School navigation

International Law

Unrepresented Nations and People Workshop

Applying international law and human rights law to real world problems

Offered in association with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (, this innovate workshop examines the practical international law and human rights aspects of an unrecognized State or indigenous group participating in UNPO’s work.

Over the course of thirteen 1-hour class meetings, members of the workshop will select an unrecognized State or indigenous group suggested by UNPO as ripe for legal investigation, familiarize themselves with the State or group and identify the legal issues involved. They will allocate among themselves research and writing responsibilities on discreet aspects of the principal legal issues, review and critique the emerging papers, and edit and produce a final report, which will be sent to UNPO, to the State or group concerned and to other interested parties.

The workshop is limited to ten students, one of whom will be appointed communications officer to liaise with UNPO and the unrecognized State or indigenous group under investigation.

To date, the workshop has examined the situation of Abkhazia, an unrecognized State seeking separation from Georgia, the plight of the indigenous Mapuche in Chile and slavery in Mauritania. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Slavery praised the workshop’s report on the measures proposed to combat slavery in Mauritania as containing “excellent insights and critical recommendations” which “will be of immense guidance in taking [the] work forward.”

Read the reports:

Abkhazia in International Law

The Mapuche Struggle for Land and Recognition: A legal Analysis

A Roadmap to Where? The Haratin and the Mauritanian Roadmap to Combat Slavery 

Seeking Self-Determination: The Practical Implications for Ogaden

A Shadow on Tomorrow’s Dreams: Somaliland’s Struggle for Statehood