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Reading: Localizing the Human Rights-Based Approach to Fight Corruption: The Role of Ubuntu


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Localizing the Human Rights-Based Approach to Fight Corruption: The Role of Ubuntu


Prosper Maguchu

Center for International Cooperation; Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL
About Prosper

Project Manager for Justice and the Rule of Law Projects and Assistant Professor. The author expresses his thanks to the anonymous reviewer for the very lucid insights, Professor Wouter Werner (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and Nyashadzamwari Vera (Oslo Metropolitan University) for the exchange of thoughts and comments on parts of the draft text.

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Claims by many experts on the connection between corruption and human rights, and especially the realization that corruption undermines the enjoyment of human rights, have led practitioners to advocate a human rights-based approach to corruption. However, it comes at a time where the global human rights movement is under assault, this contribution addresses the emerging localization discourse in human rights. Researchers and campaigners are adapting the international human rights system to local institutions and meanings in a process of “vernacularization”. This is by taking the needs of the community and the language that makes sense locally as the entry point of human rights advocacy. The question that arises is what role can the local understanding of human rights play? This contribution suggests answers to this question by using the African concept of ubuntu (humanness) to reinforce measures against corruption.

How to Cite: Maguchu P, ‘Localizing the Human Rights-based Approach to Fight Corruption: The Role of Ubuntu’ (2020) 2 Cross-cultural Human Rights Review 5 DOI:
Published on 30 Sep 2020.
Peer Reviewed


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