The political, social and cultural history of a nation modulates the representations of rights and duties. The aim of this research is to compare students from two countries that are very far apart both geographically and economically like Italy and Burundi in terms of how they define their rights and duties. In the two countries, there are differences both in the legal protection of fundamental rights and in regard to material conditions, which in turn ensure the effectiveness of rights. Some focus groups structured around nine questions were performed in Burundi and in Italy. The discussions with Italian and Burundi students clearly showed some important differences. Indeed, even if both groups speak of rights as something to be safeguarded and something that everyone is born with, a certain “individualization” of rights seems to depict Italians’ representations, whereas Burundi students seem more aware of their personal responsibilities and their role in protecting human rights than the Italians.
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