The latest report published in the Working paper series of the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University provides a discussion on the rise of grassroots social movements in Africa as a viable alternative to traditional NGOs in the promotion and protection of human rights. It highlights the need to make human rights more relevant at the local level and touches also upon the use of modern technology and social media in enhancing grassroots activism.
According to the author, recent geopolitical developments worldwide have led to a paradigm shift in both the context and strategies of doing human rights work in Africa. Grassroots social movements are increasingly allowing citizens to take on a central role and in some cases to circumvent traditional actors in the promotion and protection of human rights. The paper investigates the extent to which grassroots efforts could make a difference in shaping resilient futures and empowering communities to assert their rights.
The author of the paper, Prosper S. Maguchu, is a Visiting Post-doctoral Researcher at Vrije University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The paper is part of his guest lectures in the course ”Human Rights and Politics” at the Amsterdam University College.