NATIONAL MINORITY AND THE RULE OF LAW: THE CASE OF TATARS AND TATAR LANGUAGE IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA

Elmira Lyapina

Abstract


In July 2017, during a meeting of the Council on Interethnic Relations, in the framework of the Strategy of Russia’s national policy the Russian president declared that children should not be forced to study indigenous languages in the national republics of Russia. In November of the same year, the Republic of Tatarstan’s Parliament abolished compulsory study of Tatar language in schools, contrary to the Constitution of Russia and its Federal legislation providing equal legal statuses to Russian and Tatar languages in the Republic of Tatarstan. Tatars, being a Turkic nation with Islamic views, are the second largest ethnic population in Russia, where the dominant vector of national identity is orthodox and Slavic. Recently, the issue of Tatar identity and Tatar language is under pressure from political discourse which prevails over the legal order, and which may lead to a decrease in the level of multiculturalism in the country. The author concludes that the Rule of Law is at risk since the rights of minorities to an education in their native language, which are guaranteed not only by international treaties but also by the Constitution and Federal law of Russia, are being disregarded or opted out of by the new Law on Education in Russia.

Keywords


minority rights, constitutional rights, Russia, tatars

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/j.icj.2019.12.006

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