Rights of minority populations

Minority communities fully and equally participate in democracies everywhere

Racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic minority groups often find themselves under threat in transitional and emerging democracies. True democracies must be inclusive and representative, providing for the full and active participation of all people irrespective of their race or ethnic identity, the language they speak or how they worship. IFES supports local, minority-led civil society organizations and other stakeholders to uphold the rights of minority populations through awareness-raising, education, skills training and public policy reform. We have worked in partnership in dozens of countries in support of the full and equal participation and representation of people in minority communities.

IFES engages the following strategies to support minority participation in political processes:

  • Working with minority groups to enhance knowledge of political processes and their rights and build skills such as leadership, public speaking and coalition building.
  • Developing the capacity of local minority-led civil society organizations to improve government and community outreach, enhance knowledge on minority rights, expand support networks and synergize strategies between relevant stakeholders.
  • Providing technical assistance to election management bodies and state stakeholders to reform government policies that serve as barriers to minorities’ full participation in electoral and political processes by instituting measures that improve minority groups’ awareness of and access to political, constitutional, legal and other relevant reform processes.
  • Developing and disseminating targeted, innovative and accessible civic education campaigns and materials that meet the needs of and represent minority groups.
  • Combatting disinformation, hate speech and violence against minorities by tracking data on violence, supporting minority leaders to advocate against it and working with institutions to strengthen their capacity to disconnect from cycles of violence.
  • Working with majority communities to increase tolerance, enhance solidarity and build a more inclusive notion of citizenship and national identity.

To learn more about IFES’ work to further the rights and inclusion of racial ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, please read our 2020 United Nations Special Rapporteurs submissions:

Explore our resources linked here to learn more and get involved. Please also visit our Anti-Racism and Rights of Indigenous Peoples web pages.


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