What Is the Definition of Minority Rights?

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Minority rights are rules and laws that are designed to legally protect the members of a non-dominant racial or ethnic group. These rules and laws are developed to meet the distinctive needs of these non-dominant groups, while also remaining minority-specific.

Minority rights exist independently of the universal, non-discriminatory individual rights that are assigned to everyone regardless of racial or ethnic group identification. By enacting minority rights, the government is attempting to ensure that each minority represented has an equal voice in government and society. Minority rights also allow each group to maintain an individual identity, such as freedom to speak a native language, within the larger confines of society.