Language discrimination in politics

Other Names:
Active political prejudice on basis of language
Prejudicial treatment of linguistic minorities in government

Citizens of a country may be denied the right to vote because they cannot pass a literacy test in a language which is not their mother tongue. This requirement gives advantages to members of the dominant language group and serves as a way to exclude non-members from participation in government. Language tests for immigration may be more lenient than those for voting. This kind of discrimination may affect naturalized immigrants or members of a plural society.


Constitutions of multilingual societies such as Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Uganda require the command of English for election to the central legislative; while French is mandatory in Cameroon, Congo, Mali, and Niger.

Related Problems:
Discriminatory communication
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST