National minorities, multiculturalism and migration in Eurasia - Shaping legal and policy responses
National Minorities, Multiculturalism andMigration in Euroasia – shaping legal and policy responses Iryna Ulasiuk Executive Training 22 January 2013
Objectiveinterrelation of minority and migration issues-the evolution of the treatment of nationalminorities-its effect on migration tendencies-how the lessons learnt from the regulation ofminority issues in various countries from theformer SU can be applied to new migrants
‘National Minority’- no internationally agreed definition- - objective factors (such as the existence of a shared ethnicity, language or religion) - and subjective factors (including thatindividuals must identify themselves asmembers of a minority).-
‘National Minority’1977, F. Capotorti: A group numerically inferior to the rest of thepopulation of a State, in a non-dominant position,whose members - being nationals of the State -possess ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristicsdiffering from those of the rest of the population andshow, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directedtowards preserving their culture, traditions, religion orlanguage’.
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities• pan-European dimension• entered into force on 1 February 1998• one of the most comprehensive treaties• Thirty-nine states are party to this treaty(Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia,Moldova also Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan)•
What commitments do State Parties undertake when they ratify the Framework Convention?• Non-discrimination • Promotion of effective equality • Promotion of conditions favouring the preservation and development of culture, religion, language and traditions• Freedom of assembly, association, expression, thought, conscience and religion• Access to and use of media• Linguistic freedoms: use of the minority language in private and in public as well as its use before administrative authorities; use of one’s own name in the minority language; display of information of a private nature in the minority language; topographical names in the minority language• Education: learning of and instruction in the minority language; freedom to set up educational institutions• Transfrontier contacts• Participation in economic, cultural and social life• Participation in public life• Prohibition of forced assimilation
What is a national minority?:FCNM• Each Party to the FCNM is left room to assess which groups are to be covered.• This selection must be made in good faith and according to principles of international law.• The implementation of the Framework Convention should not be a source of arbitrary or unjustified distinctions.• An article by article approach has been adopted to the question of the groups covered by the Framework Convention.
FCNM: scope of application• Article 61 The Parties shall encourage a spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and takeeffective measures to promote mutual respect and understanding and co-operationamong all persons living on their territory, irrespective of those persons’ ethnic,cultural, linguistic or religious identity, in particular in the fields of education, cultureand the media.2 The Parties undertake to take appropriate measures to protect persons who may besubject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of theirethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity.• Article 102 In areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities traditionally or insubstantial numbers, if those persons so request and where such a requestcorresponds to a real need, the Parties shall endeavour to ensure, as far as possible,the conditions which would make it possible to use the minority language in relationsbetween those persons and the administrative authorities.
Who decides whether someone belongs to a national minority?• Individuals are free to decide whether or not they wish to be treated as belonging to a national minority.• An individual’s choice must be based on objective criteria connected with that person’s identity, such as language, religion and culture.
‘National Minority’ in Different JurisdictionsArmenia: “the nationals of the Republic of Armenia permanentlyliving in the Republic of Armenia who are different from thebasic popu• Azerbaijan:“Although there is no definition of «national minority» in thenational legislation, the Government of Azerbaijan had neverfaced with the issue of recognition or non-recognition of anylanguage or ethnic groups as national minorities, since itproceeded from the fact that every person has the right to freelydetermine his belonging to any national minority.lation by itsethnic origin”.
‘National Minority’ in Different Jurisdictions• Belarus: ‘persons who permanently reside in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, hold the citizenship of the Republic Belarus and who differ from the majority of the population of the republic by their origin, language, culture or traditions.’• Georgia: persons who have Georgian citizenship, are distinct from the majority of the population in terms of language, culture and ethnic identity, have lived on Georgian territory for a long period (and live “compactly” on Georgian territory).
‘National Minority’ in Different Jurisdictions• Moldova: “persons residing in the Republic of Moldova and of Moldovan nationality who have particular ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious features which distinguish them from the - Moldovan - majority of the population and who consider themselves to be of different ethnic origin”• Ukraine: groups of Ukrainian citizens who are not of Ukrainian nationality, but show feeling of national self-awareness and affinity.
‘National Minority’ in Different JurisdictionsRF:‘practice has shown that in satisfying various demands of nationalminorities two groups of entities in the ethnic composition of the RussianFederation are singled out:- established nations or nations living in the territory of Russia for anextensive period of time, which can be conditionally called indigenouspeoples;- ethnic groups of a relatively more recent origin whose "mother" ethnoseslive outside the Russian Federation (the CIS and Baltic countries, as well asBulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Korea, Poland, Finland and a number of anothercountries), and also those groups that do not have state entities at all(Assyrians, Karaites, Kurds and Gipsies).
ACFC:• The federal authorities appear to be ready to apply the Framework Convention also to minorities that have arrived relatively recently to the Russian Federation and to provide also non-citizens belonging to these groups the possibility to rely on the protection of the Framework Convention.• The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that it would be possible to consider including persons who belong to other groups, including non- citizens where appropriate, in the application of the Framework Convention on an article-by-article basis
Ethnic Minorities and Migration: Statistics: Armenia 2001 1989Ethnic group Total Percentage of Total Percentage of total population total populationArmenia 3.145.354 97.8 3.083.616 93.3Azeri - - 84.860 2.6Kurd 1.519 0.05 4.151 0.1Yezid 40.620 1.3 51.976 1.6Russian 14.660 0.5 51.555 1.6Ukrainian 1.633 0.05 8.341 0.2Assyrian 3.409 0.1 5.963 0.2Greek 1.176 0.04 4.650 0.1Other 4.640 0.1 9.664 0.3Total 3.213.011 100 3.304.776 100
Ethnic Minorities and Migration: Statistics:Azerbaijan 2009 1999 1989Ethnic group Total Percentage Total Percentage of Total Percentage of of total total total population population population 8.922.400 100 7.953.400 100 7.021.200 100Azeris 8,172,800 91.6 7,205,500 90,6 5,805,500 82,7Lezgins 180,300 2 178,000 2,2 171,400 2,4Armenians 120,300 1.3 120,700 1,5 390,500 5,6Russians 119,300 1.3 141,700 1,8 392,300 5,6Talish 112,000 1.3 76,800 1,0 21,2 0,3Avars 49,800 0.6 59,900 0,6 44,1 0,6Turks 38,000 0.4 43,400 0,5 17,7 0,2Tatars 25,900 0.3 30,000 0,4 28,6 0,4Tats 25,200 0.3 10,900 0,13 10,2 0.14Ukrainians 21,500 0.3 29,000 0,4 32,3 0,5Sakhurs 12,300 0.1 15,900 0,2 13,3 0,2Georgians 9,900 0.1 14,900 0,2 14,2 0,2Jews 9,100 0.1 8,900 0,1 30,8 0,4Kurds 6,100 0.1 13,100 0,2 12,2 0,2Udins 3,800 0.04 4,100 0,05 6,1 0,1Other 9,500 0.1 9,6 0,12 41,5 0,6
Ethnic Minorities and Migration: Statistics: Georgia 2002 1989Ethnic group Total Percentage of total Total Percentage of total population populationGeorgian 3,661,173 83.8 3,787,393 70.1Azeri 284,761 6.1 307,556 5.7Armenian 248,929 5.7 437,211 8.1Russian 67,671 1.5 341,172 6.3Ossetian 38,028 0.9 164,055 3.0Yezid 18,329 0.4 - -Greek 15,166 0.3 100,324 1.9Kist 7,110 0.2 - -Ukrainian 7,039 0.2 52,443 1.0Jew 3,772 0.1 24,720 0.5Abkhaz 3,527 0.1 95,853 1.8Assyrian 3,299 0.1 6,206 0.1Kurd 2,514 0.1 33,331 0.6Chechen 1,271 0.0 609 0.0Other 8,946 0.1 49,968 0.9
Ethnic Minorities and Migration: Statistics: Moldova 2004 1989Ethnic Total Total Percentage of total populationgroupTotal 3,383,332 4,335,360 100Moldovans 2,564,849 2,794,749 64.5Ukrainians 282,406 600,366 13.8Russians 201,218 562,069 13Gagauzians 147,500 153,548 3.5Romanians 73,276 2,477 0.1Bulgarians 65,662 88,419 2Others 30,157 51,623 1
NMs and Migration: Present Day Challenge• The nature of migration flows has changed.• a significant percentage of national minorities are now forced migrants and refugees leaving neighboring states under threat of violence or because of discrimination.• fears of losing the ability to return to one’s motherland• fears of being left without citizenship• fears of being trapped across a border from ones family members and friends.• limited possibilities to exercise professional capacity andREASON: inadequate legal protection + poor implementation of the existinglaws + lassez faire approach adopted by the governments???
Legal Treatment of NMs: challenges• Few legislations governing the treatment of national minorities are unified under one legal act (vague, provisions of the constitution, a series of laws and governmental decisions)• No comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation
Legal Treatment of NMs: challenges• no crime on the grounds of national/ethnic origin or racial hatred has been or the number of crimes recorded is very low.• - the unawareness of the persons belonging to national minorities of their rights; - persons’ poor command of the state language- lack of statisticsLanguage Issue
Effective multi-ethnic state• Marginalization of violence and coercion as a tool of cultural politics• Open Discourse over Cultural Difference• Respect for the Cultural Rights of Individuals• Opportunities for Minority Voice Within Institutions of Power• Equality and Social Justice for Minorities
Marginalization of violence and coercion as a tool of cultural politicsViolence and coercion as tools of cultural politics must bemarginal to political practice.Coercion and violence rarely solve cultural conflicts and usuallyonly create new grievances revolving around the very use ofviolence. “Solutions” that are imposed on society are just as problematicas “solutions” that are violently imposed on states by ethnicmovements.They create legacies that haunt interethnic relations long afterthe violence recedes
Open Discourse over Cultural Difference• an open public discourse over issues associated with cultural difference is needed in order to manage cultural conflict consensually.• we cannot simply equate the absence of conflict with a positive outcome if the possibilities for expressing grievances are at the same time limited.• Some degree of conflict over issues associated with cultural difference is a natural part of any multiethnic society• problems will only persist when a public discourse over issues of cultural pluralism is choked off.
Respect for the Cultural Rights of Individualsthe cultural rights of the individual must be respected minimizing discrimination against individuals on thebasis of cultural differenceproviding opportunities for them to practice theirculture and religion freely, to form and associate withincultural communities, to learn the language of theirchosen community, and to select their identities freely
Opportunities for Minority Voice Within Institutions of Power• political processes need to give voice to minorities• the policies that are produced take into consideration the interests of all sides to the conflict.• the effective multiethnic state does not force minorities into exit, but instead, by allowing voice, breeds minority loyalty.• when political processes contain incentives for politicians to take into consideration the needs of minorities, win-win outcomes are more likely to occur.
Equality and Social Justice for MinoritiesThe effective multiethnic state attempts toaddress the sources of inequality betweengroups and aspirations for social justice amongminorities.deep-seated grievances need to be addressedproactively, not to become the cause of violentconflict.