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What does this mean?
It’s your right to practice your own culture, language and religion, or any you choose.
No one should stop you going to mass, to the Mosque, to service or to temple.
You can speak whatever language your family chooses at home, but you may have to speak a certain language at school.
If there are not many people that speak your language, or practice your culture, you should get special protection.
EXAMPLE: Members of the travelling community should be given special halting sites where they can live as it is a part of their culture to move around.
Learn more about this right
Do I have this right in Ireland?
- UNCRC, article 14 – it’s your right to choose your own religion and beliefs. Your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong and what is best for you.
- UNCRC, article 30 – it’s your right to practice your own culture, language and religion – or any you choose. Minority and indigenous groups need special protection of this right.
- One of your fundamental rights under the Irish Constitution is religious freedom. This means that no one can stop you practising your own religion in Ireland.
- The Irish language is the first official language in Ireland. The English language is recognised as the second official language.
- If you’re in trouble with the law, it’s your right to request a court hearing in Irish and they must wait until there is a judge and lawyers who can deliver your trial in Irish.
- Ireland is becoming more multicultural and there are many new languages, like Russian, Polish and Lituanian being examined for the Leaving Certificate every year.
Find out more
- The Yellow Flag Programme – The Yellow Flag Programme promotes inclusion and celebrates diversity in primary and secondary schools
- Pavee Point – Learn more about Irish Travellers and Roma from Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre.
- Foras na Gaeilge – Foras na Gaeilge is responsible for promoting the Irish language throughout the island of Ireland.
- Seachtain na Gaeilge – Find out more about Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week), an annual international Irish language festival.
- The Ark – The Ark is a cultural centre for children aged between 2 and 12 years old.
- Music Generation – Into music? Take a look at what Music Generation does around the country.
- Baboró – Baboró is an international arts festival for children, based in Galway.
- National Association of Youth Drama – There are youth theatres all over the country. Find out more from the National Association of Youth Drama
- Fighting Words – Learn about the Fighting Words creative writing centre. And read some children’s stories too!
- Culture Night – Culture night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts in Ireland.
- Africa Day – A celebration of African culture and heritage in different venues around the country
- EQUITAS – ‘Talyat – Malyat’. An activity for 9-10 year olds to explore the right to practice your own language and culture. In Play It Fair! Toolkit Human Rights Education Toolkit for Children (2009), p.18.