Linguists Hammer Out Policy Charter for Creole-speaking Caribbean

France, the United States, and United Kingdom joined 15 Caribbean countries to put together the Charter for Language Rights and Policy for the Creole-speaking Caribbean, marking the successful conclusion at of the International Conference on Language Rights and Policy in Kingston, Jamaica. Participants called for the recognition of the rights of persons who speak Creole languages as a part of overall human rights. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Over two days, the conference participants deliberated on the final wording of the articles of the document, and have produced the Charter that will now provide the regional framework for resolving the language problems of the Creole-speaking Caribbean.

[. . .] Endorsement of the charter will be sought by sharing the charter with local and regional civil society groups and the mass media, telecommunications organizations and the wider corporate community, in particular those who publicly use Creole language in advertising as part of their business activity.

The charter calls for the establishment of a Regional Council on Language Policy and Language Rights which will perform the functions of advocating for the adoption of the charter, provide research support in order to ensure that territories have the detailed knowledge of their own language situation as to allow them to take steps to implement the charter, and monitor the implementation of the charter and any violations which may occur in the territories that have adopted it.

The actual structure of the Council will be decided based on a 3-month consultation. The consultation will be carried out by the Jamaica Language Unit, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, in conjunction with the Society for Caribbean Linguistics (SCL) and including Groupe d’Études et de Recherches en Espace Créolophone et Francophone (GEREC-F), the Creole language research group based in Martinique and Guadeloupe, and any other persons, groups or bodies that have expressed an interest in the charter.

The regional council is to be launched on 28 October 2011 as part of the celebration of Caribbean Creole Language Day to be celebrated in all the Creole-speaking countries of the Caribbean. Linked to this will be a public appeal to contribute to an endowment fund that would finance the work of the regional council.

The International Conference on Language Rights and Policy was organized by the Jamaican Language Unit/Unit for Caribbean Language Research at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The conference was the conclusion of an on-going process of intense debate and discussion by a team of 30 international experts on Caribbean languages.

For full article, see http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Regional-linguists-sign-off-language-rights-and-policy-charter-for-Creole-speaking-Caribbean-4737.html

Also see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/mobile/career/Caribbean-delegates-press-for-language-rights_8299496

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