Minority Rights: Ethnic, Ethnicity, And Minority Rights

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Minority rights are the normal individual rights and the collective rights, accorded to minority groups. More simply, minority rights apply to individual rights of anyone who is not part of a majority. These can be racial, ethnic, class, religious, linguistic, gender or sexual minorities; the most known is the national minority, which is a group within a country felt to be distinct from the majority because of differences of language, religion, and culture. It is possible to state that most of the European states have within themselves one or more national minorities: from Spain to the Baltic Republics (with the numerous Russian-speaking communities), from the United Kingdom (with the Northern Irish question) to Belgium ( Flemish and Walloons) to Poland (with at least six recognized minorities: German, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Czech, Slovak and Belarusian), Hungary (about 500,000 people belonging to the Roma community), Bulgaria (Turkish and Macedonian minorities, and with over 600,000 Roma ), and Romania (about one million Roma). When we refer to “minorities” we mean all those whose protection is guaranteed by the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (approved in Strasbourg on 1 February 1995, which entered into force on 1 February 1998, ratified by 39 Council of Europe countries) whose preamble states that “a pluralist and genuinely democratic society should not only respect the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of each person

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