Contests over human rights as claims or entitlements to state assistance are how a major, if relatively recent, feature of the socio-political processes and institutions, of modern societies (Turner 1993). Within this wider debate about human rights, the subject of minority rights has long been of concern (Dinstein and Tabory 1992, Sigler 1983). A widely held, but not unanimous, view has emerged which argues that minorities have group or collective rights which cannot be reduced to their human rights as individuals. Linguistic and cultural rights are seen by many scholars as two such overlapping dimensions of collective minority rights (de Varennes 1996, Kymlicka 1995a, Phillipson and Skutnabb-Kangas 1995). In a world of multicultural and multilingual states, so the argument runs, these collective rights can only be guaranteed by the active involvement of states in the implementation of policies which support linguistic and cultural rights, just as in the case of more universally recognized and accepted social and economic rights (Stavenhagen 1990).