Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Development (Online Course)

from University for Peace
Registration deadline: 14 Jan 2020 Training date: 15 Jan 2020 to 25 Feb 2020 More Information

Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Development

Course Description This certificate course offered by the Human Rights Center of the University for Peace will introduce participants to the increasingly significant field of indigenous peoples’ rights and looks at the contemporary issues that have paradoxically led to a recognition of those rights on the one hand, while simultaneously challenging their implementation on the other. The course will address the broad spectrum of issues involved in the field of indigenous peoples’ rights, beginning with who qualifies to be “indigenous peoples”, the scope of their right to self-determination, the international and regional legal frameworks for the protection of their rights and the challenges associated therewith, and the debates surrounding the concept of indigenous governance. The course will also look closely into human security and human development issues relating to indigenous peoples, the role of investment, extractive industries and other business corporations in indigenous reservations/areas, and the effect of intellectual property rights on the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. Strong emphasis will be placed throughout the course on case studies from around the world. Participants will explore debates on mainstreaming versus autonomy, participatory governance, scope of ‘free and prior consent’ and the right to development, amongst others.

The course is based on a dynamic pedagogy including reading materials, video clips, case studies, and interactive webinars with the instructor.

This course is also offered as part of the Professional Development Diploma on Sustainable Development and Human Rights.

Course outline

  • Week 1: Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Identity and the Right to Self-determination
  • Week 2: International and Regional Legal Framework for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  • Week 3: Indigenous Governance
  • Week 4: Indigenous Peoples, Human Security and Human Development
  • Week 5: Indigenous Peoples Rights and Investment
  • Week 6: Traditional Knowledge, Intellectual Property Rights and Indigenous Peoples

Who Should Apply

The course is intended for staff members of civil society organisations and (inter)governmental organisations involved in advocating for indigenous peoples’ rights, academics and others interested in the human rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, as well as for those working in the field of development. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.

About the Instructor

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India) is the Director of the Human Rights Center at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and is the Head of the Department of International Law and Human Rights at UPEACE. Prior to the present position, Mihir practiced for several years as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and the Bombay High Court, focusing on issues of fundamental human rights violations. He holds a LL.B. from Nagpur University and a Masters degree in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes and a PhD from UPEACE. He has served extensively as a legal advisor to many human rights organizations. He has taught specialized courses on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to different professional stakeholders over the last seven years, including an annual field course in Talamanca Region of Costa Rica. His current area of academic research is Globalization and Human Rights and involves research on the impacts of Globalization on indigenous peoples’ rights. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights, and acts as an advisor to several human rights organizations and corporations on issues related to human rights and international law. He is also an adjunct faculty at Universidad Alfonso XI El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), and Long Island University (United States). He co-leads a joint OHCHR-UPEACE project on operationalizing the right to development in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Fee information:
For Certificate: Fee for taking this course is USD 600. For Auditing: It is also possible to audit the course, in which case, participants will not receive a certificate. Auditors, however, will have access to all course material, be able to participate in the synchronous webinar sessions, and be able to monitor the online discussions of participants. The fee for auditing the course is USD 200. For Certificate and 2 Academic Credits: Participants are also able to take the course for two academic credits offered by UPEACE. The cost of taking the course for 2 academic credits is USD 1100.
How to register:

To apply, please send an email to along with your CV and a short Statement of Purpose (not more than 500 words) indicating the motivation for taking the course. Applicants will be contacted within three working days of the application. The course is limited to 25 participants.