Call for new laws for Welsh speakers

LANGUAGE campaigners yesterday called for new laws to establish a basic level of rights for Welsh-speakers.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymaeg staged a meeting at the Welsh Assembly with speakers from the Commission for Racial Equality and Disability Rights Commission.

Chairman of the society’s campaign for a new Welsh Language Act Catrin Dafydd said: “Over the last decade, legislation in a number of fields has moved further and further towards establishing a basic level of rights.

“Now there exists a series of equality measures which affect fields such as race, disability and sexuality.

“Despite this, Welsh is completely unique in the field in that the present legislation does not establish a basic level of rights.”

Plaid AM Leanne Wood said present language laws had a number of flaws – mainly the failure to secure “official status”.

“Welsh speakers have no rights to use Welsh in the private sphere as it is only public bodies which are obliged to provide Welsh language schemes,” she said.

“Westminster is no longer the right place to legislate on the Welsh language. From 2007 all power over the language should be with the Assembly,” she added..

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