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Huvudmenyn dold.

Their mother tongue at school: Sámi in Sweden and Russia

Doktorandprojekt In this project, I examine how the right of the Sámi children in Russia to learn their mother tongue at school is implemented.

As a point of departure, I analyze how the sources of international law providing for the right in focus are incorporated into the national legislation of Russia.




Startdatum: 2016-09-01

Medverkande institutioner och enheter vid Umeå universitet

Institutionen för språkstudier, Lärarhögskolan




To this end, I refer to the documents constituting the monitoring procedures (reporting cycles), including Russia’s reports and the opinions of the international monitoring bodies in charge of the assessment of the implementation of international legal provisions into the national legal system. Among the monitoring bodies are the Human Rights Committee,[1] the Committee on the Rights of the Child,[2] the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,[3] etc. Then, I examine how the provisions of the national law regulating the right in focus are applied by the national courts and the national executive bodies. The latter group consists of inter alia the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (RF), and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Murmansk Oblast. Finally, I assess the situation regarding the realization of the right in focus at the school level. My main methods of data collection at school are surveys, observations and interviews.

The objective of this project is to examine the provisions of international and national law concerning the right of indigenous children to learn their mother tongue at school and to analyze the realization of this right by the Sámi learners in primary and secondary school.

In this thesis, I aim at

  1. deducing the content of the indigenous children’s right to learn their mother tongue at school from international legal norms and the national legislation of Russia,
  2. studying how the implementation measures in Russia contribute to the effective enforcement of the right in focus,
  3. identifying possible causes of the efficacy of the implementation measures.

There is no overarching theory applicable to the issues in focus basically because of the complexity of the research topic. To this end I apply th eprinciple of non-discrimination and education policy implemntation theory in combination. The priniple of non-discrimination is widely applicable in the legal studies and implies deifferent treatment of different cases. Education polocy implementation theory encompasses smart policy design, inclusive stakeholder engagement, a conducive environment and a coherent implementation strategy.[4]


First supervisor: Mikael Vinka

Second supervisor: Coppélie Cocq, Professor — University of Helsinki


[1] The Human Rights Committee is monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
[2] The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the monitoring body of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereafter CRC).
[3] Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is monitored by Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
[4] Romane Viennet and Beatriz Pont, Education Policy Implementation: a Literature Review and Proposed Framework (OECD Education Working Paper No. 162. EDU/WKP(2017)11. 8 December 2017).

Senast uppdaterad: 2023-05-09