The Right of Minority-refugees to Preserve Their Cultural Identity: An Intersectional Analysis

Stephanie E. Berry, Isilay Taban McQuade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While UN treaty bodies have sought to address forms of oppression resulting from the intersection of gender, race and/or disability through their practice, they rarely recognise the experience of groups at the intersection of other social categories. This article uses the lens of intersectionality to analyse the practice of UN treaty bodies in relation to the intersection of minority and refugee status. We argue that while minority-refugees have fled persecution connected to their minority status, UN treaty bodies have failed to appreciate the impact of their location at the intersection of persons belonging to minorities and refugees in host States on their right to preserve their cultural identity. By failing to address the distinct experience of minority-refugees, UN treaty bodies risk participating in their oppression. Further, we reveal that current practice not only has potentially negative consequences for minority-refugees – as both individuals and groups – and for the host society but may even undermine the ability of IHRL to achieve its overarching objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-219
Number of pages22
JournalNetherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021


  • International Human Rights Law
  • Minority-Refugees
  • The Right to Culture
  • intersectionality
  • Cultural Identity


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