Indigenous Peoples' and Minority Rights

The Indigenous Peoples' and Minority Rights Project of the Human Rights Consortium provides a national focal point for leading, facilitating and promoting policy-oriented research into the promotion and protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples and national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. By hosting conferences, workshops, seminars and short courses, and by initiating and facilitating publishing, the project will bring together scholars, practitioners and activists in the area to stimulate discussion and collaboration and enhance relevant policy impact nationally and internationally. 

Project members are among the academic friends of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and have also offered support to the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, among other UN agencies.

The Project also works in close collaboration with the UK Network on Minority Groups and Human Rights. Read the newsletter of the UK Network on Minority Groups and Human Rights.

Steering Group

Professor Damien Short
Professor Colin Samson
Dr Maria Sapignolo
Dr Jennifer Hayes
Dr. Corinne Lennox
Dr. Tawhida Ahmed



Eliminating Caste-Based Discrimination

Discrimination on the basis of caste is estimated to affect 260 million people worldwide, including in South Asia, Africa and the diaspora.  This includes also the UK, where the Equality Act (2010) includes provisions on caste-based discrimination.  This project supports research, policy and activism to eliminate caste-based discrimination across the globe.

Among the international work, Dr. Corinne Lennox of the HRC and Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) has advised the International Dalit Solidarity Network and the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights on strategies for international advocacy, particularly focused on the UN human rights institutions.  One aim has been to promote the set of ‘Principles and Guidelines for the Effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent’ approved by UN experts in 2009.

Among the national work, with HRC support, the ICWS co-organised with SOAS, a conference on ‘The Internationalisation of Dalit and Adivasi Activism’, 25-26 June 2012.  The conference brought together activists and scholars from diverse disciplines, and focused on issues in both India and the UK.  In August 2012, a workshop on norm entrepreneurship was held at Senate House for a group of eight civil society activists working on Dalit rights and other caste-affected groups.

The School of Advanced Study and the ICwS have an affiliation to the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS), a national non-profit institute based in New Delhi that undertakes research on the issues of social exclusion and discrimination. We have collaborated on a policy report on non-discrimination in access to health and education.

The School of Advanced Study is also part of an alliance with the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and Yale University’s India Initiative, which held in June 2011 in Shimla, India, an international conference on 'Changes in Caste Hierarchies in Rural India and their Political Implications'.

Dr. Lennox is also a Trustee of the Dalit Solidarity Network-UK.

The HRC and ICwS welcome collaboration with researchers and activists on the issue of caste-based discrimination.  Applications to study are strongly encouraged from post-graduate students with an interest in this area.