Non-Discrimination and Inclusion

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.

inclusive societies

Striving for open and inclusive societies without discrimination

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.

Disability rights in China, inclusive societies

Equal Urban Planning for Inclusive Cities

Urban planning and the design of the built environment is the spatial translation of human rights into our lives. It determines how difficult or easy it is for us to access key human rights such as housing, school, work, health, freedom of movement, freedom, and security. It provides the framework for how we can live, moving as we do between home and work or education, and everything in between.

Taken the importance of urban planning for the realisation of human rights, international and national human rights law as well as Agenda 2030 requires urban planning to consciously and actively engage in realising equal human rights. To do this, we need a human rights-based approach providing routines and methods tailored specifically to the urban planning sector.

FairShare (JämtJämlikt) provides such an approach. FairShare is a management system coupled with a certification process. This ensures that urban development and the built environment can work systematically with equality, human rights and social sustainability. FairShare sets clear standards anchored in human rights law against which the work of urban planners can be measured, and when successful, awarded the FairShare certification.

Read more about FairShare: A Tool for Equal City Planning 

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 recognises 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.

Learn more about Human Rights Cities