9th Nitobe Symposium – 2023 – 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: what is the status of the implementation of language rights?

Università di Torino, Centro Aldo Moro

Organising committee:

Michele Gazzola, Nicole Marinaro, Maria Margherita Mattioda, Marie-Berthe Vittoz

Scientific committee:

Michele Gazzola, Nicole Marinaro, Maria Margherita Mattioda, Guilherme Fians, Snehaja Venkatesh, Mark Fettes, Klaus Schubert, Marie-Berthe Vittoz

Invited speakers:

Giovanni Agresti
James Archibald
Monica Barni
Laure Clément-Wilz
Vicent Climent-Ferrando
Fernand de Varennes

Vicent Fenollar i Sastre
Ilaria Fiorentini
François Grin
Johan Häggman
Davyth Hicks

Francis Hult
Seán Ó Riain
Robert Phillipson
Antonio Stango
Bengt-Arne Wickström


The overall theme of the Nitobe Symposium is the status of the implementation of language rights, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The symposium will provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion on a topic that has gained considerable importance in recent years for a variety of reasons, including increasing international migration, processes of cultural and linguistic uniformisation linked to globalisation, the digital revolution that may negatively affect minority languages, and finally situations of armed conflict in multilingual countries such as Ukraine. A special session of the Nitobe Symposium will be dedicated to the case of language rights in Italy, including traditional minorities and those resulting from immigration.

Live Stream: https://media.unito.it/

Friday 28 July

8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Welcome and opening of the symposium

Morning session: Theoretical aspects of language rights

9:30-10:05 Fernand de Varennes, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Presentation and discussion of the report “Language Rights of Linguistic Minorities: A Practical Guide for Implementation” and of the “Proposal for a Global Convention on the Rights of Minorities”

10:05-10:40 Robert Phillipson, Copenhagen Business School, Presentation and discussion of the book “Handbook of Linguistic Human Rights”

10:40-11:15 Bengt-Arne Wickström, Andrássy-Universität Budapest, An index to evaluate linguistic justice across countries: discussion and presentation of some preliminary results

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

11:45-12:20 Vicent Climent-Ferrando, Universitat Pompeu Fabra – UNESCO Chair on Language Policies for Multilingualism, Assessing the European Union’s support to Regional and Minority Languages. 10 years after the Alfonsi Resolution

12:20-12:55 Laure Clément-Wilz, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Language rights and the EU Court of Justice

12:55-14:30 Lunch

Afternoon session: Practical aspects of language rights

14:30-15:05 Vicent Fenollar i Sastre and Johan Häggman, respectively, Policy Manager of NPLD-Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity, and Policy Advisor of FUEN-Federal Union of European Nationalities, What can and what should the EU do for minority or regional languages?

15:05-15:40 Davyth Hicks, Secretary General of ELEN- European Language Equality Network, Respecting linguistic diversity? Institutional obstacles to language equality and rights in Europe

15:40-16:10 Coffee break

16:10-16:45 James Archibald, McGill University/Università di Torino, Principles for implementing integrated language policies

16:45-17:20 Seán Ó Riain and Alice Leal, respectively Eŭropa Esperanto-Unio and University of the Witwatersrand, Language rights and multilingualism in the EU

17:20-17:55 François Grin, Université de Genève, Theoretical and methodological tools for the implementation of language rights: presentation of the book “Routledge Handbook of Language Policy and Planning”, and the journal “Language Problems & Language Planning”

17:55-18:00 Closing of the first day

Saturday 29 July

9:00-9:20 Summary of the first day

Morning session: The complexity of language rights. The case of Italy and of European Institutions

9:20-9:55 Antonio Stango, President of FIDU-Italian Federation of Human Rights, Human rights in linguistically diverse societies

9:55-10:30 Monica Barni, Università per Stranieri di Siena, Language rights and migrants in Italy

10:30-11:05 Giovanni Agresti, Université Bordeaux Montaigne and network POCLANDE, Minorities in Italy and language policies

11:05-11:35 Coffee break

11:35-12:10 Ilaria Fiorentini, Università di Pavia, The sociolinguistics of minorities in Italy

12:10-12:30 Francis Hult, University of Maryland, Language rights in the United Nations system

12:30-13:00 Conclusions and closing remarks.


Working languages: English, Italian, Esperanto. Simultaneous interpreting provided

With the kind financial support of: Esperantic Studies Foundation, Associazione “Nitobe” – Giustizia e democrazia linguistica, Università di Torino.

Download the program in PDF

Attendance is free: sign up

For information: