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Elsa Stamatopoulou, Ph.D.

Director, Indigenous Peoples' Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Adjunct Professor, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race & Department of Anthropology

(212) 854-3248

425 Hamilton

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Elsa Stamatopoulou joined Columbia in 2011. Her arrival marked the completion of distinguished service at the United Nations (Vienna, Geneva and New York) with some 22 years dedicated to human rights. Indigenous issues were part of her portfolio since 1983 and she became the first Chief of the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2003. Last year she taught the first ever course at Columbia on Indigenous Peoples rights and is developing a program on the topic for ISHR. Her academic background in law, international law, criminal justice and political science and her experience in international normative frameworks, institution-building, the rights of indigenous peoples and other groups, cultural rights, development, private sector and inter-governmental cooperation equip her with a keen understanding of how to impact on public policies, linking this to academic work. She has cooperated closely with non-governmental organizations and has received The Ingrid Washinawatok El Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh-Flying Eagle Woman Peace, Justice and Sovereignty Award; the award of the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples; the Eleanor Roosevelt Award of the Human Rights Center and of Voices 21 and others; in 2010 the Museum “Tepee of the World” was given her name in the Republic of Sakha, Siberia, Russia. Her writings include articles on indigenous rights, women’s rights, victims of human rights violations, cultural rights and on the UN; in 1998, she co-edited, with Danielli and Diaz, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 50 Years and Beyond” ; her book “Cultural Rights in International Law” was published in 2007 by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. She oversaw the first edition of the UN publication State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, New York, 2009.


Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER)
Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR)

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