ECMI Issue Brief #37 “Minority Rights Governance: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Equal Treatment when Budgeting for Education” in now online. The Issue Brief is authored by Prof. Dr. Tove Malloy.
In the Issue Brief #37, Prof. Malloy discusses the issue of education for minorities in Europe. Examining the standards and guidance available in international law, she puts them in a perspective of actual practice. Prof. Malloy uses the Four-A-Scheme proposed in the UN General Comment 13 to address education governance in all its forms and at all levels in an inter-related and overlapping manner.
When governments are faced with economic crises, the education sector is often the first
sector to experience budget reductions. This may hit educational programmes for
minorities disproportionally harder, if austerity measures are applied equally across the
board, as positive measures adopted as a result of minority protection schemes are more
costly than regular educational programmes. Minority educational programmes incur
higher cost per pupil due to additional and extra-curricula topics and activities aimed
at preserving and promoting minority cultures. Cutting special programmes may
inadvertently or perhaps deliberately lead governments to discriminate against
minority pupils, who have enrolled in minority schools or programmes. Unfortunately,
there is little guidance for policy makers and school principals in this regard.
International human rights law instruments prescribe positive measures without
explaining how these should be safeguarded during economic hard times. Only two
international soft law documents provide some guidance with regard to education for
minorities. This Issue Brief will examine the standards and guidance available in
international law and put these in a perspective of actual practice of education for
minorities in Europe. The main argument is that equal treatment or equal reductions
across the board do not secure equality; equitabl e processes protecting positive
measures are needed.
About the author:
Prof. Dr. Tove H. Malloy is ECMI Director and Adjunct Professor at the Europa-Universität Flensburg. She is a political theorist by background specializing in the political and legal aspects of national and ethnic minority rights. Prof. Malloy is a Member of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) in respect of Denmark.