Mass Atrocities and Statelessness: Under-explored Connections?

In August 2022,  Dr Priya Pillai presented as part of the Refugees, Citizenship & Statelessness: Asia in Focus Seminar Series.



There is significant focus on statelessness and the impact of nationality laws, but less attention paid to possible linkages to the commission of mass atrocities. More recently, with the atrocities against the Rohingya, the role of nationality laws in exclusion and marginalization of an entire community, resulting in statelessness, has brought into sharp focus the linkages to mass atrocity crimes. What are the potential interlinkages between legal conditions that create statelessness and those that address the commission of mass atrocities? Does international criminal law or humanitarian law address statelessness, and if so, in what manner? The seminar will explore some of these questions.


Dr Priya Pillai is an international lawyer, with over two decades of expertise in the areas of international justice, international human rights, transitional justice, peace and conflict, and humanitarian issues. Priya has worked in national and international institutions, including at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) relating to trials in the aftermath of the conflict in the Balkans, and on various humanitarian issues globally while at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) headquarters in Geneva. She has been involved in different aspects of peace and transitional justice initiatives, in South and South-East Asia. She is a contributing editor at the international law blog Opinio Juris, and is on the editorial board of the Indian Society of International Law Yearbook of International Humanitarian and Refugee Law. She currently heads the Asia Justice Coalition secretariat, which is focused on justice and accountability in Asia. Priya holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute, Geneva, an LL.M from New York University School of law as a Global Public Service Scholar, and obtained her first law degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.