Minorities - Research Guide International Law

Une approche systématique de la protection internationale des droits des minorités a été entamée après la première guerre mondiale par la Société des Nations. Le système de protection des minorités avait pour but de protéger les droits de groupes de populations homogènes au sein des États, pour approfondir l'idée d'autodétermination. Après la seconde guerre mondiale, les Nations Unies ont concentré leur attention sur les droits des individus plutôt que sur ceux des minorités. Avec la fin de la guerre froide et l'apparition de nombreux conflits présentant des dimensions ethniques, la protection des droits des minorités a été remise sur le devant de la scène. Le résultat en a été l'adoption de la déclaration sur les droits des personnes appartenant à des minorités nationales ou ethniques, religieuses et linguistiques par l'assemblée générale de l'ONU en 1992. Le 21 siècle affronte le défi de réussir une coexistence pacifique au sein des nations multiculturelles du monde.

Le présent guide de recherche se veut un point de départ pour mener des recherches juridiques relatives aux minorités. Il fournit les textes juridiques de base disponibles à la Bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix, qu'il s'agisse de documents imprimés ou de documents sous format électronique. La section intitulée "Bibliographie sélective" présente une sélection de manuels, d'articles importants, de bibliographies, de publications périodiques, de publications en série et de documents pertinents. Des liens permettent de rejoindre le catalogue PPL. Le code de classification de la bibliothèque 106. Minorités et le mot-matière (mot-clef) Minorités sont des instruments permettant de faire une recherche dans le catalogue. Une attention particulière est prêtée à nos inscriptions aux bases de données, revues électroniques, livres électroniques et autres ressources électroniques. Enfin, le présent guide de recherche contient des liens vers des sites Internet pertinents et d'autres ressources en ligne présentant un intérêt particulier.


Reference works

Relevant books

Articles, working papers, and reports

Documents relevant to minority protection


Council of Europe




Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

1. Revisiting unity and diversity in federal countries
Revisiting unity and diversity in federal countries : changing concepts, reform proposals and new institutional realities / edited by Alain-G Gagnon, Michael Burgess. - Leiden ; Boston : Brill Nijhoff, 2018. - 1 online resource (xx, 492 pages). - (Studies in territorial and cultural diversity governance ; volume 11) This book comes out of an international meeting held in Montreal 1-3 October 2015 by members of the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS). The event was sponsored by the Canada Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Studies (CREQC)/Interdisciplinary Research Center on Diversity and Democracy (CRIDAQ) based at the Universite du Quebec in Montreal." -- ECIP introduction. - Includes bibliographical references and index. - 2018
Keywords: National identity, Minorities, Cultural diversity,

Choix de bibliothécaire

  • Hofmann, R. (et al.) (eds.), The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities : A Commentary, Leiden, Brill, 2018.

    Hofmann, R. (et al.) (eds.), The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities : A Commentary, Leiden, Brill, 2018.

    The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: A Commentary, edited by Rainer Hofmann, Tove H. Malloy and Detlev Rein, presents an updated article-by-article assessment of the monitoring of the Convention’s implementation. The Convention was opened for signature in 1995 and entered into force on 1 February 1998. Within a very short period of time, it was ratified by 39 Council of Europe member states, and it constitutes the first (and only) international treaty establishing legally binding obligations concerning the rights of persons belonging to national minorities. In this volume, the monitoring of the Convention is assessed by eminent experts in the field of minority protection. They survey the scope of application as interpreted by the Advisory Committee during the first four cycles of monitoring by analyzing its approach and offering their individual assessments of potential improvements. The volume thus updates and augments previous assessments.

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  • Shahabuddin M., Ethnicity and international law : histories, politics and practices, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.

    Ethnicity and International Law presents an historical account of the impact of ethnicity on the making of international law. The development of international law since the nineteenth century is characterised by the inherent tension between the liberal and conservative traditions of dealing with what might be termed the 'problem' of ethnicity. The present-day hesitancy of liberal international law to engage with ethnicity in ethnic conflicts and ethnic minorities has its roots in these conflicting philosophical traditions. In international legal studies, both the relevance of ethnicity, and the traditions of understanding it, lie in this fact.

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  • Agarin, T., and K.Cordell, Minority Rights and Minority Protection in Europe, London/New York, Rowman & Littlefield International Ltd, 2016.

    In order to gain access to the EU, nations must be seen to implement formal instruments that protect the rights of minorities. This book examines the ways in which these tools have worked in a number of post-communist states, and explores the interaction of domestic and international structures that determine the application of these policies.Using empirical examples and comparative cases, the text explores three levels of policy-making: within sub-state and national politics, and within international agreements, laws and policy blueprints. This enables the authors to establish how domestic policymakers negotiate various structural factors in order to interpret rights norms and implement them long enough to gain EU accession. Showing that it is necessary to focus upon the states of post-communist Europe as autonomous actors, and not as mere recipients of directives and initiatives from ‘the West’, the book shows how underlying structural conditions allow domestic policy actors to talk the talk of rights protection without walking the walk of implementing minority rights legislation on their territories

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  • Pulla, V., (ed.), The Lhotsampa People of Bhutan: Resilience and Survival, Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

    This book provides insight into one of the world's quietest human rights abuses. The story of the Lhotsampa people of Bhutan describes their journey of coping and resilience, incorporating qualitative research undertaken in the refugee camps in Nepal and resettlement areas in Australia and elsewhere in the world.

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  • Prina, F., National Minorities in Putin's Russia: Diversity and Assimilation, London, Routledge, 2016.

    Using a human rights approach, the book analyses the dynamics in the application of minority policies for the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity in Russia. Despite Russia’s legacy of ethno-cultural and linguistic pluralism, the book argues that the Putin leadership’s overwhelming statism and promotion of Russian patriotism are inexorably leading to a reduction of Russia’s diversity. Using scores of interviews with representatives of national minorities, civil society, public officials and academics, the book highlights the reasons why Russian law and policies, as well as international standards on minority rights, are ill-equipped to withstand the centralising drive toward ever greater uniformity. While minority policies are fragmented and feeble in contemporary Russia, they are also centrally conceived, which is exacerbated by a growing democratic deficit under Putin. Crucially, in today’s Russia informal practices and networks are frequently utilised rather than formal channels in the sphere of diversity management. Informal practices, the book argues, can at times favour minorities, yet they more frequently disadvantage them and create the conditions for the co-optation of leaders of minority groups. A dilution of diversity, the book suggests, is not only resulting in the loss of Russia’s rich cultural heritage but is also impairing the peaceful coexistence of the individuals and groups that make up Russian society.

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  • McDougall, G., The First United Nations Mandate on Minority Issues, Leiden, Brill/Nijhoff, 2016.

    Across the world, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities are subjected to hate crimes, systematic discrimination and marginalization. Religious minorities have recently faced particular threat in certain regions, while in other parts of the globe identity based on race or ethnicity has been used as a basis for exclusion.

    In The First United Nations Mandate on Minority Issues, Gay McDougall curates a selection of reports she produced as UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues. The collection, with her introductory analysis, reveals the challenges and opportunities faced in her attempt to highlight the plight of these oppressed communities around the world and to shape an important new mechanism for the UN’s protection of their rights.

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  • Ippolito, F. and S. Iglesias Sánchez, Protecting Vulnerable Groups, The European Human Rights Framework, Oxford/Portland, Hart, 2015.

    The concept of vulnerability has not been unequivocally interpreted either in regional or in universal international legal instruments. This book analyses the work of the EU and the Council of Europe in ascertaining a clear framework or a set of criteria suitable to determine those who should be considered vulnerable and disadvantaged. It also explores the measures required to protect their human rights.  Four chapters concern minorities:

    6. European Law and Regional or Minority Languages: Cultural Diversity
    and the Fight against Linguistic Vulnerability
    Olivier Dubos and Victor Guset ...................................................................115
    7. The Many Vulnerabilities of the Roma and the
    European Legal Framework
    Tawhida Ahmed.............................................................................................141
    9. The Protection of Religious Minorities in Europe: Strengths
    and Weaknesses
    Erica Howard .................................................................................................181
    10. The Protection of Sexual Minorities in European Law
    Peggy Ducoulombier.....................................................................................201

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  • Boulden, J. and W. Kymlicka (eds.), International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.

    One of the most remarkable features of the post-Cold War period has been the upsurge of international involvement in questions of ethnic diversity. From the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights to diverse international philanthropic and advocacy organizations, a wide range of international actors have adopted policies and principles for addressing questions of ethnic rights, identity, and conflict.

    International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity explores whether and how these international actors contribute to the peaceful and democratic governance of ethnic diversity. It focuses on two broad areas of international work: the evolution of international legal norms regarding the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, and international approaches to conflict and post-conflict development. The book charts new territory by mapping the range of international actors who affect the governance of ethnic diversity, and exploring their often contradictory roles and impacts. Most international actors come to questions of ethnic diversity indirectly and reluctantly, on the basis of widely varying mandates many of which were established to fulfill other objectives.They naturally therefore have different priorities and perspectives. And yet, the book identifies a striking convergence amongst international actors around discourses of diversity and equality, demonstrating the existence of an epistemic community where actors work within common vocabularies, discourses and principles that attempt to link human rights, pluralism, development and peace.

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  • Fifty Years Legal Argument over the Chagos Archipelago

    Since the creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a remnant of the British Empire has been subject of international legal dispute. The two most prominent are the request for an advisory opinion – currently under deliberation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – and secondly the arbitral proceedings under the Law of the Sea Convention. These issues and certain domestic proceedings in the United Kingdom relating to the legal status of the Chagossian people, have been the subject of legal academic research and subsequent publications. A recent addition is titled: “Fifty years of the British Indian Ocean territory: legal perspectives.” This book, produced in response to the 50th anniversary of the British Indian Ocean Territory’s founding, also assesses the impact of the decisions taken in respect of the Territory against a wider background of decolonization while addressing important questions about the lawfulness of maintaining Overseas Territories in the post-colonial era.

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  • “People must be able to look one another in the eye”. Plans of the Dutch Government to ban face-covering clothing.

    The Dutch Government chose to ignore the advice of the Council of State concerning the ban on face-covering clothing. The Council of State, the advisory organ of the Government, heavily criticised the legislative proposal. First, the Council of State does not consider the complete ban as necessary and useful. Second, the Council of State is of the opinion that a ban on face covering clothing is an infringement of the freedom of religion.

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  • Roma Rights in the European Union.

    In July 2010, The French government decided to begin to expel Roma’s, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, as many of them were living in France illegally. This decision caused much controversy within the Institutions of the EU. This blog will briefly discuss in what way EU institutions have responded to recent Roma issues and what can be done to improve the position of this marginalized community in Europe.

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See also

More Research guides on Les individus et le droit international

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