User Tools

Site Tools



General information

Wiki manual

Wiki on minority language learning


International agreements protecting minority languages

About covenants protecting minority languages, and how they work

Many global and transnational agreements, in the form of covenants, exist, aiming to protect minority languages. Usually, these covenants propose a number of measures to improve the situation of minority languages. If a nation decides to ratify such a covenant, it commits itself to carrying out the measures proposed.

To determine whether a nation in fact carries out these measures, the nation has to report about it to a committee every few years. This report is then judged by a committee. If the committee deems the measures taken insufficient, the nation is informed of this. Though it is not proper to ignore the committee's judgement, nations sometimes do.

Though most covenants cannot be enforced, they do have power: because, by ratifying the covenant, a nation makes promises, and may be reminded about keeping or breaking those.

Examples of covenants

This list of conventions is not exhaustive, but aims to mentions some influential ones.

Global covenants:

Covenants by the United Nations:

UNESCO's Declarations and Conventions

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)'s recommendations

International Labour Organization (ILO)'s convention

UNESCO. (2002). Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity:a vision, a conceptual platform, a pool of ideas for implementation, a new paradigm. Cultural Diversity Series (1).
general_information/international_legislation.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/13 15:11 by ydwine

Creative Commons License
Mercator's wiki on minority language education by Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at