Human Rights Perceptions and Practices at the Local level: Cases from Southern Africa and Sweden

Regional focus: Southern Africa

Time: January 2022 – December 2022


The project involves the establishment of a research team that will conduct a study about perceptions of,and practices related to,human rights in five cities from Sweden and Southern Africa.Cases of study will be cities, members of ICLD’s human rights network,where of two are Human Rights Cities. The research team will consist of local researchers, one from each country/city, and a research coordinator. Together, this team will produce five case studies and a common analysis with conclusions and recommendations. The study will be presented in one research report, and one research brief containing summary findings and recommendations. Parallel to the research, a survey instrument, aimed to support local governments’ self-assessment, will be developed collaboratively by researchers and local governments involved.

Purpose and Aim

The purpose of this project is to form an international research team to conduct a study on how local governments understand, refer to, and implement human rights in five selected cities in Southern Africa and Sweden that are part of the ICLD Human Rights network.

The study aims to create knowledge on how local government officials and local administrators in each of the five cities studied relate human rights to municipal functions, focusing on how they understand and apply human rights norms and principles in their daily work. It will also pool findings from the five city studies, supplemented with secondary and civil society sources, to analyse common challenges and possibilities that local governments experience in applying human rights. This will allow the research team to identify hindering and facilitating factors, and to produce recommendations on how to strengthen local human rights work and a self-assessment tool building on the research.

Project Contacts

Alejandro Fuentes, Raul Wallenberg Institute

Helena Olsson, Raul Wallenberg Institute

Anna Bruce, Raul Wallenberg Institute