“Linguistic and Cultural Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity” was the title of a seminar presented at UKZN by two visiting ASSAf academics,
The expansion of English worldwide as a “global” “lingua franca” has dire consequences for other languages, particularly indigenous/tribal/minority/minoritized languages. This is the view of Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Robert Phillipson who have studied language policy issues worldwide, and written extensively on language policy, linguistic imperialism, linguicism, and critical applied linguistics; combining micro and macro level analysis, as well as following developments in Africa.
Phillipson & Kangas argue that the norm in language acquisition is the assimilationist subtractive submersion programmes through the medium of dominant languages which are maintained, despite scientific evidence of the harm done by monolingualism. Submersion education can be seen as genocide according to the definitions in the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Linguistically, psychologically, sociologically, educationally, economically it can also be seen as a crime against humanity.