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Article 30

of the UNCRC

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Language Lost and Found is a campaign to turn the Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into reality. 

It is a campaign for every child's right to learn and use the language of their own parents' - both parents - wherever they live. 

We believe that every language is of equal value and that every child has the right to grow up with a real connection to their family's linguistic and cultural heritage, including when the child lives outside their parent's country of origin.

We are not alone in believing this. This right is defined in the world's most ratified international treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This is the full text of the Article 30 of the UNCRC:

"In those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language."

Could there be a state with no indegenous minority?

Or a state with no immigrant minority?

A state with neither groups or individuals who use a different language, because they are of a different ethnic origin or have a different cultural background?

Could there be a country from which no emigrant has ever left to live in other countries, thus becoming a minority in the new country?

We cannot think of any state to which the Article 30 would not apply.

Can You?

Welcome to the Language Lost and Found campaign to advance every child's right to learn and use the language of both of their parents, where ever they live. 

Language Lost and Found

We are all sometimes the minority 

Whatever nationality we are, a child of our language and ethnicity living abroad falls under the protection of the Article 30. 

Minority rights are often discussed by the local majority looking down on the multiple minorities in their country.

This makes minorities faceless and generic. The emotional bond is broken and it is easy to discriminate.

What if we looked at it the other way round? What if we projected our gaze towards the children of our own cultural heritage living abroad.

Then we could begin to actively protect their linguistic and cultural rights. We would in our hearts understand the importance. We would feel the pain of the loss. 

If we all protected our own children abroad, every immigrant would be covered. All our international families would be protected.

If we worked together to protect our own children under the Article 30 and accepted the right to the same protection for others, the dream we have signed up to strive for would become reality. 

If. 

All sovrain nations in the world, bar one, have ratified the UNCRC. We officially agree.

The Language Lost and Found campaign is about starting to take practical steps to turn the Article 30 into reality.   

Language Lost

Everyone who has tried knows it is not easy to raise children in a minority language. 

Vast numbers of children born abroad never learn their parents' native language. Many more lose their parents' native language during childhood. When a language is lost, with it is lost the direct access to the culture that language carries. 

To make the Article 30 a reality the first action to take is to prevent language from being lost.

We can prevent our languages from being lost. We can create far better chances for our children abroad to grow up enjoying their many cultures and using their parents' languages together with other people who share that culture. 

It is good that the Article 30 specifically mentions children's enjoyment and the right to belong to a community. That should guide us. 

Language Found 

Even when the language has been lost and the cultural connection is fading away, there is more than hope.

We can bring back our family languages and breath new life into them. We can bring back the ease and joy that fuels human creativity. We can bring back languages so effectively that they become the basis for deep and meaningful human relationships. 

Through this, cultural connection is rekindled. The richness of humanity's cultural heritage is protected for the next generation.

The knowledge is there, we can do it

We can start small and think big. 

Today.

Will you support this campaign?