“It’s my right to cook” : refugees’ human rights perceptions and daily needs

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Frank, Marieluna
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This thesis analyses the local relevance of human rights to uprooted people following a modified model of the Localising Human Rights Approach developed by Koen de Feyter. A qualitative single case study design consisting of asylum seekers and refugees in Luxembourg is adopted. The research design includes three steps: investigating the rights consciousness of asylum seekers and refugees, exploring their human rights perceptions and finally examining their daily needs in the terminology of human rights. The data is collected from twenty interviews with asylum seekers and refugees, participant observation as well as two quality control interviews. It is argued that establishing a link between human rights and integration could contribute to the facilitation of the integration process of asylum seekers and refugees in Western societies. The overarching aim of this thesis is to give a voice to asylum seekers and refugees by providing a platform to share their views and experiences. The research detects a very low level of rights consciousness among the target group. Various human rights perceptions were explored generally characterised by a critical and negative attitude towards the concept of human rights due to disappointing experiences and betrayals of trust. The daily needs of the interviewees mainly consist of basic needs such as clean sanitary facilities or the possibility to cook one´s own food. Based on the low level of rights consciousness, the critical attitude towards human rights and the formulation of daily needs without the use of any rights language, it is concluded that human rights are of little relevance to asylum seekers and refugees in Luxembourg.
Second semester University:Université du Luxembourg
refugees, asylum seekers, human rights, integration, Luxembourg, social life and customs