Protection of Stateless Persons (30 August – 10 October, 2017)


This course can be taken as stand-alone, or as part of the Diploma in Human Rights and Forced Displacement.

Course Description

This certificate course introduces learners to the international system for protection of Stateless Persons, and the reduction and prevention of statelessness. Addressing Statelessness is an imperative in today’s world, given that there are more than 10 million persons who are Stateless. Yet, the global efforts to tackle the problem has not been enough due to various factors, which the course grapples with. The course begins with the conundrums of defining ‘stateless persons’ and debates surrounding the distinction between de jure and de facto stateless persons. Participants will then analyze the international legal framework for protection of Stateless persons as enshrined in the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, before moving on to the procedures for Statelessness Status Determination, the role of UNHCR, and the challenges thereto. The next segment of the course focuses on the limitations of a protection regime and the need for amplifying efforts to reduce and ultimately prevent Statelessness, as laid out in the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The course specifically looks at issues related to acquisition of nationality by children, and then focuses on the contemporary challenges

This e-learning course is designed to provide a comprehensive picture to participants on what the international system for the protection of stateless persons is, why does statelessness occur, what are the needs of stateless persons, what are the available legal protections, which are the relevant actors involved in their protection and what are the challenges facing today’s stateless persons. The course is based on a dynamic pedagogy including reading materials, video clips, case studies, and interactive webinars with the instructor as well as officials of UNHCR.

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Defining Statelessness: the de jure and the de facto
  • Week 2: International legal framework for protection of stateless persons
  • Week 3: Statelessness Status Determination and the Role of UNHCR
  • Week 4: International legal framework for reduction of Statelessness
  • Week 5: Prevention of Statelessness and the Rights of the Child
  • Week 6: Contemporary challenges in the context of Statelessness


Who Should Apply

The course is intended for staff members of NGOs and government agencies advocating for and working on statelessness, staff of inter-governmental agencies and others interested in these issues. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use.

About the Instructor

Mihir Kanade is the Director of the Human Rights Center at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) and is a faculty member in 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 from UPEACE. He has served extensively as a legal advisor to many human rights organizations, including those involved with refugee protection, and has represented them before different courts and tribunals in criminal, constitutional, asylum, human rights and labour cases. He has also taught several professional certificate online course on the protection of refugees and stateless persons.

Course Fee

For Certificate: Fee for taking this course is USD 600. UPEACE students and almuni enrolling for the Certificate course are entitled to 30% discount on the fee.

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.

Application Procedure

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.


Payments may be made either by credit card or by wire transfer. Payment by wire transfer usually takes three to four business days to be deposited in our account. Payment by credit card is instant. If you choose the credit card option, you may notice that we receive slightly less than what you send. That is because the credit card company charges a percentage of the amount for its services. We will not charge you for the bank or credit card company’s deductions.

If you wish to make the payment by credit card, please go to

Payments by wire transfer must be made to the following bank account:

Universidad para la Paz
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
Bank account number:100-02-099-600195-4
Swift Code: BNCRCRSJ and IBAN: CR5715109910026001958
Avenidas 1 y 3, Calle 4
San José, Costa Rica