based on a reference document on education, discrimination and language, prepared by the Special Rapporteur. Using this reference document, TLI identified and collected most UN and regional human rights documents relevant to the topic of education in and teaching of minority languages that were available as of 2017.
A dedicated sub-page was added to the minorityforum.info website to host the database of over two hundred documents, which include relevant international and regional treaties, guidelines, general comments and country-specific concluding observations of UN treaty bodies, as well as relevant decisions and recommendations of regional human rights courts and committees.