About the Forum

The United Nations Forum on Minority Issues was established in 2008 to provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues related to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, as well as thematic contributions and expertise to the work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues. The Forum also aims to identify and analyze best practices, challenges, opportunities, and initiatives for the further implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

Previous sessions of the Forum were devoted to the following themes:

  1. Minorities and the Right to Education
  2. Minorities and Effective Political Participation
  3. Minorities and Effective Participation in Economic Life
  4. Guaranteeing the Rights of Minority Women
  5. Implementing the United Nations Declaration on Minority Rights: Identifying Positive Practices and Opportunities
  6. Beyond Freedom of Religion or Belief: Guaranteeing the Rights of Religious Minorities
  7. Preventing and Addressing Violence and Atrocity Crimes Targeted against Minorities
  8. Minorities in the Criminal Justice System
  9. Minorities in Situations of Humanitarian Crises
  10. Minority Youth: Towards Diverse and Inclusive Societies
  11. Statelessness: A Minority Issue

Dr. Fernand de Varennes is the current Special Rapporteur on minority issues. He was preceded by Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye from 2011-2017 and Ms. Gay McDougall from 2005-2011.

The 12th Session of the Forum on Minority Issues will take place in November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. This session of the Forum will be devoted to the issue of education in and teaching of minority languages.

For more information, please visit the website of the Forum