ICCPR: Art 27


  • ICCPR provides that, “in those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.”
  • In 1994, the Human Rights Committee, the ICCPR’s treaty body, issued General Comment 23 on Article 27 of the ICCPR.
  • General Comment 23 was at pains to assure states that Article 27 did not envision the grant to minorities the right of self-determination (Art 1 of the Covenant)
  • Several other regional and universal human rights documents continue the theme of equal protection and anti-discrimination.
  • The Council of Europe undertook similar commitments in the 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
  • The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 1965-Art. 1
  • The 1981 UN anti-discrimination declaration on religion or belief also made a useful contribution to minority rights
  • Genocide Convention, 1948
  • ICC-Article 6
  • Others
  • The UN Commission on Human Rights [Human Rights Council] established the open-ended Working Group on Minorities, the body that drafted the 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Minorities.