In ethnically diverse countries emerging from conflict, it is becoming increasingly common to see federalism as a means of conflict transformation.

However, wherever constituent unit boundaries are drawn to give a particular group a majority, this creates a situation where minorities within those constituent units fear marginalization, deprivation of equal opportunity or even oppression.

This Constitution Brief surveys comparative constitutional practice for different mechanisms and approaches relating to the minorities within minorities challenge. In other words, this brief refers to the protection of minorities within constituent units/states/regions and doesn’t cover the protection of minorities in general.


Publication date
20 March 2020
Sumit Bisarya
Number of pages



1. Introduction

2. Fundamental rights protection

3. Local territorial autonomy

4. Recognition and representation at state level

5. Non-territorial autonomy

6. Religious law and official language


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Protecting Ethnic Minorities within Minorities

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