Peru Officially Recognizes Indigenous Languages

On July 5, 2011, the Peruvian Congress officially recognized Indigenous languages by passing Law 29735, the Law for the Use, Preservation, Development, Revitalization, and Use of Indigenous Languages, proposed by Congresswoman Maria Sumire. Part of implementing international and domestic human rights law such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the individual and collective right to speak one's native language.

The law recognizes that language diversity is linked to the expression of individual and collective identity, as well as a different way of conceiving and describing reality, and that these languages should be celebrated as well as used nationally. It makes Indigenous languages official languages of Peru.

The law requires the the Ministry of Education to conduct a national register of Indigenous languages and update Peru's ethnolinguistic map.

This law repeals Decree Law 21,156, which recognized Quechua as an official language of Peru. 

Public administration will now have to communicate in the 80 Indigenous languages spoken in Peru. 

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