Postgraduate taught 

Reparatory Justice MSc/MA

Course: Slavery, Conflict and Human Rights

Course: Slavery, Conflict and Human Rights

Slavery, Conflict and Human Rights JUST6002 

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
  • Credits: 20
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1

Short Description

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Accordingly, the international human rights framework explicitly prohibits inter alia slavery and the slave-trade in all its forms. This course is concerned with the current critiques of slavery and institutions and practices similar to slavery in contrast to the past legal realm where slavery and the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans were widely practised. In particular, this course examines the protections against slavery explicitly recognized and asserted nowadays by human rights norms, and analyses the discriminatory ideologies at the basis of the practice of slavery, i.e. racial stereotyping, racial discrimination, highlighting the relevant human rights frameworks that condemn colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated with it. Ultimately, the course investigates human rights law arguments that strengthen, as well as human rights accountability mechanisms that support the demand for reparation.


1 x three-hour seminar over 10 weeks

Excluded Courses





This course will be assessed utilising 100% coursework as follows:

  • Critique/discussion paper or creative project - 10%
  • Detailed research outline - 20%
  • Research paper or creative project oral presentation - 20%
  • Final research paper or creative project - 50%

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • increase training in the area of human rights law specific to slavery and reparatory justice
  • equip students to identify the protections against slavery and the accountability mechanisms afforded under human rights law
  • increase awareness of the existing human rights tools to substantiate the legal claim for reparation for slavery.

Intended learning outcomes of course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • examine the human rights standards addressing racial discrimination
  • assess the norms prohibiting slavery and trafficking in persons
  • assess the human rights accountability mechanisms related to the prohibition of slavery
  • critically examine the human rights legal basis for the claim for reparation
  • identify the human rights mechanisms that support demands for slavery reparation.