1919

Paris Peace Conference and minority protection in the inter-war period

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As a result of the Paris Peace Conference a series of Minority Treaties entered into force and became the cornerstone of the League of Nations’ system of minorities. The Minority Treaties, recognized as history's first minority treaties, were an important step in protection of minorities and recognition of human rights, bringing the subject to an international forum. In them, for the first time, states and international communities recognized that there are people living outside normal legal protection and who required an additional guarantee of their elementary rights from an external body, as protection within individual states itself may not be sufficient. Prior the Second World War there was no claim for the universality of minority rights. The minority issue in the inter-war period was exclusively a foreign policy issue.