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Human Rights and Ethics

The Responsibility to Protect National Minorities

This project explores the application of the responsibility to protect, as articulated in the World Summit Outcome Document (2005), to the protection of national minorities.

Inter-ethnic conflicts and genocide have demonstrated the failures of states to protect people targeted by their fellow citizens. At the same time, unilateral intervention from a so-called kin-state can lead to conflict within and between states. This presents a dilemma: while the world can not stand by when minority rights are being trampled, the protection of national minorities should not be used as an excuse to violate state sovereignty.

Therefore, how can the responsibility to protect be applied to the protection of persons belonging to national minorities? Whose responsibility is it to protect persons belonging to national minorities? Exploring and reconciling this dilemma – drawing on historical and contemporary examples – is the focus of this project.

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Page last modified 2011.06.07.




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