Diverse identities - Equal Rights
A pluralist democratic society implies the respect for the
identity of each person belonging to a national minority

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of February 1998 is the only legally binding multilateral treaty that guarantees persons belonging to national minorities the right to express, preserve and develop their culture and identity. This leads to effective equality.

The Framework Convention has been ratified by 39 member states of the Council of Europe
Since 2004, a special monitoring agreement between the UN interim administration in Kosovo and the Council of Europe has existed with regard to Kosovo*.
Success Stories
Recognition of Travellers in Ireland
The Council of Europe recommended taking urgent measures to address the de facto exclusion of Travellers from the Irish labour market, developing realistic programmes to lower unemployment among them, involving them more actively in decision making and improving the integration and schooling of Traveller children. In March, 2017, Travellers were formally recognised as a distinct ethnic group within the state.
Adoption of a Law on national minorities in Albania
The Council of Europe recommended that Albania adopt comprehensive legislation on national minorities to fill an existing vacuum , abolish differentiated treatment and bring legislation on national minorities and its implementation into line with the provisions of the Framework Convention. After heated debate, the Law “On the protection of national minorities” was adopted in 2017, with eight national minorities officially recognised: Greeks, Macedonians, Aromanians, Roma-Egyptians, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Serbs, Bulgarians.
Krista Oinonen

We have three Sami languages spoken in Finland: Northern Sami is doing relatively well but there is also Inari Sami and Skolt Sami. Altogether there are fewer  than 1,000 people speaking these two languages. Following recommendations from the FCNM Advisory Committee, the government started a revitalisation programme for all Sami languages.

Krista Oinonen, Director, Human Rights Courts and Conventions Unit, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Find out more about the Framework Convention!

Minorities official website

The 20th anniversary of the FCNM
publication by the European Centre on Minority issues


* All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.