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Minorities and Socio-economic Participation: The Two Pillars of Minority Protection Revisited

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A broad comparative analysis has demonstrated that overall there is a high degree of convergence in the way and the extent to which the application of minority specific instruments and general human rights instruments address questions of socio-economic participation. The attention to minority specific characteristics and needs was not to be expected in relation to general human rights, while the detailed assessment of distinctive issues of relevance for socio-economic participation was not self evident in terms of minority specific instruments. The case of socio-economic participation of minorities thus presents itself as a model example of the increasing synergy between general human rights and minority specific rights in relation to minority protection. In terms of the two pillars for an adequate system of minority protection: both pillars seem to be moving towards each other in the kind of protection they are providing for minorities. Of course there are still differences of degree (in both respects of relative and expected focus and detail) but overall the similarities largely outweigh the differences.

Affiliations: 1: Professor in minority protection, Associate Professor in human rights and constitutional law, Erasmus University Rotterdam


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