Skutnabb-Kangas concluded that violations of linguistic rights were ultimately human rights violations, a situation she denounced in the cases of minority peoples —Kurds in Turkey—, diaspora communities, and sign language speakers.
The professor also emphasised the contribution that linguistic diversity can make to the promotion of peace, through the reduction of social injustices based on language hierarchies and the potential for mediation in conflicts that, according to Skutnabb-Kangas, multilingualism provides. She also linked linguistic diversity maintenance to the maintenance of biological diversity.
Skutnabb-Kangas was a member of the Scientific Council for the Follow-up of the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, an initiative of the PEN Club and CIEMEN. In 2003 she was awarded the Linguapax Prize.