“Human Rights Cities & Sustainable Development Goals” NAGPUR


“A Human Rights City (HRC) is a city or a community where people of good will, in government, in organizations and in institutions, try and let a human rights framework guide the development of the life of the community”. Nagpur City in India were one of the very few cities where this concept was pioneered in late 1990’s by non-profits PDHRE together with YUVA.

This research reviewed the status of Human Rights City and its alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It finds the initiative included series of Human Rights Education processes, citizen dialogues, citizens forum & capacity building initiatives. Decades later although the concept of HRC has faded away in the city but the impacts of initiatives still stand. Few citizen groups[1] stand tall asserting for their rights exclusively on land, housing, and provision of basic civic amenities for communities living in the slums and have successfully influenced related policy decisions and its implementation. Efforts for actualization of the Human Rights & SDGs are also being taken in city by the urban local bodies and other private and civil society actors, which are in alignment with HRC principles and SDGs like Equicity, SMART city and so on but not essentially under the framework of HRC. Awareness on concept of HRC & Nagpur being an HRC is found to be zero among all stakeholders.

Study finds a strong people led approach to human rights city, but with enormous scope & possibilities of collaboration, coordination, capacity building of/with other likeminded players & initiatives, which can facilitate a more aligned and focused approach to creation of Human Rights City and attainment of SDGs. Key measures suggested  for strengthening of HRC & SDG 1) Capacity building of local government authorities on Sustainable Development Goals, their role in SDGs, and in all correlation between SDGs  & Human Rights  2) Strengthen coordination, cooperation & collaborations between various stakeholders/initiatives around SDGs & Human Rights  3) Facilitate linkage & Coordination between two parallel City Development Forums 4) Model Human Rights integration into Smart city concept & practices 5) Need to publicize the HRC concept across the city & country.

Key Words: Human Rights City, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Urban local bodies, Human Rights Education




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