Summary. The purpose of the research is to analyze the formation and development of an international mechanism for the protection of national minorities under the auspices of the League of Nations in the context of its dissemination to the countries of Eastern Europe. The methodology of the research is based on the principles of historicism, science, author’s objectivity, consistency, social approach, and interdisciplinarity. General sciences (analysis, synthesis, deduction, induction, generalization) and special-historical methods (historiographical analysis, terminological analysis, retrospective, and comparative and historical) methods are used. The scientific novelty of the research is based on the analysis of a wide range of studies on the genesis of the protection of national minorities by the League of Nations, a critical assessment of the functioning of the League’s human rights mechanism in relation to minority ethnic groups in the countries of Eastern Europe. The research found that the system of guarantees of the League of Nations for the benefit of minorities was shaped under the influence and in the context of the development of international relations of the League with Eastern European states, at the stage of securing the respective obligations of the states, as well as during the supervision of their implementation. The article substantiates the existence of an alternative historiographical approach to the concept of «Eastern European states», which was characteristic of the interwar period, 20-s and 30-s of the 20th century, in the context of an urgent need for a systematic settlement of the national minorities’ status in Europe, which was of particular interest for the leading countries of the Entente.

Conclusions. An international protection mechanism was primarily provided not to national minorities, but to social groups, as well as to their individual representatives. This significantly narrowed the rights and interests of «non-dominant» strata of the population of states. The system of minority rights guarantees of the League of Nations was also controversial: on the one hand, in many countries, there were significant violations of the rights of minorities, and, on the other hand, an established system often opened the way for possible abuses and artificial ethnic hostility agitation, such a way giving the possibility to a part of the country of origin of a particular minority to influence the policy of multinational states. The signatories to the treaty on the protection of minorities persistently resisted the desire of the League of Nations to provide effective control over the fulfillment of the treaty obligations imposed on them by the winner-countries of the First World War. They considered the created system inequitable and inappropriate since it disregarded the rest of the multinational states that faced similar problems. All this conditioned the League’s poor performance in protecting the rights and interests of minority ethnic groups living on the territory of Eastern European states.

Ключові слова

League of Nations, national minorities, Eastern Europe, peace treaty, minorities treaties, unilateral declarations

Повний текст:

PDF (English)


Abashidze, A. Kh. (1996). Zashchita prav menshinstv po mezhdunarodnomu i vnutrigosudarstvennomu pravu [Minorities rights protection under international and domestic law]. Moskva: Prava cheloveka: Fond A. Abashidze, 474 p. [in Russian].

Bochkovskyi, O. (1922). Problema natsionalnykh menshostei [Problem of national minorities]. Nova Ukraina: Bezpartiinyi dvotyzhnevyk hromadskoho, kulturnoho y ekonomichnoho zhyttia – New Ukraine: Social, Cultural and Economic Life Bi-weekly, 1618, 1–6. [in Ukrainian].

Bochkovskyi, O. (1958). Nauka pro natsiiu ta yii zhyttia [Science about the nation and its life]. Niu-Iork: Z.D.A., 79 p. [in Ukrainian].

Chatzikyriakidis, K. (2011). Forced Migration, Exile and an Imaginary Land-heaven. The Case of Greek-Pontians in the Caucasus. Words and Silences, 6 (1), 49–57. [in English].

Fink, C. (1972). Defender of Minorities: Germany in the League of Nations, 1926‑1933. Central European History, 5 (4), 330–357. doi: 10.1017/S0008938900015570 [in English].

Fink, C. (1995). The League of Nations and the Minorities Question. World Affairs, 157 (4), 197–205. [in English].

Finney, P. B. (1993). The Relations between the Entente Powers and Greece, 19236: (PhD thesis). Leeds, i‑vii, 400 p. [in English].

Gevorkyan, V. M. (1955). Mezhdunarodnaya zashchita prav cheloveka [International human rights protection]. (Candidate’s thesis). Moskva, 214 p. [in Russian].

History of the League of Nations, 1919 – 1946. (2016). The United Nations Office of Geneva (UNOG) Library, Registry, Records and Archives Unit. URL: [in English].

Horot, A. (2018). Retrospektyvnyi analiz normatyvnoho zabezpechennia prav menshynu mizhnarodnomu pravi do stvorennia OON [Normative-regulatory support of the minority rights in the international law before establishment of UN: retrospective analysis]. Istoryko-pravovyi chasopys – History and Law Journal, 1, 44–49. [in Ukrainian].

Ilinskaya, O. I. (2017). Zashchita prav cheloveka v deyatelnosti Ligi Natsiy [Human Rights Protection in the League of Nations’ Activity]. Zhurnal rossijskogo prava – Journal of Russian Law, 11, 96–110. doi: 10.12737/article_59f067bda6d325.12816675 [in Russian].

Kovács, P. (2013). The Protection of Minorities under the Auspices of the League of Nations. In D. Shelton (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law (Part 2 (§ 13), pp. 325–341). Oxford: Oxford University Press, i‑lviii, 1018 p. doi: 10.1093/law/9780199640133.003.0014 [in English].

Krotkov, V. (1923). Pravo natsionalnykh menshinstv na Lozannskoy konferentsii [Law of national minorities at the Conference of Lausanne]. Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn – International Affairs, 1, 62–71. [in Russian].

Kunz, J. L. (1945). The Future of the International Law for the Protection of National Minorities. The American Journal of International Law, 39 (1), 89–95. doi: 10.2307/2192312 [in English].

Levin, I. D. (1934). Dogovory o zashchite prav natsionalnykh menshinstv (K polskomu vystupleniyu na plenume Ligi natsiy) [Treaties on national minorities rights protection (On the issue of Polish statement at the League of Nations plenary session)]. Sovetskoe gosudarstvo – Soviet State, 6, 63–66. [in Russian].

Macartney, C. A. (1934). National States and National Minorities. London: Oxford University Press, i‑ix, 540 p. doi: 10.1177/000271623417500138 [in English].

Mytsyk, V. V. (2004). Prava natsionalnykh menshyn u mizhnarodnomu pravi [National minorities rights in international law]. Kyiv: Vydavnycho-polihrafichnyi tsentr «Kyivskyi universytet», 287 p. [in Ukrainian].

Pearson, R. (1983). National Minorities in Eastern Europe. London: Macmillan Press, i‑x, 249 p. doi: 10.1007/978-1-349-17033-3 [in English].

Preece, J. J. (1998). National Minorities and the European Nation-States System. Oxford: Clarendon Press, i‑x, 202 p. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294375.001.0001 [in English].

Rosting, H. (1923). Protection of Minorities by the League of Nations. The American Journal of International Law, 17 (4), 641–660. doi: 10.2307/2188655 [in English].

Sierpowski, S. (1991). Minorities in the System of the League of Nations. In P. Smith et al. (Eds.), Ethnic groups in international relations (Chapter 2, pp. 13–37). New York: New York University Press, i‑xxii, 352 p. [in English].

Thornberry, P. (1993). International Law and the Rights of Minorities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, i‑xii, 451 p. [in English].

Turchyn, Y. (2013). Instytutsiini mekhanizmy zakhystu prav natsionalnykh menshyn u politolohichnii kontseptsii O. Bochkovskoho [Institutional mechanisms of national minorities’ rights protection in the political science concept of O. Bochkovsky]. Ukrainska natsionalna ideia: realii ta perspektyvy rozvytku – Ukrainian National Idea: Realities and Prospects of Development, 25, 44–49. [in Ukrainian].

Vishnyak, M. V. (1929). O mezhdunarodnoy zashchite menshinstv [About international protection of minorities]. Zakon i Sud: Vestnik Russkogo yuridicheskogo obshchestva – The Law and Court: Russian Judicature Society Bulletin, 4, 117–122. [in Russian].

Yildirim, O. (2006). Diplomacy and Displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 1922 1934. New York & London: Routledge, i‑xvi, 309 p. [in English].

Пристатейна бібліографія ГОСТ

ISSN 2519-058X (Print) ISSN 2664-2735 (Online)