Human Right City Gwangju: Its Development, Achievement and Limitation


This research outlines why and how the City of Gwangju has developed itself as a human rights city. The city has equipped itself with an almost complete set of software and hardware of a human rights city including the biggest human rights department in Korea. This research uses both interviews and data to describe the achievements and limitations of the human rights city Gwangju, such as the human rights education to all government officials, which is one of the most important achievements by making the
human rights a main-streaming of the city administration. The human rights indicators of the city prove that there has been steady improvement in the human rights level of the city, but some interviewees were not ready to accept the achievement due to the poor indicators of some critical areas such as public safety and low level of participation and empowerment in addition to the high expectation of general public. One of the reason of low public acceptance of the human rights city Gwangju would have been caused by the lack of holistic approach. In the human rights city Gwangju, there was no integrated collaboration among different departments to improve the human rights indicators, nor positive implementation of the agendas of the SDGs, especially in gender and environment. In spite of the limitations, the prospect of the human rights city Gwangju is considered positive with the human rights regime well-established and the continuous support of the general public and the civil society.

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