Cornwall Council has welcomed the Government’s decision to fully recognise the Cornish as a national minority under the Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities.
The Government is due to make a submission to the Council of Europe later this year to update the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities which is designed to protect and promote cultural diversity.
The announcement that the Cornish are to be recognised as a national minority under the Framework Convention means that the Cornish will be afforded the same protections as the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish. This means that Government departments and public bodies will now be required to take its views into account when making decisions.
Over the past few months Cornwall Council has been proactively engaging with the Government, including working on a paper regarding the status of the Cornish as a national minority, to inform their submission.
“It is with surprise and great delight that we heard today that the Government will fully recognise the Cornish as a national minority under the Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities“ said Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard.
The main aims of the Convention, which was first ratified 15 years ago, is to ensure that the rights of national minorities are respected by combating discrimination, promoting equality and preserving and developing the culture and identity of national minorities. Three previous attempts to include the Cornish in the Framework Convention were unsuccessful; the last attempt was made in 2011.
The Council has stated its support for the Cornish as an ethnic minority in its Equality and Diversity Framework. A working group of Members and key figures within Cornwall has been working on the paper setting out why the Cornish should be recognised as a national minority.
One of the leading Members of the working group is Bert Biscoe who said “I very much welcome that the Cornish as a group can stand equally beside all other groups in British society”.
Inclusion in the Convention will:
“However, there are obviously significant benefits for Cornwall in being included within the Framework Convention which is worth celebrating and I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this status”
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