Inclusion is ultimately about the dignity and worth of every person, which is the backbone of all human rights. Much of our work since our founding in 1984 has been dedicated towards this aim.
"There is a pressing need to develop societies that embrace diversity and pluralism in the face of the many deep structural inequities and exclusion that persist in countries and regions across the world." - Morten Kjaerum, Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute
Overcoming exclusion requires accessible and effective remedies to enable rights’ vindication. Such remedies need to be appropriately adapted to take account of the special vulnerability of certain groups. Mechanisms for addressing claims of rights violations must themselves be inclusive.
An inclusive society aims at empowering and promoting the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic, or other status. It is a society that leaves no one behind.
Striving for open and inclusive societies
We work to ensure that societies are open and inclusive to all. This involves:
- Advancing research and knowledge on how to build inclusive societies
- Developing direct engagement with stakeholders that can develop and implement more inclusive societies
- Strengthening inclusion for migrants and refugees
- Bringing about more accessible and effective remedies for the protection of human rights
- Promoting the right to participation with the aim of empowering individuals
- Employing a human-rights based approach (HRBA) to inclusion, because inclusion is not about the benevolence of the powerful or the majority in opening up for the excluded
We employ models of inclusion that are based on international human rights standards in all of our country and regional programmes. We also promote such models in our global cooperation partnerships.
Inclusion requires change in strategies, approaches, and policies, so that the needs and priorities of all are recognized from the initial stages of every decision-making process.
Human Rights Cities
Inclusion is about empowering members of society who have been subjected to discrimination and whose rights have been violated as a result of social and political processes that disregard the right to participation. RWI recognizes local administrations as important actors in this regard.
To that end, we work and partner with cities and organisations that seek to put in practice the concept of the human rights city. That is as a place where local government, businesses and organisations apply international human rights standards, and where individuals are empowered to claim their rights and participate in the decision-making.
We give special attention to inclusion dynamics of people on the move. It is important to recognise that migrant and refugee populations are not homogenous, and experience different forms of discrimination, xenophobia and hate crimes. We aim at advancing inclusion models that improve their access to core rights, and participation in societies.
News: Inclusive Societies
ProjectsInclusion Academy This initiative, in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), is an effort to strengthen the active participation of refugees and minorities in the policy and decision making processes which affect their lives. Swedish Human Rights City Project There is no universal definition of a Human Rights City, but in short, it is a place where local government, local parliament, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders ensure the application of international human rights standards. Upcoming event World Human Rights Cities Forum
The Inclusive Societies team
David has a MA in Anthropology from Lund University and is a doctoral candidate in Cultural
Anthropology at the University of Uppsala. He currently works as Programme Officer with academic cooperation within the Institute’s regional Asia programme.
Alejandro Fuentes is a Senior Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He received his PhD (in International Law) and LL.M (in Comparative and European Legal Studies) from Trento University (It.), and Law degree from the University of Córdoba (Arg.).
He is a regular lecturer at the Master’s Programme in International Human Rights Law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, where he directs the course on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, teaches International Human Rights Law I and II, and supervises master theses.
His research focuses on international human rights law, in particular on international and regional systems of human rights protection, cultural diversity and identity, groups, minority and indigenous people rights, and human rights education. He has authored a book on Cultural diversity and indigenous peoples’ land claims: argumentative dynamics and jurisprudential approach in the Americas (Trento University, 2012).
He is a regular peer-reviewer of international scientific journals, including the Journal on Minority and Groups Rights and the Nordic Journal of International law, Brill Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston.
Alejandro Fuentes also has extensive experience in developing and implementing international programmes aimed to strengthen institutional capacities of judicial authorities and academic institutions in different regions in the world, especially in the field of human rights applied research and human rights education (HRE). He is currently closely collaborating with institutional partners in South-East Asia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Belarus, and with different European academic institutions.
Dr. Fuentes started his career in the Judicial Power of the Province of Córdoba (Arg.), where he worked for seven years as a judge’s assistance.
Follow Alejandro Fuentes on Twitter: @A__Fuentes
Keywords: Cultural Diversity; Pluralism; Inclusion; Equality and non-discrimination; Minority Rights; Indigenous Peoples; Human Rights Systems; Judicial Interpretation; Human Rights Education.
Select articles & papers
Fuentes, A.; Vannelli, M. “Human Rights of Children in the Context of Migration Processes. Innovative Efforts for Integrating Regional Human Rights Standards in the Americas” Laws 2019, 8, 31.
Fuentes A., “Judicial Interpretation and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Lands, Participation and Consultation. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights approach”, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 23 (2016), 39-79.
Fuentes A., “Exploitation of natural resources and protection of communal property over indigenous peoples’ traditional lands and territories. Jurisprudential approaches.” Conference paper presented at the 5th AsianSIL Biennial Conference 2015 (Bangkok, Thailand). Available upon request.
Fuentes A., “Culture Diversity, Indigenous People and traditional lands claims under the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights”, research paper presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association – LSA (Chicago – US), 2010, pp. 36. Available upon request.
Fuentes A., “Culture Diversity and Indigenous People within the Inter-American Human Rights System”. Research paper presented at the Advance Course on the International Protection of Human Rights, organized by the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University (Turku/Åbo – Finland), 2009, pp. 27. Available upon request.
Fuentes A., “Human Dignity and the Italian Constitutional Adjudication”, Trento University, Co.Co.A. Paper Series, 2006
Select popular dissemination:
Fuentes A., “Rights to Lands, Participation and Consultation of Indigenous Peoples. A summary of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ Judicial Interpretation”, RWI Research Papers (2016).
“Changing Interpretations to Accommodate Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Differences”, RWI Dissemination/Speeches Series (2016)
“The Colorblind Society: An Obstacle to Fight Racism?” RWI Dissemination Series (2016)
“Combating Terrorism While Enhancing Fundamental Values: Finding the Balance”, RWI Dissemination/Speeches Series (2015).
Fuentes A.,”Letteratura e diritto: percorso esplorativo da Jean Valjean a Primo Levi” (Literature and Law: explorative journey from Jean Valjean to Primo Levi), Trento University (2006)
Ongoing research projects
This research project explores the recognition of the right to traditional lands and natural resources by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and their interrelation with Indigenous Peoples’ rights to cultural identity and dignified life.
This project analyses the rights to Participation and Consultation of Indigenous Peoples in all of those matters that could directly affect their rights and interests. Special consideration is given to the requirement of Prior, Free and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the light of international and regional human rights jurisprudence.
This project theoretically examines the contribution of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training (UNDHRET) to human rights education programmes and modules. In particular, it focuses on education at university level about, through and for human rights and the role of university teachers as human rights educators.
This research project explores new thinking and theoretical approaches for dealing with the prevention of radicalization in a culturally diverse Europe, by means of interpreting the human rights framework from an inclusive perspective.
Chen Ting Ting
Ting Ting holds a MSc degree in Poverty Reduction and Development Management at Birmingham University. She has worked at the RWI Beijing office from 2002, focusing on academic sector cooperation projects. Before joining RWI, Tingting worked at a Women’s Income Generating Project in Xinjiang Province in western China.
Emily holds a MA in Anthropology from Sorbonne University, France and a MA in Human Rights from Malmö University, Sweden.
She currently works with RWI’s human rights capacity development programme in Zimbabwe, and has worked in the same capacity with RWI’s programmes in Myanmar and Vietnam. Before joining RWI, she worked at the Independent Commission for Human Rights – the Palestinian National Human Rights Institution – in Ramallah.
Anna Bruce has an LL.M in law, an LL.M in human rights law and a Ph.D. in human rights law from the Faculty of Law at Lund University. The focus of her work is equality and non-discrimination, particularly in relation to disability, gender, migration and intersectionality.
At RWI Anna develops and supports activities in equality and non-discrimination, disability human rights and gender human rights.
Her current research focuses the added value the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) can bring to the rights of forced migrants, the relevance for and application of the understanding of disability in CRPD in the Global South, the consequences of emerging technologies of human enhancement for human rights in general and equality in particular, and the practical consequences of the framework of intersectionality for human rights implementation and adjudication.
Anna teaches at the Ph.D. program at Human Rights Studies at the Department of History and on the Master Program at the Law Faculty.
Before joining RWI Anna has worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of History at Lund University, at the Department for Global Political Studies at Malmö University and at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway. Alongside her academic work she has worked with civil society, public authorities as well as international actors such as OHCHR. She participated in the negotiations on CRPD as a consultant for the Swedish Disability Ombudsman. She is currently appointed as an expert advisor to the government investigation on disability policy and universal design.
- Procedural rights of the asylum-seeking child with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities according to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Summary report, 2015)
- Which Entitlements and for Whom? The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Ideological Antecedents, MediaTryck, Lund, 2014.
- Jämlikhet och Icke-diskriminering, in Introduktion till Mänskliga Rättigheter, Anna Lundberg (Ed.), Liber, Stockholm, 2010.
- Negotiating the Monitoring Mechanism for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Two Steps Forward One Step Back, in International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms: Essay in Hounour of Jakob Th. Möller, 2nd revised ed., G. Alfredsson et al (Eds.), Brill, Leiden, 2009.
- Behövs en FN-konvention om funktionshinder och mänskliga rättigheter?, in Göran Gunner och Anders Mellbourn, (Eds.), Mänskliga rättigheter och samhällets skyldigheter. En antologi från MR-dagarna 2004, Ordfront, Stockholm, 2005.
- Towards Free and Inclusive Societies for People with Disabilities, Gerard Quinn and Anna Bruce, in Disability and Social Policy in Ireland, Suzanne Quin & Bairbre Redmond (Eds.), UCD Press, Dublin, 2003.
- Human Rights and Disability: The Current Use and Future Potential of United Nations Human Rights Instruments in the Context of Disability, Gerard Quinn, Teresia Degener with Anna Bruce et al., United Nations, New York, 2002.
Professor Gerard Quinn is a leading authority on international and comparative disability law and policy and is a professor of law at NUI Galway. Professor Quinn led the delegation of Rehabilitation International during the UN disability treaty negotiations and has recently published on the theory of intersectionality (Equal Rights Review. Vol 16). He has written on the lessons for elderly rights from the perspective of disability rights in Reubner et al (Eds) International & Comparative Law on the Rights of Older Persons (Vanderplass, Chicago, USA 2016) and he most recently spoke on the topic to Age Platform Europe (Brussels, November 2016). Professor Quinn directs the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at the National University of Ireland (Galway).
Martha F. Davis
Professor Martha F. Davis teaches at Northeastern University School of Law, where she is also a faculty director for the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy and the NuLawLab, which she co-founded. She is an affiliated professor at RWI, where she works on issues relating to local human rights implementation.
Professor Davis has written widely on human rights, federalism, and women’s rights. Her co-edited volume Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (with Barbara Oomen and Michele Grigolo) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. She co-edited the award-winning Bringing Human Rights Home, a three-volume work chronicling the U.S. human rights movement, co-authored (with Risa Kaufman and Johanna Kalb) the law school casebook Human Rights Advocacy in the United States, and authored the prize-winning book Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973. Professor Davis’s articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Fordham Law Review, the University of North Carolina Law Review and many other law reviews and practitioner journals.
Professor Davis has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and has appeared on national TV and radio. She is a frequent blogger and op-ed author on issues relating to economic and social rights and women’s rights, and she co-edits the Law Profs Blog, Human Rights at Home. An experienced litigator, she argued Nguyen v. INS before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as co-counsel in five other Supreme Court cases. Prior to joining Northeastern, she was the Vice President and Legal Director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Timothy holds a LLM (jur. kand) with a specialization in European Union law, together with a Bachelors (fil. kand) in Human Rights, both from Lund University, Sweden. He currently works with the academic cooperation component of the Zimbabwe Programme, primarily with regard to mainstreaming and institutionalising human rights education and research in Zimbabawe.
Seila holds three master degrees from different countries, LLM from South Korea and Master in Human Rights and Democratisation from University of Sydney-Australia and Mahidol University-Thailand. Before taking up his current position as programme officer at RWI’s office in Cambodia in September 2013 he worked in various positions in several human rights organization in Cambodia, including International Justice Mission (IJM), UNICEF and East-West Management Institute-Programme on Rights and Justice (EWMI-PRAJ).