Dec 01, 2017

Paving the way for Inclusivity for Minority Youths

On the occasion of the 10th session of the UN Minority Forum, States, international organisations and representatives of minorities will meet to discuss the challenges facing minority youths today and how to establish a path forward that may create more diverse and inclusive societies for their futures. UNPO looks forward to organising a conference that will bring together minority youth representatives and experts to put together an action plan that may bring a more fruitful future. 

14:00-15:00, Room XXVII, Palais des Nations

Today, the United Nations recognises several international charters that are meant to protect the rights of minorities worldwide. In 1960, the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) introduced the Convention against Discrimination in Education. This charter recognises the right of minority groups of States to carry out their own educational activities – emphasising the right to establish schools and teach in their indigenous language.  Since then, several other conventions have been passed to secure the rights of minority groups. Perhaps most prominent is the Universal Declaration on the rights of national or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities passed in 1992.  This universal declaration continues to serve as legislation intended to protect the human rights of all nations, regardless of their size. 

Unfortunately, despite the intentions of United Nations charters, the basic rights of minority nations worldwide remain in jeopardy.  Often times States even utilise oppressive legislation to prohibit ethnic groups from officially using their language of origin in educational purposes. Other times, assimilation policies go further and impress upon ethnic nations a State-regulated education that purposefully excludes the history of their ancestral culture. Unfortunately, this often leads to minority youths becoming increasingly disillusioned from their ancestral roots. In addition, the suppression of their language often infringes on the quality of education received by ethnic nations that worsens economic opportunities for these youths.

In bringing forward activists, this conference will offer a platform for unrepresented peoples to discuss the detrimental impact that national assimilation policies have on minority youths and put together an action plan that may bring a more fruitful future. Youth representatives will share their experiences with being discriminated and experts will deliver their observations on frameworks and initiatives to promote inclusivity of minority youths.