What is the DRP?
The Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities was introduced in 1992.
It outlines the rights belonging to minorities and the responsibility the states have to protect these rights.
It contains nine essential articles, but there are anywhere between one and five pieces of legislation that reinforce a certain message within each article.
In article one, it mentions how the state must protect the existence of minorities.
This means protection from any forms of discrimination, hate crime and violence.
They also have the responsibility to safeguard any sacred sites such as mosques, churches etc.
“States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.”
“States shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve those ends.”
Article two expresses how states must undertake protective measures and encourage conditions that allow minorities to enjoy their cultures, religions and languages.
For example, they can openly celebrate their culture and cultural events without discrimination.
They also have the right to participate in any wider public events such as decision making.
An example of this is elections and voting, which allows their voices to be heard.
“Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (hereinafter referred to as persons belonging to minorities) have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination.”
“Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life.”
“Persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in decisions on the national and, where appropriate, regional level concerning the minority to which they belong or the regions in which they live, in a manner not incompatible with national legislation.”
There have been several incidents worldwide where minorities have received hate crime and violence for being different. Under the declaration of human rights, everyone has equal rights.
However, this legislation is for the minority specifically to assure them they are protected.
These documents and articles are setting essential standards and guidance to the states to take appropriate measures to secure the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
You can read the full set of articles on the United Nations Human Rights website here.