Optional (10 ECTS Credits) – Spring Term

Aims and Objectives

The course will provide students with a broad range of frameworks that will facilitate the analysis of human rights issues facing indigenous peoples and minorities in the world today. The normative foundations of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples in international law will be considered alongside key debates that shape national and international legislative and policy responses and international monitoring mechanisms.

Module Outline

The module will investigate key historical and contemporary human rights issues faced by indigenous peoples and ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities that emanate from the relationship they have with the states in which they live, other communities and the international system. Topics covered range from colonial genocide and contemporary settler/indigenous relations to discrimination and accommodation of non-dominant ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and struggles for equality and non-discrimination more generally. The module will also look into how indigenous peoples and minorities are protected by international human rights law, considering the rights that have been established, the jurisprudence that has been developed, and the mechanisms for implementation that are currently used in practice. The module will provide an opportunity to reflect how these rights have been constructed and framed, from the collective rights of indigenous peoples to the individual rights of ‘persons belonging to minorities’, and how they are protected and implemented in practice. The module will also provide a space for consideration of contemporary challenges relating to political participation, conflict, development and other matters that affect indigenous peoples and minorities.


  • 3000 word essay = 65% of the total grade.
  • 1500 word UN shadow report = 25% of the total grade.
  • Seminar participation = 10% of the total grade.

Taught by Dr Corinne Lennox and other academics within the Human Rights Consortium’s related projects.