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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.
 
 

ECRML

European Charter for Regional or
Minority Languages
International Mechanisms

What you need to know

 

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML)


Equality Commission RecommendationsCouncil of Europe
In 2013, the Commission reiterated that the use of minority languages, particularly Irish or Ulster Scots languages in Northern Ireland, for common or official purposes, would normally and objectively be considered a neutral act that would not be discriminatory.

We reaffirmed our view the speaking of Irish or its more general use in the community does not diminish the entitlements of those whose right to their British identity is guaranteed in the Good Friday Agreement. Similarly, the wider use of Ulster Scots does not diminish the entitlements of those whose right to their Irish identity is guaranteed.

The Commission placed on record its view that a specific language statute is an appropriate mechanism of protection for the Irish language.

 
Committee Observations
The Committee of Experts 2013 evaluation report raised concern that the report submitted by the State Party was incomplete, lacking information about the situation in Northern Ireland .

The Committee recommended  that the authorities of the United Kingdom:
 
  • adopt and implement a comprehensive Irish language policy, preferably through the adoption of legislation providing statutory rights for the Irish speakers
  • strengthen its support for the work done by the Ulster Scots Agency and take measures to establish the teaching of Ulster Scots
  • ensure that the present cuts in public spending do not have a disproportionate effect on the protection and promotion of minority languages.
     

Engagement with the ECRML reporting process

Following a meeting with the Committee in April 2013, the Commission made a submission to the Submission to the Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML).

Download our latest Submission to Committee of Experts on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (pdf, 2018)
 

Key stages/dates

 

              Further information is available on the Council of Europe's website
 
1 The Secretariat to the Committee has advised that only the 5th Monitoring cycle report is delayed
 
 

 
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