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Part III Tasks and Objectives, s.1 Protecting and Promoting Human Rights, 24 Conventions on the Protection of National Minorities

Stefan Oeter

From: The Council of Europe: Its Law and Policies

Edited By: Stefanie Schmahl, Marten Breuer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 October 2021

Democracy — Specific treaties — Rule of law

This chapter details two treaty instruments for the protection of minorities: the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). These place the Council of Europe (CoE) in a unique position, as they are the only legally binding, specific legal documents on the protection of minorities that exist worldwide. Although there are other organisations that deal with issues of minority protection, the CoE treaties are unique in that they codify binding obligations for states and initiate ambitious monitoring mechanisms intended to create a dynamic institutional set-up. Furthermore, the chapter shows how these two treaty instruments have a common ideational background, but developed out of completely different political contexts. In the drafting phase (and also in the ratification process) there was a clear political intention to stress the differences between the instruments.

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