Why Cities Are Taking the Lead Role in Human Rights Work


The World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) is taking place this week in Gwangju, South Korea. The Raoul Wallenberg Institute has been working with the human rights cities concept for a number of years.

WHRCF writes that “A Human Rights City upholds the principles of nondiscrimination, democracy, and participation regardless of race, sex, skin color, cultural backgrounds, or one’s social occupation.”

MortenKjaerumRWI will send several representatives to the event. RWI’s director Morten Kjaerum will be a keynote speaker and will be representing RWI at various events such as the opening ceremony and the opening round table.

Gwangju News Magazine sat down with Kjaerum recently for an interview.

In the interview, Kjaerum spoke of his family, highlighting how instrumental they have been to his drive to promote human rights around the world. He went on to talk about his experiences with human rights, pinpointing the fear of the unknown that is enabling a rise of populism.

He also described how cities fit into the landscape of upholding human rights, and how RWI will contribute to the upcoming forum through its experiences.

“Cities play a key role in upholding human rights, and many cities (if not most) still do not realize their relevance in such roles,” he says. “People live locally, so this is where human rights first and foremost should unfold.”

Have a look at the World Human Rights Cities Forum here for more info!

See RWI’s publication on Human Rights Cities here.