Perceptions from within : A minor field study about the discourses of human rights in Uganda

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Linköpings universitet/Statsvetenskap; Linköpings universitet/Statsvetenskap

Sammanfattning: In 2009 a member of the Ugandan parliament presented a draft law called ”the Anti-homosexuality bill”. The bill included further restrictions against homosexuality, which already is a crime in Uganda. For instance it suggested that homosexuals should be sentenced to death. The world reacted strongly to this draft law and proclaimed it to violate principles of universal human rights. Media, political leaders and non-governmental organisations all over the world condemned the draft law and a discussion about human rights in Uganda rose. The perception of the international society, criticising the draft law, seemed to be that human rights are universal and should be valid in every state of the world, whereas the message from Ugandan politicians indicated that they ought to be able to legislate without any external interference. This thesis aims to define discourses of human rights within the Ugandan society. We will focus on the Ugandan government and the Ugandan civil society and we will distinguish differences between urban and rural areas. To be able to define a discourse of human right in the Ugandan civil society we performed a field study in the country during eight weeks from April to June 2010. This was made possible through a minor field study scholarship (MFS), funded by SIDA. With our base in the capital Kampala we travelled around the country to visit and interview organisations in both urban and rural areas. The gathered data was then analysed and compared with the data of the Ugandan government, which was achieved through text analyses. Our thesis will show that there are apparent differences in discourses and perceptions of human rights. We divide the studied areas into three discourses; the government, national NGOs and regional NGOs. In the last part of our thesis we will present conclusions and reflections about the result of the field study.

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