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Language policies should accommodate diversity, protect minority rights and defuse tensions

Author: Catherine Seewald/30 October 2019/Categories: Show on front page, Council of Europe, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

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Strasbourg, 29 October 2019 – “Languages are immensely enriching. They enable us to communicate with more people, to be better understood and to better understand other perspectives.”, says Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in her Human Rights Comment published today.

Unfortunately, however, in many countries of the Council of Europe, languages are still sometimes used as tools to pit people against each other. Preventing people from using the language they consider their own in different settings can lead to a violation of their rights as individuals. Beyond this, entire communities are also negatively affected; and conflicts between different groups or between neighbouring countries often revolve around the use of languages.


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