SOAS University of London

School of Law

Oreva Olakpe

MA International Law, MA International Studies (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland), B.A International Studies (University of Maine at Farmington, USA) Honors Scholar, Michael D. Wilson Scholar, magna cum laude.
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  • Research


Oreva Olakpe
Ms Oreva Olakpe
Email address:
Thesis title:
Working Title: Sovereignty and Migrations: Straddling Human Rights and Security in a Globalized World
Year of Study:
Year of entry 2014
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

This thesis examines how undocumented migrations impact state sovereignty, human rights norms and security, through a non-western lens. The Westphalian conception of sovereignty has defined what international law among States is and has also informed jurisprudence, policy and international politics on the one hand. On the other hand, migration has risen in prominence contemporarily as one of the most debated factors affecting sovereignty. International human rights have also developed congruently in the post- World War II era as another factor impacting sovereignty. There has been much debate and discussion on the impact that these developments have had on the reach and significance of sovereignty in the West. However, there isn’t much research and discourse on the evolution of sovereignty outside the West under the impact of human rights and migrations. This thesis uses a TWAIL (Third World Approaches to International Law) blueprint to challenge the traditional discourse of sovereignty and migration in international law by analysing the cases of Nigeria and China and what these two cases say about different approaches to international law and the future of human rights.


  • The 16th Annual Student Human Rights Conference Migration and Human Rights: Perception v Reality, The University of Nottingham (March 7, 2015)
  • The Goethe Institut Library Study Evening, organized by The Serpentine Gallery, London- “An Evening on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (March 19, 2015)


  • Paper presented: The Compatibility of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Air, Land and Sea with International Human Rights Law
  • Presentation of Preliminary PhD research: Non-Western Approaches to International Migration Law: An introduction to the case studies of China and Nigeria


Royal African Society, International Law Students Association, SIMI Nigeria.


International law, Migrations, Human rights, Child rights, Refugee law, Sino- African relations, Non-Western Approaches to International Law.