The International Humanist & Ethical Union,
Having regard to its resolution supporting the work of the United Nations and considering the task of the Non-Governmental Organisations (Resolution on the UNO of the IHEU Oslo Congress 7th August 1986),
Considering the discussion within the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, amongst other things as a result of the report by J. Dechàªnes,
Having taken note of the report prepared by the Humanistisch Studiecentrum Nederland on the definition of minorities, Recognises the following principles as fundamental for the legal status of minorities:
- Each individual has the right to identify him or herself with a minority, being a group of persons differing from the rest of society with distinct socio-cultural and/or ethnic character, being in a non-dominant position, and showing their will to preserve and develop their patterns of life and behaviour;
- Each minority has the right to preserve and develop its own identity as long as it does not act against the human right of self-determination of its own members and of the rest of society;
- Each minority should guarantee the legal and social implementations for the right of self-determination, such as the right of non-discrimination (the right not to be discriminated against), the right of integrity of the human body, the right of privacy, the right of economic independence and the right of socio-cultural autonomy.
The International Humanist & Ethical Union
- Declares that these principles be sent to the Secretary General of the UN and the members of the aforesaid Sub-Commission, together with the HSN Report in question;
- Asks all member organisations to encourage the discussion on the protection of minorities within their own national member organisations;
- Asks all member organisations to send the principles (and the HSN Report) to their national governments, inviting them to express their opinion;
- Asks the member organisations to report on points 2. and 3. to the Board of the IHEU in time for these report to be taken into consideration when preparing for the next IHEU Congress in Brussels in 1990.
Board of Directors 1988
Suggested academic reference
'Minorities', Humanists International, Board of Directors, 1988