A person points to themselves and has a speech bubble with A, B and C in three different alphabets. Behind them is a house with a family in it.

UNCRC Article 30

I have a right to speak my own language and to follow my family’s way of life

Governments should make sure children can learn the language, religion, and culture of their family if it is different from those of most people in the country where they live.

Article 30 of the UNCRC makes it clear that children and young people who belong to a minority group have the right to share their culture, language and religion with other people in that group.

Minority groups include:

  • ethnic minorities
  • religious minorities
  • linguistic minorities— people who use a language that’s not the one most people use. That includes signed languages as well as spoken ones: British Sign Language users are members of a linguistic minority.

While most of what Article 30 says is implied by other Articles of the UNCRC, it exists to makes clear that the rights of minority children and young people should not be overlooked by people who think about how to put the Convention into practice. It applies to everyone in Scotland and not just its citizens— so refugees in the process of seeking asylum are covered by it in the same way as everyone else.

What Article 30 doesn’t say

Article 30 doesn’t say that a child or young person’s culture or religion can be used to override their human rights. In particular, children and young have the right to be protected from practices that are likely to cause them harm, regardless of whether they are part of their culture.

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