Regional Forums on Education, Language and the Human Rights of Minorities

A series of three regional forums was convened on the topic of education, language and the human rights of minorities. The three forums were held in Brussels, Belgium (6-7 May, 2019), Bangkok, Thailand (20-21 September, 2019), and in Tunis, Tunisia (28-29 October, 2019). The objective of these forums was to provide insights for the development of a set of recommendations to inform and strengthen the implementation of international human rights in relation to education in, and teaching of, minority languages, as contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belong to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities (UNDRM) and other UN instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

An important reference document for the regional forums was the mandate’s own publication entitled Language Rights of Linguistic Minorities: A practical guide for implementation, which clarifies that the rights of linguistic minorities are human rights that must be respected, including in relation to the appropriate degree of use of minority languages in education. The use of the mother tongue in education also involves scientifically sound pedagogical practices to ensure equitable access to quality education for all, as expounded in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Details about each of the three regional forums can be found below.


A database of documents relevant to the issue of education in and teaching of minority languages, including international legal instruments and jurisprudence, and the reports, recommendations, and concluding observations of UN bodies, can be found here.

The organisational and coordinating work of TLI were made possible by the generous support of the Governments of Hungary and Slovenia.