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Parliamentary questions
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28 September 2018
Question for written answer E-004990-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL) , Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Sign language rights
 Answer in writing 

Using the example of the Icelandic Parliament, which unanimously approved a bill on 27 May 2011 recognising Icelandic Sign Language as an official minority language with constitutional rights and as the first language of the deaf people of Iceland:

Does the Commission agree that all EU Member States should provide the same status and legal recognition for sign language, recognising that this means more legal protection and rights, alongside better access to public services, including healthcare and education?

In recognition of the non-discriminatory approach to the use of a natural sign language, as required under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and of Parliament’s resolution of 23 November 2016 on sign languages and professional sign language interpreters(1):

Does the Commission agree that symbolic recognition alone does not guarantee any legal or constitutional protection for language users, and therefore they should not only be recognised, but supported not merely as an accommodation, but as an official communication medium of language communities?

(1)OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 68.

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