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Protecting the Rightless - Are Refugees’ Rights Still the Paradox of Human Rights?: A Case Study of Refugee Children’s Access to Education in Lebanon
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the relationship between citizenship and human rights by focusing on refugee’s rights. The study is based on Hannah Arendt’s theories that when someone loses state-protection human rights appear weak, and one finds oneself in a state of rightlessness (1976). She developed her thoughts during the refugee crisis after the Second World War, and by discussing her theories in relationship to a field study performed in Lebanon this thesis applies her theories on the current refugee crisis, investigating how applicable her theories are on refugees today. This opens up a discussion on if and how the modern human right framework has managed to solve some of the issues that were present for refugees more than 50 years ago.


The empirical study is based on a minor field study in Lebanon concerning refugee children’s right to education. By performing interviews and observations, the obstacles that these children face are presented and analysed according to a framework on vulnerabilities that migrant’s face developed by Sabates-Wheeler and Feldman (2011). The result of this study is a discussion that connects the theoretical framework with the empirical findings by discussing traits in the relevant theories in connection to the case study. The thesis finally concludes that many vulnerabilities that Arendt discussed still affects refugee’s lives today, despite the development of human rights.    

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Human Rights, Refugees, Migration, Education, Arendt, Lebanon, Refugee
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294944OAI: diva2:931973
Subject / course
Human Rights
Educational program
Master Programme in Human Rights
Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2016-05-31Bibliographically approved

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