lund human rights city

Lund Can Become Sweden’s First Human Rights City

Photo credit:Per Egevad on flickr

The Lund City municipal council voted today to start a cooperation with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law to bring the municipality one step closer to becoming Sweden’s first human rights city.

lund human rights city“We are happy to begin this cooperation with RWI to strengthen our work with human rights so Lund can be one of the first municipalities in the country to be a human rights city,” says Elin Gustafsson, a Social Democrat who sits on Lund’s municipal council. “Lund is focusing on social sustainability and diversity, so it’s also important that we work more systematically with human rights.”

To date, Sweden does not yet have any human rights cities. However, several cities in Europe, including Graz, Barcelona and Utrecht have declared that they are human rights cities.

A human rights citiy work systematically with human rights and aims to integrate human rights throughout all levels of its organization.

Morten Kjaerum2“Municipalities, counties, and regions play an important role in making human rights a reality,” says Morten Kjaerum, RWI’s director. “Cities are where people live. It is where you can take positive measures to ensure that human rights are protected, and give people the possibility to understand and claim their rights. In that way it becomes easier for them to participate in decisions that affect them.”

Now, together with RWI, Lund will develop guidelines to be a human rights city.

Two years ago, the Swedish Association for Local Authorities and Regions, SALAR, signed an agreement with the Swedish government to strengthen respect for, and knowledge about, human rights. As part of that agreement, SALAR and RWI are in the process of developing a set of criteria that characterize what a human rights city is in the Swedish context.

For more information, please contact:

Elin Gustafsson, elin.gustafsson@lund.se, telefon: 072-194 05 45