Autonomy in International Legal Instruments: The Case of Tibet

Lhakpa Chodon, American University Washington College of Law


The problem I have identified is over sixty-year of China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. China’s persistent human rights violations in Tibet are destroying Tibet’s distinct identity, culture, language, and religion. To end this long-standing occupation and establish peace and stability in the region, I contend that only a genuine and meaningful autonomy for the whole of Tibet under a single administration will ensure peace and freedom.

This study is based on analyses of historical treaties, conventions and agreements; domestic, regional and international laws; United Nations’ resolutions and reports; media reports; academic research; government and other official documents; eye witness accounts, etc. In seeking a solution, it examines three cases of autonomy arrangements to evaluate autonomy’s feasibility for Tibet.

In the case of Tibet, a solution must be reached soon. Despite centuries of non-violence, the struggle against Chinese rule is starting to be waged by a new generation of Tibetans, who are less compromising than previous generations.