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Rights of national minorities

Recommendation 285 (1961)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate, on 28th April 1961 (8th Sitting) (seeDoc. 1299 , Report of the Legal Committee). Text adopted by the Assembly on 28th April 1961 (8th Sitting).

The Assembly,

Recalling its Recommendation 234 proposing the conclusion of a Second Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights;

Having regard to the fact that, in various member States of the Council of Europe, there exist non-dominant groups conscious of belonging to a national minority;

Noting that Article 14 of the Convention on Human Rights already affords to persons belonging to national minorities a certain measure of protection, in that it protects these persons against discrimination in the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms covered by the Convention;

Considering that it is desirable that the collective interests of national minorities should be satisfied to the extent compatible with safeguarding the essential interests of the States to which these minorities belong;

Having considered the Report of its Legal Committee (Doc. 1299),

Recommends to the Committee of Ministers :

1 that it should instruct the Committee of Government Experts which has already been given the task of studying problems relating to the European Convention on Human Rights to include in the Second Protocol to the Convention an Article based on the attached draft, or some similar text, designed to guarantee to national minorities certain rights not covered by the Convention and its First Protocol;
2 that it should submit the draft Protocol prepared by the Committee of Experts to the Assembly for an opinion before signature by member Governments.


for an article relating to the protection of national minorities to be included in the Second Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Persons belonging to a national minority shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, and as far as compatible with public order, to enjoy their own culture, to use their own language, to establish their own schools and receive teaching in the language of their choice or to profess and practise their own religion.