World Human Rights Cities Forum

World Human Rights Cities Forum

Colourful drawing of hands joining in a harmonious circle.

RWI’s attendance at the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) in 2016 started a long-term cooperation with the International Center at the City of Gwangju in the Republic of Korea, that hosts the Forum. Since then, RWI has been part of the international organising committee of WHRCF together with OHCHR, UNESCO, the Committee of Social Inclusion of the United Cities and Local Governments network, and the Gwangju International Centre.

The Forum gathers Human Rights Cities and local government officials from local and regional governments with an interest in human rights, along with civil society, academics and National Human Rights Institutions. In recent years, the forum has seen an increasingly high-level representation from UN Agencies. The UN Secretary General opened the forum in 2021, along with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chair of UNESCO.

In addition to being part of the organising committee, RWI contributes as expert in plenary sessions and policy discussions. Further organises thematic sessions in line with topics in focus of the forum each year, and with RWI’s own focus areas, including annual policy sessions on human rights and corruption. RWI also organises a 'call for research papers' regarding human rights and local governance every year and leads a session at the forum where these papers are presented.


Get in touch

Johanna Sjöwall

Johanna Sjöwall

Leader of the Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Thematic Area

Cell phone: +46 (0) 735981811

Johanna Sjöwall has recently joined the Raoul Wallenberg Institute as a Senior Expert on Human Rights in Local Governance and is the thematic leader of the Non-Discrimination and Inclusion thematic area. She brings more than 20 years of experience working with human rights in various sectors internationally, nationally and locally.

Before joining the RWI she worked as a strategist, developing anti-discrimination and human rights perspectives in local policy and governance in the City of Malmö. Prior to working with the city of Malmö, she worked internationally for the UNHCR, OHCHR and different NGOs in Latin America and Sweden, as well as for the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, where she managed regional and bilateral programmes in Latin America, East and Southern Africa 2005-2013.

Through the various positions she has accumulated both a broad and deep knowledge of how to translate human rights into practice in different settings, across sectors and levels of society.

She has studied International Migration and Ethnic Relations and Social Anthropology and works in Swedish, English and Spanish

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