The Cornish not included
In the 1990s, the UK government joined the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This was an agreement that recognised the separate identity of certain people in Europe. It also protected the rights of these people. When the UK government joined the Framework it made sure that English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh people were protected by it. However, the government did not include Cornish people.
Cornish National Minority Report
In 1999, influential people in Cornwall wrote a detailed document arguing that the Framework should also protect Cornish people. The document was called the Cornish National Minority Report and it was sent to the UK government. However, the government did not agree with the document and Cornish people remained unprotected by the Framework.
Protection at last
For the next 10 years, Cornish people continued to campaign to be included. The issue was even taken to court in London, but the UK government would not change its mind. In 2011, another document was written called the Cornish National Minority Report 2. Again, this gave reasons why Cornish people should be protected. Finally, on 24th April 2014, the UK government announced that the Framework would protect Cornish people.
UK government press release, April 2014The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status under the Framework as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.
Did you know?
The decision to protect Cornish people under the Framework was officially announced by a Government minister at a meeting in Bodmin. Ed ‘Kernow King’ Rowe was among the people attending the meeting.
Protection under the Framework means that the UK government should:
- Help Cornish people to maintain and develop their culture and identity.
- Encourage tolerance, respect and understanding amongst all people living in the UK.
- Help Cornish people to have access to the media.
- Recognise the right of Cornish people to use the Cornish language in public and to display information in the Cornish language.
- Try to ensure the use of the Cornish language for street and place names.
- Provide opportunities for Cornish people to learn the Cornish language.
- Help Cornish people to take part in the cultural, social and economic affairs of the UK, particularly those affecting them.
- Avoid proposals that alter the proportion of Cornish people living in Cornwall.
- Help Cornish people to learn about their own, and other people’s, culture, history, language and religion.