1) Introduction -

     In Germany under the dictatorial rule Jews were in minority population and they had to suffer world innumerable and genocidal atrocities under that or rule. 
     "The Charter of the United Nations declared in its Preamble "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of man and woman and of nations large and small."
        Article 1 para 3 of the United Nations Charter provides as one of the purposes of the United Nations "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."
        Article 27 of the International Covenant on civil and political rights, 1966 talks about human rights of minorities - It says that where a religious or linguistic minorities are in existence, these minority groups have the rights to protect their culture and religion and to propagate and to employ their language. This right shall not be denied to them.
       These declarations involved the rights of the minorities to be free from all sorts of torture by majority community of a nation which is generally known as the National Community of that nation.

2) Definition of Minority - 

The economic and social Council has suggested the definition of minorities as thus :

             "A group of citizens of  a State, constituting numerical minority and in a non-dominant position in that State, endowed with ethnic religious or linguistic characteristics which differ from those of the majority of the population, having a sense of solidarity with one another, motivated, if only implicitly a collective will to survive and whose aim is to achieve equality with the majority in fact  and in law." 

3) The Rights of Minorites - 

          Rights can be classified into Civil, Political, Cultural and Economic rights. Civil Rights includes right to life, security, right to movement, equality, and protection against cruelty and atrocities. Political Rights includes Right to freedom of Speech, association and vote. Cultural Rights includes the right to education, religion, family life and to maintain a distinct cultural identity.  Economic Rights includes right to bread, clothing, residence, health and minimum wages.

(i) Right to Equality -

         Minorities should be treated equally Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2 declares that "everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

(ii) Right to Social Security -

             Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, says that everyone as a member of society has a right to social security and everyone has the right to work for the dignity and development of his personality, and for his economic social and cultural rights.

(iii) Right to Protect and maintain culture and Identity - 

             Minorities also have a right to protect and maintain their culture and identity.  

 (iv) Right to freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion - 

             According to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights declares "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
           Article 19 to 25 of the Indian Constitution provide for freedom of expression, right to life and Religion. In India, Minorities have the freedom of thought and Religion and also right to right to dispose of their property according to their beliefs. 

          See also... What is religion under the constitution of India?

(v) Right to Security of Life - 

          The right to security of life is important right. If life is secure, then the question of the enjoyment arises. In certain countries, the life of certain, the life of certain minorities is not safe. For example in Kashmir some areas, Hindus are not safe. Many Hindus, Particularly Kashmiri Pandits have migrated from that area. In some Arab Counties somewhere Sunnis are not safe and somewhere Shias are not safe. Due to racial discrimination, some minorities have become the victims.   
        There are special laws for the protection of minorities. Because of their status should be maintained. Maintenance of their Status means to deal with them in a humane manner. In the constitution of India, minorities are given certain fundamental rights.

See Also...... Provisions for Minorities In Indian Constitution


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