Mother Language Day: Language Rights are an integral part of Human Rights!
There are around 7000 languages in the world. However, due to the globalization process, many languages are under threat or have already disappeared. Across Southeast Asia, there may be more than 1,000 indigenous languages spoken across the region, yet there is little discussion of indigenous languages’ protection in the region.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our heritage. They constitute a significant factor of progress towards sustainable development and a harmonious relationship between the global and the local context.
However, with the Covid-19 outbreak, access to multilingual education has been challenged, leaving children of indigenous and ethnic minorities behind.
On this World Mother’s Language Day, we call on policymakers, educators and teachers, parents and families to scale up their commitment to multilingual education, and inclusion in education to advance education recovery in the context of COVID-19. We urge all relevant stakeholders to foster the protection and respect for all languages, including indigenous languages, and we encourage everyone to raise awareness of language preservation.