10:44 25.11.2017

EPP, EaP leaders urge to react to fears of curtailing educational rights of ethnic minorities

2 min read
EPP, EaP leaders urge to react to fears of curtailing educational rights of ethnic minorities

The educational rights of national minorities and the right to use their language should be respected in accordance with the UN and Council of Europe Conventions, and concerns about the potential adverse impact on them should be addressed, according to a declaration by the leaders of the EPP and Eastern Partnership countries, which was agreed at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, November 23.

"We call for continued respect for rights of persons, belonging to national minorities, as enshrined in UN and Council of Europe Conventions and related protocols, non-discrimination and respect for diversity and fully taking into account the expertise of Council of Europe bodies and to address concerns raised about the potential adverse impact on the rights of persons belonging to national minorities in education and the use of their languages," reads the declaration.

As reported, the Ukrainian law on education came into force on September 28.

Among other things, the law stipulates that the state language is a language of learning at educational institutions, but one or several subjects in two or more languages, namely, the state language, English and other European Union official languages can be taught in compliance with the educational program.

People, who belong to ethnic minorities, are guaranteed the right for learning in the native language along with the Ukrainian language in separate groups of municipal pre-school and primary school institutions.

On September 28, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent the education law for examination by the Venice Commission.

The Venice Commission's opinion on the Ukrainian education law can be expected in December.

The foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Romania wrote a letter to the Ukrainian foreign minister expressing their concern about the compliance of the new law with observance of minority rights and education in native language.

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