Ethnic minority leaders yesterday demanded constitutional recognition for them to ensure their rights, at a daylong regional gathering on Education in Mother Tongue for the Ethnic Minorities, in a hotel of Sylhet city, organised by National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and supported by Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE).
The speakers said that the ethnic minority groups have fulfilled all the criteria, as per the ILO conventions, but the government was yet to pay heed to their demand.
They urged the government to take steps for ensuring their political, economic and social rights and save their languages.
"Minority languages are dying, mainly due to negligence," said Dr Mesbah Kamal, general secretary of NCIP.
Gouranga Patro, executive director of Patro Samproday Kalyan Parishad, said it was crucial to be aware of one's rights and laws, and only then a solution was attainable.
"A language lasts when we preserve it in a written format and it's very important to preserve our mother language to maintain linguistic and cultural diversity," he added.
Andrew Solomar, leader of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, stressed the importance of knowing the ILO conventions.