How should minorities and marginalised people be treated? Should they be victims of discrimination according to their status? I have developped some ideas on how to consider them according to human rights conventions and to human rights jurisdictions.
I. Some concepts: discrimination, minorities and marginalized people
I. 1. Defining Discrimination
Discrimination is prohibited for the benefit of specific groups, like a minority considered as it without being marginalized by any group in a given country. That question is one of those interesting questions in African countries. There are minorities in each country and some of them are marginalized. Others are not, and perhaps are on power. The novelty represented by the revival of international minority protection in Europe is one of the strengths of Verstichel book on Participation, Representation and Identity.
According to this author, “the Article 15 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,” makes it a duty for all ratifying states (which, by now, comprise the vast majority of European countries) to provide adequate mechanisms for the participation of minorities in the public affairs of their country and region. The question of representation and participation of minorities is one that used to be jealously guarded within each State’s domestic domain, since it goes, in several ways, to the heart of State governety.
Despite this, we have seen, in the last two decades, a complex and differenciated system of international standards being put in place, ranging from the international imposition of complete minority representation regimes (as in Dayton Agreement for Bosnia-Herzegovina, perhaps not the most appealing example of ‘constitutional engineering’ though) to the formulation of specific but binding minimum standards in the human rights instruments, to the formulation of non-binding but authoritative policy recommendations in Strasbourg or The Hague, by the Framework Convention regime and by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
The issue of appropriate democratic design and accommodation of minorities is no longer within the sovereignity of each country separately, but are now the object of Europe-wide deliberation and of cross-country migration of ‘best constitutional practices’. This, undoubtedly, sets contemporary Europe apart from developments elsewhere in the world.” In some country hence there is a supposed majority marginalized however by a minority considered in amount.
So, the question is really important before a dissertation on how we treat them. Some hybrids jurisdictions have unclear Conventions of human rights and don’t express those rights as clearly as they should. Whereas these Conventions aren’t considered as an ensemble of suggestions but an ensemble of strict rules. In such cases however, it is very difficult to respond to such questions. So, moral and social events will help us to define those concepts.
In Rwanda for example, there is an important precedent. Since 1994 Tutsi have been marginalized by Hutu, however now Hutu are a marginalized majority in Rwanda. The same thing is observed in DR Congo. If we consider BANYAMULENGE as minorities, then we would likely not see them in power. They would not govern the province. However, you will see that most of them are Generals in the army, police, etc. Now it’s very difficult for me to consider them as minorities because they are considered to be privileged people in Congo. Nobody can touch them. In that case, the big question is to wonder if they are concerned by protection of minorities and marginalized. That’s why we have to rethink these considerations.
I.2. Defining minority
Should minority be treated differently or not? Equity is based on the idea that people have different traditional roles models, but may not therefore be treated differently according to ‘race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin’ . My perspective is that to think about rights and duties is to show the capacity to understand how to build human rights in whole or in part without considering race, sex, etc. In my opinion, the principle of equality means that every person is equal in rights and duties.
And so, minorities are treated differently because their need is almost greater than needs of ordinary persons. In principle a marginalized person should be respected and should receive all considerations according to their incapacity. Now, the differentiation might be about their lives in household, their manner of eating, etc. The important thing to keep in mind is that every person should have a habit of bringing to fullness the kind of people who are regularly marginalized; …
The main idea must be about the difference in treatment and the capacity of leadership to consider these thoughts. I propose that we could regard one people to be minorities if their representation in institutions is very poor or doesn’t exist; In this case they must be treated differently to give them opportunities to become stronger, bit by bit. It’s as a fundamental right to be able to avoid active, passive or open discrimination. That’s why the pragmatic approach is limited.
One case expresses this clearly: “The Court observes that it is not its task to express an opinion on whether or not the Silesians are a national minority, let alone to formulate a definition of that concept. Indeed, the formulation of such a definition would have presented a most difficult task, given that no international treaty – not even the council of Europe’s Frame work Convention for the protection of National Minorities – defines the notion of national minority”.
The fundamental dignity of a man is to be considered by others. Without exception, everybody has a right to live. And I suppose this is the important right in life. Nobody should be treated differently. If pets are defended by rules and customs, how then can be a human being? I am wondering if a marginalised person or minority has any interest.