Tuesday 4 January 2022

Language and Linguistics | UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032)

2022–2032: A Decade of Indigenous Languages

The New Year has also ushered in an International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which will take us all the way up to 2032, when who knows what kind of world we will be living in.

Sponsored by the United Nations and arising out of the strategic recommendations of the Los Pinos Declaration (2020), the emphasis will be on:

... indigenous peoples' rights to freedom of expression, to an education in their mother tongue and to participation in public life using their languages as prerequisites for the survival of indigenous languages, many of which are currently on the verge of extinction.
With regard to participation in public life, the Declaration highlights the importance of enabling the use of indigenous languages in justice systems, the media, labour and health programmes. It also points to the potential of digital technologies in supporting the use and preservation of those languages.
Building on the lessons learnt during the International Year of Indigenous Languages (2019), the Declaration recognises the importance of indigenous languages to social cohesion and inclusion, cultural rights, health and justice and highlights their relevance to sustainable development and the preservation of biodiversity as they maintain ancient and traditional knowledge that binds humanity with nature.
Current data indicates that at least 40% of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are at some level of endangerment. While reliable figures are hard to come by, experts agree that indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable because many of them are not taught at school or used in the public sphere.

Source: UNESCO

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