ECMI Publications Programme
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Three European countries have chosen to stand outside the European minority rights regime adopted by European inter-governmental organizations. For diverse reasons they do not accept a responsibility to participate in the normative framework that protects Europe's ethnic, national, linguistic, or religious minorities. For France there exist no minorities in its territory. For Greece, there exists only one religious minority, the Muslims of Thrace, and they are protected by a bilateral treaty. And Belarus has refused to democratize its society and governance in order to become member of the European organizations. While these so-called 'denial states' have avoided the European normative framework, they are, however, subject to the United Nations (UN) system of human rights monitoring. And this system also includes mechanisms on minority protection. Thus, one could ask how the three countries deal with these mechanisms. This Working Paper will try to shed light on this question through an examination of the relevant UN mechanisms.