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Recommendations from Council of Europe report
Listed in this article are the actual recommendations from the Council of Europe report on the National Minority status of the Cornish.
Principal recommendation for immediate action:

Take all necessary steps to ensure access to the linguistic and cultural rights provided by the Framework Convention to the Cornish minority, in particular by reconsidering the decision to cut all funding for the Cornish language in view of the disproportionate impact such a measure will have on the delicate process of revitalising a minority language when access to other public financial resources is limited.

Further recommendations (the numbers refer to the paragraphs in the actual Opinion):

19. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take all the legal, policy, and financial steps necessary to ensure access to the rights provided by the Framework Convention to persons belonging to the Cornish minority, irrespective of any constitutional set-up.

24. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take the necessary measures to include the possibility to self-identify as Cornish, through a ‘tick-box’ in the next census, and to facilitate the expression of self-identification of any other group because data collection is relevant to the application of minority rights.

58. The authorities should reconsider their decision to cut all funding for the Cornish language in view of the disproportionate impact such a measure can have on the delicate process of revitalisation of a minority language when access to other public financial resources is limited.

59. The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to engage in a dialogue with representatives of the Cornish minority to ensure that cultural policy is developed in a way respectful of the traditions and identity of the minority.

96. The authorities should take resolute action to ensure that revision of the BBC Charter improves access to the media for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities, increases funding, ensures a variety of programmes in minority languages, in particular the Irish language, involves minorities in their production and introduces BBC support for the Cornish language.

97. The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to establish an independent press regulator, responding to the criteria enunciated by the Leveson Report, and to ensure that training is regularly carried out and there is access to and presence in the media of persons belonging to minorities, including in supervisory organs.

109. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take measures to improve the use and visibility of Cornish in public life, and it calls on the UK Government to reinstate immediately the previous level of funding and to consider the possibility of adopting a Cornish Language Act.

122. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to ensure that, in co-operation with minority groups, curricula, textbooks and other teaching materials reflect appropriately the ethnic diversity and historical presence of all national and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom. Staff of all schools shall be effectively trained to accommodate diversity in the classroom and promote intercultural respect and understanding in schools.

128. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to renew and intensify their efforts to develop Irish-medium education and Irish language teaching. They should also engage in a dialogue with the Cornish minority to consider flexible and pragmatic solutions to allow for a more systematic provision of teaching in and of the Cornish language, as well as taking measures to develop the teaching of minorities’ first language.

136. The Advisory Committee reiterates its call to the authorities to enhance opportunities for persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities to participate in public affairs, and this should include measures that facilitate their engagement in broader political processes and mainstream political parties. Similarly, their recruitment into public service, in particular the police at central and local levels, should be promoted to send a clear message that diversity is valued across the UK.

137. The UK Government should continue the good dialogue with the three devolved administrations and ensure that negotiations progress in a transparent and democratic manner. It should establish permanent ongoing dialogue with Cornwall Council and the Cornish people through consultative and advisory mechanisms.

141. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to intensify targeted initiatives to maximise the participation of persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities in employment, training and career progression, in line with the Vision 2020 targets, and to allocate sufficient funds.

146. The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to ensure that any administrative and constituency border reform follows an inclusive process, which takes into account the presence of persons belonging to a national minority in the territory, their meaningful participation and respect for their rights.

150. The Advisory Committee calls on the British-Irish Council to address actively the Cornish language in its work and to endeavour to involve the Cornwall authorities, in part by creating an institutional presence for Cornwall in the Council and by promoting bilateral relations between the Cornwall authorities and other language communities’ administrations.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 10th March 2017.

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