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The Responsibility to Protect Indigenous Peoples: A Study of R2P’s Potential Application in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh

Halliwell, Shayna

This thesis analyzes the potential application of the United Nations principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in situations of mass atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples. R2P has never been applied in a situation of a mass atrocity committed against Indigenous peoples anywhere in the world and this thesis will question why that is, with reference to and analysis of the case study of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) region of Bangladesh. The author argues that the conflict in the CHT is a clear case of ethnic cleansing of the area’s Indigenous peoples at the behest of the Bangladeshi government, making this an appropriate opportunity for the application of R2P. This thesis uses the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a normative framework through which the author assesses the Indigenous right to self-determination as it pertains to mass atrocity prevention and intervention in Indigenous communities. The author evaluates how R2P could be better shaped to address situations of mass atrocities involving Indigenous peoples, and how this paradigm shift may affect future iterations of the Responsibility to Protect as an evolving norm.

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More Information

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Stamatopoulou, Elsa
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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