IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE professor meets UN representatives to advise on minority groups’ education rights

1 October 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Professor Marie Lall has met with UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues Fernand de Varennes to advise and work on minority groups’ education rights.

Marie Lall with experts at regional United Nations forum

Professor Lall was one of nine experts who was invited to Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the topic as part of the Forum focused on the Asia Pacific region. The regional forums aim to raise awareness of the ways that teaching minority languages is anchored in international human rights obligations. 

Over the course of two days, the experts and a group of minority representatives met in three working groups to discuss Human Rights and minority language education, public policy objectives and practice in minority languages. They also spoke about effective practices in education and teaching of minority languages. 

The meetings were used to draft recommendations for the work of the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues that will be held in Geneva in November 2019. These recommendations will form the basis for UN resolutions on education and minority rights.

Professor Lall said: “Learning in your first language is a human right. The three forums on Europe, Asia and Africa provide a platform for more informal exchanges on practical challenges of minority language education among various stakeholders. 

“This assists in identifying the central issues of topical concern related to education and minority languages, together with amplifying the voices of minority communities in assessing and improving minority language education policies.”