A linguistic minority is a group that uses a different language from the one spoken by the national majority (Linguistic Minorities, 2013).
Persecution is treating someone differently or unfairly. It is mostly caused by people’s age, gender, color, religion, or disability (EOC, 2017). Many states have minorities around their borders. For example in the US, Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas have groups of minorities. Even though no definite statistics exist, estimates indicate that 10 to 20 percent of the world’s population belong to these groups. That means that about 600 million to 1.2 billion people are in need of specific measures of defense of their rights because minorities are the most disadvantaged groups in society. Their members are frequently subject to discrimination and injustice and are excluded from important participation in their public and political lives (OHCHR, 2017).
Throughout history, languages have been used as excuses to persecute people or groups. Many languages such as Korean, Ukrainian, Polish, and Chinese have been banned, abused and outlawed in many different places. Sometimes it is to declare the authority of a ruling power. Other times is to provide “linguistic unity” (LISTVERSE, 2010).
There are languages that are honored, and others that are not, whose groups of speakers become an object of persecution (Carbonell, Huffington Post, 2016). The attitude towards people changes as soon as they hear someone speak. They can be inclined to like them or dislike them, even though they know little about them. Persecution of linguistic minorities is always active in society and mostly in the labor market.
Groups of linguistic minorities are judged by their grammar, their vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, slang and accent (Carbonell, Huffington Post, 2016). Linguistic minorities are often overlooked in an emergency response because people are not aware of their presence. In many parts of the world, the linguistic groups suffer from human right violations, violence, conflict, persecutions and in severe cases, genocide. These groups of people have weak socioeconomic positions and they are treated as if they were insignificant in their country of origin. Linguistic minorities represent a large part of those requesting international defense. Some examples are the allochthonous minorities or “new” minorities. This means that these groups have migrated in the recent past. Some examples are the Turkish population of Germany or the North Africans in France (ID-COOP, Linguistic Minorities, 2013).
Some other linguistic minorities such as the Slovenes in Udine and the Friulians in Udine speak the language of the neighboring state; Slovenes. All of them are legally recognized. The specific minority rights and their implementation are different from one place compared to another. This makes it really tough for these groups to communicate and combine.According to Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, linguistic minorities can freely use their own language in their community. The most common linguistic minorities problems occur at a national level. Meanwhile, states are legally permitted to adopt a national language and can adopt more than one, they cant persecute against linguistic minorities.
Some of this problems are caused because people have the idea that there should only be specified language for all the country. A fact according to Quora, is that English is not just a really common language, it is a minority language in the Netherlands (D’Angelo, Quora). There are a total of 193 languages classified as linguistic minorities. Some of them are Sambe, Debra, Tagoi, and Kati.