Minority Youth Organisations
What is the Framework Convention and why does it matter for minority youth?
The Framework Convention is an international treaty that aims at protecting and promoting minority rights. To know more about its content, you can have a look at the FCNM leaflet).
The Framework Convention is not just a text. It is also monitored by independent experts. They are called the “Advisory Committee” because they advise the States’ representatives on what to do to protect the Framework Convention. These experts are tasked with reporting on whether States fulfil their commitments. To do so, they make regular country-visits to the countries having accepted the Framework Convention. For these experts, it is important to meet with minority youth organisations and to receive information from them. It allows them to get information from the persons primary concerned by minority rights.
Meeting with minority youth is all the more important because several rights protected by the Framework Convention, such as rights related to education, culture, association, or linguistic rights, are of direct concern to minority youth. It is crucial therefore that minority youth have their voice heard on such issues.
How can minority youth organisations participate in protecting and promoting minority youth rights?
Minority youth organisations can participate in the monitoring of the Framework Convention. This can be done by meeting with the Advisory Committee during its country-visits or by sending information to the Advisory Committee.
If they wish to meet with the Advisory Committee, minority youth organisations can simply check the planned visit dates on the website and inform the Secretariat by email. The Secretariat will do its best to accommodate the Committee’s programme accordingly.
If they wish to submit information on the situation of minority youth in any State Party to the Framework Convention, minority youth organisations can simply send an email with the relevant information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributions in English or French are preferable.
Only public information is cited in opinions of the Advisory Committee. Confidentiality is respected for other information.
When is the best time to ask for a meeting or to send information?
Minority youth organisations can submit information to the Advisory Committee at any time, about any State Party to the Framework Convention, and about any subject covered by the Framework Convention.
It is particularly timely to send information when a State report has been received and that a country-visit is being prepared. The list of state reports received and of country-visits being prepared is available online.
Is it possible for minority youth organisations to submit shadow/alternative reports?
The more, the better. Minority youth organisations are fully entitled to submit shadow/alternative reports, as any other NGOs. Instructions on how to do that is also available online.
What kind of information is of interest to the Advisory Committee?
Submitting a shadow/alternative report may appear costly in terms of human and financial resources, and in particular for minority youth organisations. This is the reason why minority youth organisations should know that they can also play a role in submitting any information relevant to the monitoring of minority rights. This could be a particular event (be it positive or negative), a problem they encounter, a testimony they wish to give, a press article they want to share, one of their activities they want to publicise etc. This can be done by sending a simple email to the Advisory Committee at email@example.com.
It is also important to know that the Advisory Committee is not entitled to resolve individual problems or to provide advice, however it is committed to take into account in its monitoring any information submitted to it, falling under the scope of the Framework Convention and that it considers relevant to its work.
Other forms of input by minority youth organisations
State authorities are also encouraged to:
- include minority youth organisations in the drafting process of the periodical state report, obtaining information on the implementation of the Framework Convention from them and discussing it;
- ensure participation of minority youth organisations in follow-up meetings once the opinions are made public.
Where to submit information?
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by post:
Council of Europe
Secretariat of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
F–67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Contact the FCNM Secretariat: email@example.com