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Section I, Article 1

Hans-Joachim Heintze

From: The Rights of Minorities: A Commentary on the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 April 2024

Subject(s):
Indigenous peoples — Minorities — Human rights remedies — Refugees

This chapter comments on Article 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). Article 1 unambiguously stresses that the protection of national minorities, and of persons belonging to national minorities, forms an integral part of the protection of human rights. This finding, in itself, represents a major step forward in the development of minority rights. However, Article 1 also reflects the main problems connected with the modern concept of minority protection. One of these relates to the issue of the dimensions, individual or collective, of this protection. On the one hand, Article 1 speaks about the protection of national minorities, thereby referring to the collective or group dimension of this right. On the other hand, it deals with persons belonging to those minorities, thus clearly adopting an individual approach. This tends to show that minority protection falls in a certain legal grey area between individual and group rights. However, the FCNM's authors reject such an impression and emphasize the protection of persons belonging to national minorities.

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