The Former Working Group on Minorities

The former Working Group on Minorities was established in 1995 pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/31 of 25 July 1995 as a subsidiary organ of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (previously called the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities). Between 1995 and 2006, the Working Group held 12 sessions and aimed at being a forum for dialogue. It facilitated greater awareness of the differing perspectives on minority issues and sought better understanding and mutual respect among minorities and between minorities and Governments. It also acted as a mechanism for hearing suggestions and making recommendations for the peaceful and constructive solution to problems involving minorities, through the promotion and protection of their rights.

A wealth of work was undertaken by the Working Group not only on conceptualization of the rights of persons belonging to minorities but also good practices and other measures for the promotion and protection of minorities. Numerous papers on topics such as multicultural and intercultural education; recognition of the existence of minorities; participation in public life, including through autonomy and integrative measures; inclusive development; and conflict prevention were prepared and submitted for consideration by the Working Group. A list of those documents is available here.

In 2007, the Working Group was replaced by the Forum on Minority Issues, established by Human Rights Council resolution 6/15.

The Twelfth session of the Working Group on Minorities met in August 2006 in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.



Final report: A/HRC/Sub.1/58/19 (English / French / Spanish / Russian / Chinese)

Provisional agenda (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2006/1) (English / French / Spanish / Russian)

Note by the Secretariat on the Minority Profile and Matrix on the Human Rights Situation of Minorities (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2006/3) (English / French / Spanish / Russian)

Pamphlet of the United Nations Guide for Minorities: “Minorities and the United Nations: Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Individual Complaint Mechanisms” (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2006/4) (English / French / Spanish / Russian)

Pamphlet for inclusion in the United Nations Guide for Minorities: “The Independent Expert on Minority Issues” (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2006/6) (English / French / Spanish / Russian)

Working papers:

Working paper submitted by Tom Hadden on the Integration with Diversity in Security, Policing and Criminal Justice (E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2006/WP.1) (English only)

Working paper submitted by All For Reparations and Emancipation (AFRE) (English only)


Item 3 (a) : Reviewing the promotion and practical realization of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Item 3 (b): Examining possible solutions to problems involving minorities, including the promotion of mutual understanding between and among minorities and Governments

Item 3 (c): Recommending further measures, as appropriate, for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities

Item 4 : Future activities and cooperation with the IE on minorities issues and international organizations

Item 5 : Other matters including conclusions and recommendations

Decisions and Recommendations

Previous sessions: