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Indigenous peoples, minorities and human rights

Module information>

Academic Direction
School of Advanced Study
Also part of
MA Human Rights
Modes of Study

This 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

  • how the identities of minorities and indigenous peoples are conceptualised in law and practice
  • intersectionality and the protection of minority and indigenous peoples’ rights
  • the history of key social movements working for minority and indigenous rights, including the context in which they operate, the techniques they use, and the challenges they face
  • international law and mechanisms relating to non-discrimination, political participation and economic and social rights
  • the rights of religious minorities
  • claims to land and natural resources rights

Learning outcomes

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.


This module is assessed by one item of coursework (70% of the overall grade), and three E-tivities (30%).