Why They Don’t Fight! Experiences and Responses of the Youth in Uganda to discrimination, injustice and exclusion

Sentongo Ashad


This paper explores mechanisms that the youth utilize to respond to exclusion, discrimination and injustice without violence. Through a comparative study of Kampala and Jinja districts, the findings reveal resilience, adaptation and social bonding as some of the agency-based mechanisms that influence non-participation in violence. Resilience as a response to exclusion, discrimination and injustice is both a process and an outcome, during which internal and external factors influence victims to adapt and build social bonds that increase the preference for non-violence towards selfadvancement. Proactive action and setting clear expectations are internal factors that drive self-regulation and problem-solving by individuals and groups who choose not to fight. Religion, culture and gender are some of the external factors that facilitate adaptation through safety and restoration of a sense of belonging, self-esteem and security in the place of exclusion and discrimination. These factors can be integrated in state policies, community programs and family practices to support reduction in youth vulnerability and violent responses to exclusion, discrimination and injustice.   

Keywords: Uganda, Youth, Non-Violence, Resilience, Social Bonding

Sentongo Ashad, Executive Director, Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention Support, Email: ashadsent@gmail.com

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