New course on "Tourism, Conservation and Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples" to run in spring 2024 session 2

March 2, 2024
Tourism and Conservation photo

HRTS 495a/595a
Human Rights Across Contexts
Tourism, Conservation and Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Fully online course -- 7 weeks, Spring Session 2 (March-May 2024)

New Course! Being offered for the first time, this innovative course will be led by staff and members of the Advisory Council of the Initiative on Indigenous Peoples Affected by Protected Areas and Other Conservation Measures, a project of the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program (IPLP).

Students will work to document the human rights abuses perpetrated by actors from the Tourism and Conservation industries and to identify and use UN mechanisms which could be activated to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

Course content: Students will have extensive opportunities to conduct hands-on human rights work, including: drafting case studies detailing human rights violations perpetrated in national parks in Asia and Africa; preparing communications and reports for the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Special Rapporteurs; working in partnership with indigenous representatives to develop an online resources webpage; compiling legal tools to promote and protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and indigenous codes of conduct and indigenous led conservation projects. 

Background: In July 2022 and 2023, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Francisco Calí Tzay submitted his reports to the UN General Assembly on Conservation and Tourism. The reports highlight the human rights violations that occur in these related industries including patterns of land dispossession, evictions, militarization, extra-judicial killings, sexual gender-based violence, criminalization of human rights defenders or loss of indigenous culture. The Special Rapporteur also underlines the unparalleled opportunities offered by Conservation and Tourism for Indigenous Peoples to strengthen their rights to lands, territories and resources, development, social and economic empowerment, and to value and protect their traditional knowledge and cultural heritage.

Learning outcomes: By the end of this course, students will learn to think critically and analytically about the threats and opportunities generated by the Tourism and Conservation industries, recognize the key legal instruments and institutions of international human rights law that can be used to advance, and support Indigenous Peoples impacted by these two sectors in the protection of their rights. This experience will create a community of practice made up of students, community members, leaders, experts, and faculty that will continue the work of furthering the rights of Indigenous Peoples in this context.

This course offered by the Program in Human Rights Practice in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The course format is fully online and includes lectures, guest lectures, a symposium, group activities, and individual projects. The course is open to all UA undergraduate graduate students from AZ Online, Main Campus, and International Direct. The course has no prerequisites, although some prior familiarity with indigenous rights, human rights and/or conservation is desirable.

Melanie Clerc