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Section II, Article 4

Gudmundur Alfredsson

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

Indigenous peoples — Religion — Minorities — Human rights remedies — Equal treatment

This chapter comments on Article 4 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). Equality before the law and equal protection of the law are frequently denied to minority persons. Usually coupled with discrimination, such denials occur frequently in European countries, notwithstanding general respect for the rule of law and democratic systems of government. Article 4 contains three essential elements of minority rights: the rights of equality before the law and of equal protection by the law; the prohibition of discrimination against a person for reasons of belonging to a minority; and the introduction of adequate measures for the promotion of full and effective equal rights for majority and minority persons. However, the language of this Convention remains weak compared with existing standards in international human rights instruments. Furthermore, direct minority access to justice within the Council of Europe continues to be limited.

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