To build cities that are increasingly resilient to future disasters, but also more equal and inclusive, requires concrete strategies underpinned by human rights and the SDGs. Human rights-based approach (HRBA) offers cities a solid guide to build back fairer at the city-level, establishing how city recovery and resilience efforts should be grounded on fundamental human rights principles.
Blended Learning Course on Local Governments and Human Rights (BLC)
The RWI Regional Asia Programmes, UCLG ASPAC and the City of Gwangju jointly organised a Blended Learning Course (BLC) from May to October 2021. This BLC introduced the concepts, experiences, and network on localising human rights in the SDGs process to the local governments in Asia, and how to leverage it in reshaping city planning to achieve sustainable and more inclusive recovery for urban resilience.
What is a BLC?
Human Rights Based Approach meets local government
As part of the BLC programme, the participants developed course projects to implement HRBA into local policies. Five of the most promising projects – all developed by women from the Philippines – were presented in an open event during the 11th World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) on 9 October 2021. These projects included a human rights review of a DRRM plan; the inclusion of persons with disabilities in a DRRM plan; the development of a Voluntary Local Review tool for cities in the Philippines; a study of the work burden among indigenous women; and a review of a Covid-19 rehabilitation and recovery plan from a human rights-based perspective.
Project Development and BLC Participation
The BLC 2021 is the 3rd regional course for local governments in the Asia Pacific about the localisation of human rights into SDG processes, co-organised by RWI, UCLG ASPAC and the City of Gwangju. After 5 months of learning activities, the course group met on 5-6th of October to discuss the results of projects that were conducted by participants as part of the course.
Five of the most promising projects – all developed by women from the Philippines – were presented in an open event on the 9th of October.
BLC participant Joyce Sy is a Planning Officer of Makati City in the Philippines and a social worker with fifteen years of experience in urban planning. Below she is speaking of Makata City´s process in becoming the first smart city in the country, the effectiveness of BLC to spread human rights principles, as well as her thoughts and takeaways on the BLC modules at the WHRCF.
Youth and Resilient cities for the future
On the 7th of October, RWI in collaboration with ASEAN Youth Forum and Youth for Peace International organised the session Youth-Talk: Tackling the Climate Crisis in Building a Sustainable and Resilient Cities for the Future. During the Talk, youth representatives from South and Southeast Asia presented their recommendations to local governments, based on a series of consultations that took place prior to the Talk.