Swedish Human Rights City Project Underway

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) have started a cooperation on human rights in Swedish municipalities and regions.

The Swedish Human Rights City Project aims to set out standards for what characterizes a human rights municipality or region (‘Human Rights Cities’) and how this is implemented in practical terms in the Swedish context.

A Human Rights City is a place where local government, local parliament, civil society, private sector organizations and other stakeholders apply international human rights standards, by ensuring that human rights are promoted and protected. A Human Rights City is a place where people are empowered to understand and claim their rights, as well as participate in decisions that affect them. In short, human rights cities aim to translate international human rights standards to the local level.

The project will begin by exploring and developing thinking regarding what characterizes human rights cities, how to become a human rights city, mechanisms for implementing human rights on the municipal and regional levels, and monitoring of municipal authorities with regards to human rights fulfilment.

Academics from various disciplines and practitioners from municipalities, regions and civil society have submitted articles and given interviews on challenges and opportunities of working with human rights at the local level. This material will be discussed during a workshop from 5-7 September 2016 where researchers and practitioners will take part. The purpose of the workshop is to identify which particular aspects should be brought forward to best ensure human rights enjoyment in cities and regions.

The findings from the workshop will feed into the final product, which is a platform that lays out criteria for how to develop and perform as a human rights city in Sweden. Throughout these activities, RWI will cooperate closely with SALAR to ensure the successful implementation of activities.

The Institute will provide relevant expertise for the successful implementation of the activities drawing on its own human resources and its extended research network. The Institute will also ensure overall quality control and assume a coordinating role in the cooperation with SALAR and identified researchers.

For more information about the project, please contact

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