Language rights protocol

Language rights must certainly be included among these basic human rights. Languages are for communication, but the situation of languages cannot be limited to the communicative dimension alone, since languages cannot be separated from cultures. When the connection between languages and cultures is denied, the dignity of speakers and citizens is being left out of consideration.

For that reason we have opened up a channel which can contribute to social well-being and peaceful coexistence, because working towards the democratic treatment of language communities is one way of ensuring that all human rights are respected.

Throughout Europe, language communities have taken steps to enable people to live their lives in their own languages. There are hundreds of community-based organisations acting in different fields with the goal of supporting minority languages.

The present project proposes to create a meeting place where civil society in Europe can take charge of the process of nurturing our linguistic diversity, and it will be the fruit of a series of discussions over preceding years by numerous work groups; an instrument bringing together scientific perspectives, academic opinions and social viewpoints, and a novel foundation for building a new Europe based on equality between languages.

The Protocol to Ensure Language rights will be presented in the European Language Diversity Forum on December 15th and 16th, and also in a public social event on December 17th. After that, the Protocol will be taken to international fora and institutions to allow entities of all kinds to use it to regulate their commitment to language diversity.