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Belgium : Call for official recognition of sign languages.

PACE has called for the official recognition of sign languages so that deaf persons can exercise their fundamental rights.

Adopting a resolution based on a report by Miren Edurne Gorrotxategui (Spain, UEL), the Assemblys Standing Committee said such recognition would also contribute to further promoting the richness of deaf culture and send a powerful message of inclusion to the deaf community.

Sign languages are used by millions of deaf persons throughout the world every day, the Assembly pointed out. However, because so few states have recognised them as official languages it is not possible to guarantee access to education in sign languages and the provision of sign language interpretation in public services.

To have an impact, recognition must be accompanied by strong political commitment and the availability of financial resources to ensure that services and teaching in sign languages are genuinely accessible.

The Finnish rap artist Signmark, who was born deaf, performed songs in sign language for the parliamentarians as the report was adopted.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 27, 2018
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