Afterword: Pursuing Linguistic Human Rights

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Robert Phillipson

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There are reflections on the global context which linguistic human rights (LHRs) are positioned in, economically, morally, and politically. Several examples demonstrate the UN human rights system failing to act. This is due to the global international relations system functioning in unaccountable ways, with the interests of major powers dominant. Many of the chapters illustrate the need for change and how speakers of marginalised languages are asserting their LHRs. Some chapters report on successful work in achieving recognition of LHRs, including recognition of Sign languages, and more awareness of LHRs in the UN and the European Parliament. Sociolinguistic and language policy scholarship contributes to this, as does successful litigation on LHRs. Some chapters evidence the continued denial of LHRs, and the subtractive impact of expansion of the use of English. This often occurs when colonial language policies are perpetuated. A Nordic government declaration aims at ensuring a healthy balance between national languages and English. The challenge of acting on UNESCO's Indigenous Languages Decade 2022–2032 and related initiatives is also stressed. Many NGOs are acting in this spirit. Showing the way forward is a primary goal of the Handbook of LHRs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Linguistic Human Rights
EditorsTove Skutnabb-Kangas, Robert Phillipson
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ
Publication dateNov 2022
ISBN (Print)9781119753841
ISBN (Electronic)9781119753902, 9781119753926
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
SeriesBlackwell Handbooks in Linguistics

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