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.


Overall Theme for WHRCF 2022

The theme of the 12th World Human Rights Cities Forum is “Climate Change and Human Rights,”recognizing climate change as one of the biggest threats to human rights and a sustainable future. We are aware that, just as climate change is a problem requiring a global solution, so the human rights issues caused by climate change also call on the whole of humanity to work together in solidarity. In the process of finding implementations of the goal, a human rights-based approach will be at the heart of the forum, while sharing a variety of information and best practices on climate change responses and mobilizing the participation of youth and various stakeholders.


Humanity has recently found itself amidst crisis, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine, in addition to numerous other human rights issues such as socio economic polarization and inequality, as well as the digital divide caused by advanced technologies. The crisis caused by climate change, however, is becoming the most widespread universal human rights violation, endangering the very existence of humanity. The international community has long approached the issue of climate change from a human rights perspective, including the Local Governments Climate Roadmap by UCLG in 2007 and the Paris Agreement (COP21) in 2015. More specifically, the UN Human Rights Council began to express concern in its 2008 Resolution, stating that climate change “poses an immediate and far-reaching threat to people and communities around the world.”

In October 2021, the Human Rights Council recognized for the first time the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The 2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report assessed that climate change has already brought diverse impacts on human systems, including impacts on water security and food production, health and wellbeing, and cities, settlements and infrastructure. Climate change poses a grave threat to the stable foundation of all areas of life, with people’s rights worsening through foodshortage, poverty, infectious diseases, jobinsecurity, displacement, and diverse forms of inequality. In this regard, the actions or inactions by decision-makers at the local level exert significant consequences on the human rights of people, and thus we need to devise measures fort he protection of human rights at the local level with global level solidarity.

Main Agenda

The 12th World Human Rights Cities Forum will comprehensively discuss climate change and human rights at both local and global levels, considering the following points.

What are the major human rights issues linked to climate change? We will identify the correlation between climate change and human rights, and diagnose human rights issues in various areas such as the environment, economy, education, culture, and housing, both forcurrent and future generations.

Who are more vulnerable to climate change? We will explore ways to locate vulnerable groups suffering more severely than others from climate change and seek ways to address diverse forms of discrimination and inequalities occurring in various areas.

What are innovative actions to take to counter climate change? In order to achieve a human rights-based transition in the context of climate change, we will interpret climate justice from the perspective of human rights and discuss values and practices to realize it.

How can we promote international solidarity to cope with climate change?We will find useful ways to shareinformationand practical experienceto protect human rights and seekprinciples and guidelines for cooperation and joint practices at local and global levels.

Register for the Human Rights Cities Forum online


Get in touch

Helena Olsson

Helena Olsson

Senior Programme Officer

Phone: + 46 46 222 12 20

Helena has a Master Degree in Political Science with focus on Human Rights, Peace and Democracy from Lund University. She has worked with development, human rights and in the humanitarian field since 2001, for Swedish Embassies/Sida and UNHCR in Central and South America; at Sida Headquarters Humanitarian Team in Stockholm; and subsequently with academic institutions and NHRIs in Sub-Saharan Africa; Middle East and North Africa; and South/Southeast Asia since she joined the Institute in 2010.

Between 2016 and 2018 she led the development and start-up of a new regional Asia team and office in Jakarta, and of regional programmes focusing on human rights and environment/climate change, as well as the integration of human rights into Agenda 2030 plans in the region.

She was also team leader of the thematic focus area People on the Move 2016-2017, and currently leads an internal working group of human rights and local governments.

RWI Representatives 2022

Morten Kjaerum

Morten Kjaerum


Phone: +46 46 222 12 63

Morten Kjaerum has been Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Sweden since 2015.  In 2013 he was awarded an honorary professorship at the University of Aalborg, Denmark. Mr Kjaerum was the first Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna, Austria from 2008 to 2015 and he was Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) from 1991 to 2008 and developed it within 17 years from a small organisation to a large internationally recognized institution. He started his career in the non-governmental sector at the Danish Refugee Council.

Appointed by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kjaerum is Chairperson of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation (VFTC) in the Field of Human Rights and of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Trust Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance. He is currently also Chair of The Board of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

Mr. Kjaerum was the Chairperson of the Network of Directors of EU Agencies 2014-15. He was a member (2002-2008) of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). From 2004-08, he was chair of the International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions.

Mr Kjaerum has written extensively on various human rights issues.

Curriculum Vitae

Edited books

Covid-19 and Human Rights, Eds. Morten Kjaerum, Martha Davis and Amanda Lyons, Routledge, 2021

“Human Rights and Poverty”, Eds. Marta Davis, Morten Kjaerum, Amanda Lyons, Research Handbook, Edward Elgar, 2021

Academic Articles

State reports”, Elgar Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Eds. Christina Binder, Manfred Nowak, Jane A. Hofbauer and Philipp Janig, On-line edition 2021

The post-crisis human rights agenda” (Covid-19 and Human Rights, Eds. Morten Kjaerum, Martha Davis and Amanda Lyons, Routledge, 2021 p. 293-308)

“A new agency and so what? Considerations from the first director of FRA – giving flesh and blood to the founding regulations.” (Human Rights Policy and evidence-based policy, Eds. Rosemay Byrne and Han Entzinger, Routledge, 2020 p. xx-yy)

“Go Local, preserve the global: re-engage to build trust in democracy and human rights” (Menschenrechten Gestalt und Wirksamkeit verleihen – Making Human Rights Work, Eds. Patricia Hladschik and Fiona Steinert, NMV Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Wien, 2019, p. 153-162)

“Review: Realising Roma Rights” (Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 40, no 3, 2018, p. 707-711)

”A Future for the Rule of Law and Division of Power?” (Pre-Genocide -Warnings and Readiness to protect, Eds. Anders Jerichow og Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Humanity in Action, 2018, 164-72)

”Er der en fremtid for retsstaten og magtens tredeling?” (Advarsler før folkedrab, Eds. Anders Jerichow og Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Columbus, 2018, 173-181)

”Hvordan sikres en stadig stærkere beskyttelse af menneskerettighederne i Europa?”, Morten Kjaerum, (Hvis EU er Svaret… Ed. Anne-Mette Wehmüller, Lindhardt og Ringhof Forlag, 2018)

“Human Rights Politics in Times of Confusion. How to Move Forward”, (Zeitschrift für Menschenrechte, Jahrgang 11, 2017, nr 1, p158-165)

‘Administering human rigths’: The experience of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency. Co-author with Jonas Grimheden and Gabriel Toggenburg. (Research handbook on EU Administrative Law, eds Carol Harlow et al., Edward Elgar Publishing 2017)

Att skydda mänskliga rättigheter I normgivning och praktik, Co-author with Anna-Sara Lind, (Mänskliga rättigheter i det offentliga Sverige, ed Anna-Sara Lind & Elena Namli, Studentlitteratur, Lund, 2017)

From International Law to Local Communities: The Role of the United Nations in Realization of Human Rights. (UN Chronicle, vol LIII, number 4, February 2017, United Nations 2017)

The Right to a Future: Human Rights, Armed Conflict and Mass Migration – The Raoul Wallenberg Legacy. (Suffolk Transnational Law Review, Vol XXXIX, No 3, 2016)

Human Rights: Early Days or Endtimes?, (Ikke kun retsfilosofi, Eds. Nis Jul Clausen, Jørgen Dalberg-Larsen og Hans Viggo Godsk Pedersen, Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 2016.

The Fundamental Rights Agency and Civil Society: Reminding the gardeners of their plants’ roots.
Co-author with Gabriel Toggenburg, European Diversity and Autonomy Papers, EDAP 2012/2

NHRIs in the European Union: Status Quo Vadis?
Co-author with Jonas Grimheden,
(Making People Heard, Ed. Asbjørn eide, Th. Møller & Ineta Ziemele, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011)

Combating Racial and Related Discrimination,
(International protection of Human Rights: A textbook, Ed. Catarina Krause & Martin Scheinin, Åbo Akademi University Institute for Human Rights, 2009 – updated 2012.)

DJØF’er i det lokale og globale – en udfordring for demokratiet,
(Udsyn og fremsyn – en jubilæumsbog om DJØFERNE, JØF, 2009)

Racial Discrimination Convention and Monitoring,
(Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Ed. David P. Forsythe, Oxford University Press, 2009)

National Human Rights Institutions: A Partner in Implementation
(The First 365 days of the United Nations Human Rights Council, The UN 2007)

Diverse artikler til den Store Danske Encyclopædi
(Den store Danske Encyclopædi, 2006)

Schutz und Förderung der Menschenrechte durch nationale Menschenrectsinstitutionen: Eine lokale Verplichtung mit globaler Bedeutung,
(Jahrbuch Menschenrechte, 2006)

The UN reform Process in an Implementation Perspective
(Human Rights in Turmoil, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006)

Article 4 – Prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, 2006
Article 5 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour, 2006
(Commentary of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights, 2006)

The Protection Role of the Danish Human Rights Commission
(The Protection Role of National Human Rights Institutions. Ed. Bertrand G. Ramcharan. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2005)

Human Rights for Immigrants and Immigrants for Human Rights
(International Migration and Security, Opportunities and Challenges. Ed. Elsbeth Guild and Joanne van Selm. Routledge, 2005.

Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Vienna Convention Regime. Conflict, Harmony or Reconciliation
(The Raoul Wallenberg Institute Human Rights Library. Ed. Ineta Ziemele. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2004).

National Human Rights Institutions Implementing Human Rights
(Human Rights and Criminal Justice for the Downtrodden. Essays in Honour of Asbjørn Eide, ed. Morten Bergsmo, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003)

Human Rights Organisations and the Formation of Refugees Regimes
(Global Changes in Asylum Regimes. Closing Doors. Ed. Daniéle Joly, Palgrave MacMillan, 2002)

Who is Supervising Human Rights?
(Menneskerettens udfordring – ideologi eller videnskab? Ed. Kirsten Hastrup, Akademisk Forlag, 2002. (In Danish.)).

Refugee Protection Between State Interests and Human Rights: Where is Europe Heading?
(Human Rights Quarterly, May, 2002).

Refugees: The Parakeets of Human Rights Standing
(Discrimination and Toleration, ed. K. Hastrup and G. Ulrich, Kluwer Law International. 2002).

Human Rights, State Security and Burden-Sharing: People or States First?
(Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2001, Oxford University Press).

Universal Human Rights: Between the Local and the Global
(Human Rights on Common Grounds: The Quest for Universality, ed. K. Hastrup, Kluwer Law International, 2001).

New Trends in the Prohibition of Torture at International Level
(Global Law Review, official Chinese law review, Vol. 23, Autumn 2001. (With Lisbeth Ilkjaer)).

Human Rights and Cosmopolitism
(Politologiske Studier, University of Copenhagen, Vol. 4, No. 2., May 2001. (In Danish)).

Non-custodial Measures and Alternatives to Detention
(EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, ed. Manfred Nowak and Xin Chunying. Verlag Österreich, 2000).

Refugee Law and Human Rights: the Non-refoulement Article in the Convention against Torture
(EU-ret & menneskeret, Vol 6, No. 2. Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 1999. (In Danish)).

Article 14
(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Common Standard of Achievement, ed. Gudmundur Alfredsson and Asbjørn Eide. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1999).

Human Rights and Administration of Justice
(Beijing/Copenhagen: China Legal System Publishing House, 1999. (With Liu Hainian and Lin Li)).

Judicial Reform and Human Rights in Changing Societies
(Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1998).

Racial Discrimination and Other Forms of Discrimination
(Social kritik, No. 55. Copenhagen: Selskabet til fremme af social debat, 1998. (In Danish)).

Human Rights in the New Europe and a Globalised World
(Grundloven og menneskerettigheder i et dansk og europæisk perspektiv, 1997. (In Danish)).

Human Rights Implications of the Development of the Concept of Temporary Asylum in the Nordic Countries
(Nordic Journal of International Law, No. 64, 1995).

Refugees between Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
(Udlændingeret, ed. Morten Kjaerum and others. Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag 1995. (In Danish)).

Civil Society and Conflict Prevention
(Den Ny Verden, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1995. Copenhagen: Centre for Research Development, 1995. (In Danish)).

Temporary Protection in Europe in the 1990s
(International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1994. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

The Contribution of Voluntary Organizations to the Development of Democratic Governance
(NGOs and Refugees: Reflections at the turn of the Century. Copenhagen: SOCPOL, 1993).

The Concept of Country of First Asylum
(International journal of refugee law, Vol. 4, No. 4, 1992. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

Article 14
(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – A Commentary. Scandinavian University Press, 1992).

Refugees and their Role in the European House
(International Journal of Refugee Law, Special Issue: 1990).

Visa Policies and Carrier Sanctions
(Asyl i Norden, ed. Morten Kjaerum and others. Copenhagen: 1990. (In Danish)).

The Procedure for Manifestly Unfounded Asylum Applications – the Danish Immigration Law §53a
(Juristen. Copenhagen: 1986. (In Danish)).

The Bottom Line of Decency
(Biskop for Herren og så mange andre. Festkrift til Kjeld Holms 60-års dag. Forlaget ANIS. 2005 (In Danish)).

National Human Rights Institutions: Overlap or supplement
(Festskrift til Hans Gammeltoft-Hansen. Jurist og Økonomforbundets Forlag. 2005 (In Danish)).

The Multiplicity of the Human Being
(Danmark på afveje. Kritik af den herskende orden. Ed. Stig Dalager og Per Schulz Jørgensen. Socialpolitisk Forlag, 2004 (In Danish)).

Dialogue with Authoritarian States
(Udenrigs, No. 2., 2004 (With Tina Johannesen) (In Danish)).

Human Rights and the European Charter
På vej mod Europas forfatning, ed. Charlotte Antonsen og Peter Norsk. Peter la Cours Forlag, 2003 (In Danish)).

Human Rights – A Living Reality
Verden i forandring IV – Temaartikler om menneskerettigheder. Ed. Henning Nielsen, Jesper Gronenberg and Tomas Bech Madsen. Odense Universitetsforlag, 2001. (In Danish)).

The EU-Charter on Fundamental Rights: Nice Words or Increased Protection?
(Udenrigs, No. 1, 2001. (In Danish)).

The Big Brother Society
(Lov & Ret; Vol. 8, No. 4, 1998. Copenhagen: Advokatrådet, 1998. (In Danish)).

The Fight  Against  Discrimination  and  Ensuring  Equality
(Amsterdamtraktaten og menneskerettighederne. Ed. Eva Ersbøll and others. Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1998. (In Danish)).

Temporary Human Rights
(EXIL, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1995. The Danish Refugee Council, the Danish Centre for Human Rights, Department for Minority Studies, University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen: 1995. (In Danish)).

Global Responsibility and Global Solution: Asylum Policy
(Europa perspektiv 93: status og perspektiver for samarbejde i Europa, ed. Morten Espelund og Carl Thaarup Hansen. Copenhagen: Handelshøjskolens forlag, 1993. (In Danish)).

The Contributions of Voluntary Organisations to the Development of Democratic Governance
(The Role of Voluntary Organisations in Emerging Democracies: Experience and Strategies in Eastern and Central Europe and in South Africa, ed. Ann McKinstry Micou and Birgit Lindsnæs. Copenhagen: The Danish Centre for Human Rights, 1993).

Human Rights in Denmark
(Mennesker og rettigheter, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1993. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1993. (In Danish)).

Minorities on the International Agenda: International Discourse on Minority Issues
(Geografisk Orientering, No. 1, 1993. Brenderup: Geografforbundet, 1993. (With Lene Johannesen) (In Danish)).

Human Rights: the Flight to Europe
(Social kritik,  No. 22/23, Nov.1992. Copenhagen: Selskabet til fremme af social debat, 1992. (With Christian Horst). (In Danish)).

The Evolving Role of UNHCR in the Broader UN perspective
(Problems and Prospects of Refugee Law, ed. Vera Gowlland and Klaus Samson. Geneva: The Graduate Institute of International Studies, 1992.

Myth and Reality in the Refugee Debate
(Mennesker & rettigheder, No. 1, 1991. Oslo: 1991. (With Arne Piel Christensen). (In Danish)).

Minorities on the International Agenda
(International Horisont, No. 4, 1991. Copenhagen: 1991. (With Lene Johannesen) (In Danish)).

The Role of Airline Companies in the Asylum Procedure
(Ed. Morten Kjaerum. Copenhagen: The Danish Refugee Council, 1988).

Helena Olsson

Helena Olsson

Senior Programme Officer

Phone: + 46 46 222 12 20

Helena has a Master Degree in Political Science with focus on Human Rights, Peace and Democracy from Lund University. She has worked with development, human rights and in the humanitarian field since 2001, for Swedish Embassies/Sida and UNHCR in Central and South America; at Sida Headquarters Humanitarian Team in Stockholm; and subsequently with academic institutions and NHRIs in Sub-Saharan Africa; Middle East and North Africa; and South/Southeast Asia since she joined the Institute in 2010.

Between 2016 and 2018 she led the development and start-up of a new regional Asia team and office in Jakarta, and of regional programmes focusing on human rights and environment/climate change, as well as the integration of human rights into Agenda 2030 plans in the region.

She was also team leader of the thematic focus area People on the Move 2016-2017, and currently leads an internal working group of human rights and local governments.

Windi Arini

Windi Arini

Programme Officer Non-Discrimination and Inclusion


Windi is a Programme Officers at RWI in Jakarta. She manages activities on localizing human rights in the context of SDGs in Asia Pacific and RWIs engagement with young people in the region. Her multidimensional role also allows her to oversee the national programmes in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

She graduated from Atma Jaya Catholic University (Faculty of Law) in 2010 and dedicated the following years working at a law firm targeting capacity building for the Indonesian military. As a committed and passionate young professional, she taught foundational knowledge on international humanitarian law to the Indonesian military.

After obtaining her master’s degree in Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Oslo, she spent almost 4 years as a human rights officer at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. She worked on various thematic areas including children and women’s rights, business human rights, as well as the rights of persons with disabilities. She provided technical support and managed projects for the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR).

When Windi is not in the office, she enjoys reading, traveling, and is very fond of spicy food.

Victor Bernard

Victor Bernard

Programme Officer

Phone: +855 (0) 96 789 5379

Victor Bernard is the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s (RWI) programme officer specialised in the interlinkages between human rights and the environment. In this capacity, he leads many of RWI’s research and capacity development initiatives in Asia and the Pacific to strengthen knowledge bases on human rights, gender equality and the environment. In addition, he oversees technical support on integrating a rights-based approach into environmental programmes in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute.

During his tenure at RWI, Bernard undertook a number of assignments, including the thematic study examining the extent to which countries in Asia and the Pacific incorporated international standards and guidelines on displacement into national law and policy frameworks relating to climate change and disaster risk management to address the phenomenon. Most recently, he served as a co-editor of the RWI’s 2020 report Prosperous and green in the Anthropocene: The human right to a healthy environment in Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining RWI, Bernard worked as the Programme Officer at Sida’s humanitarian unit managing projects in South Sudan and assisting in incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity in Sida’s humanitarian aid. Bernard’s experience also includes work with the EU Delegation in Thailand and The Asia Foundation on issues related to human rights, governance, conflict and development in Asia.

Victor Bernard holds an LL.M in International Law from the University of Edinburgh, a postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews, and a bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of York.

Matthew Scott

Matthew Scott

Leader of the Human Rights and the Environment Thematic Area


Matthew Scott is the Thematic Leader of the Human Rights and the Environment thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden.

His work focuses on integrating social science perspectives with international legal standards to promote context-sensitive, human rights-based law, policy and practice relating to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. His primary area of expertise concerns migration and displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, on which he has published a monograph entitled Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention (CUP 2020), an edited volume entitled Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Routledge 2021), and a range of book chapters and academic articles in, amongst others, the International Journal of Refugee Law, the Nordic Journal of International Law and the Yearbook of International Disaster Law. The edited volume was a major output of a regional thematic study he coordinated as part of RWI’s Asia-Pacific programme on human rights and sustainable development. Current research interests concern the role of local authorities in addressing climate- and disaster-related migration and displacement, and how human rights law can contribute to building resilience to pandemic risk.

Matthew holds a PhD in Public International Law from Lund University (2018) and a MA in Social Anthropology of Development from SOAS (1998). He practiced immigration and asylum law before entering academia. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, a member of the editorial board of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and a founding member of the Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility.

At Lund University, he convenes the LLM course on human rights law, the environment and climate change, and lectures on international refugee law and international human rights law at the Faculty of Law. He also lectures on the MSc programme in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Department of Risk Management and Societal Safety.

Matthew is also actively engaged in international collaboration initiatives and is currently contributing technical expertise on human rights-based approaches to disaster risk reduction across eight countries in Asia in collaboration with the Asia Disaster Preparedness Center, Stockholm Environment Institute and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

Read more about Matthew’s work here.

Selected publications

Nordic Norms, Natural Disasters, and International Protection: Swedish and Finnish Practice in European Perspective (Nordic Journal of International Law, 2022, with Russell Garner)

Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Routledge 2021)

Pandemic Preparedness and Response: National COVID-19 Law and Policy in Human Rights Perspective (RWI 2021, with Elina Hammarström)

Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention (CUP 2020)

Current Projects

Building Resilience to Pandemic Risk: A Human Rights-Based Approach in Multi-Level Governance Perspective

The project entails ground level empirical research focusing on local people’s experiences of municipal-level responses to Covid-19 in a multi-level governance framework, combined with the development of knowledge products designed to share insights and promote reflection and discussion within and between stakeholder groups. The research seeks to engage predominantly with individual residents and their representatives in civil society, together with local government actors, and will be designed in a manner that integrates constructively with existing network-based initiatives. Insights are expected to be relevant to actors at local, national, regional, and international levels.

This new initiative focusing on ground-level impacts of pandemic risk reduction, preparedness and response builds on insights derived in the pilot project conducted in 2020, and is intended as an early step in the development of a larger programme promoting building forward better with a human rights-based approach that integrates key elements from the post-2015 international frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the New Urban Agenda.

ClimMobil: Judicial and Policy Responses to Climate Change-Related Mobility in the European Union with a Focus on Austria and Sweden (2019-2022)

This project, supported by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund, and in collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights in Vienna, examines Swedish and Austrian judicial decisions in cases where disasters and other adverse impacts of climate change feature as part of the claim. The project sets out to improve understanding of judicial responses to claims for international protection in this context and to make recommendations that are relevant for domestic as well as wider European and international audiences, including policymakers.

Building Resilience through Inclusive and Climate Adaptive Disaster Risk Reduction (2018-2022)

This project, supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is collaborative initiative between the Asia Disaster Preparedness Center, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, that promotes and supports the identification and development of rights-based and gender equal approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation across Asia and the Pacific.


Completed projects

The Future of Human Rights (2020-2021)

This project, supported by the Pufendorf Institute at Lund University, brings together academics from a range of disciplines including law, disaster risk management, philosophy, sociology, and human geography to explore the future of human rights by exchanging perspectives on the origins and purpose of the concept and sharing insights across intersecting themes including migration, authoritarianism, and economic globalisation. These themes are framed against a backdrop of global social and ecological processes under umbrella concepts of digitalization and the Anthropocene. The project is designed to generate ideas and identify interconnections through multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (2017-2020)

This project, supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), brought together researchers from ten countries across Asia and the Pacific to examine the relationship between international and national-level law and policy relating to displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, and the protection of people from and during displacement and the facilitation of durable solutions. Adopting a human rights-based approach, the research consolidated key international standards and guidelines relating to displacement in the context of disasters and climate change and developed a tool for systematically analysing national legal and policy frameworks. This desk research was complemented by field research that examined one particular instance of disaster displacement, identifying promising practices as well as challenges to the implementation of national and international standards. Key findings are contained in a series of national law and policy reports, submissions to international initiatives including the UN High Level Panel on Internal Displacement and the 2020 UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally-displaced persons consultation on displacement in the context slower onset adverse impacts of climate change, and academic publications including and edited volume and a contribution to the special edition on internal displacement published in the journal Refugee Survey Quarterly. More information about the project is available at

This research has provided a foundation for the collaborative development of practical, blended learning modules promoting human rights-based and gender equal approaches to addressing displacement risk.

Morten Koch Andersen

Morten Koch Andersen is a senior advisor and researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) in Lund. He holds a PhD in International Development Studies from Roskilde University in Denmark. His research areas are in the fields of human rights documentation, rule of law practices, corruption, torture and violence, impunity and discretion, policing practices, violent youth mobilization and unequal citizenship, mainly in South Asia.

He has acted as principal investigator and co-principal investigator and researcher on several research projects funded by the state funded research councils, private foundations and the European union, on the topics of violent mobilization, human rights and corruption.

Moreover, he has several years of experience as programme manager of development cooperation in relation to prevention of torture and rehabilitation of survivors – during and after violent conflict and in places of detention (remand and prisons) – including institutional and legal reform, establishments of support systems, education of health based professionals and volunteers, and education of prison and police authorities. He has developed and managed partnerships in Europe, North, South and West Africa.

During his career, Morten Koch Andersen has held the position guest researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, senior researcher at the Danish Institute Against Torture and the Center for Global Criminology at the department of Anthropology at University of Copenhagen and has lectured in international development studies at Roskilde University. He closely collaborates with the UNODC and the International Anti-Corruption Academy on the development of educational material on the nexus between human rights and corruption.

He is the co-founder of the Anthropologies of States Network and co-founder of the network of corruption researchers in Denmark. His work has appeared in international journals, such as South Asia: Journal of South Asia, Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Journal of Human Rights Practice, Human Rights Quarterly, Torture, as well as, in several chapters of co-authored books, policy papers and op-eds. He also has developed web-based educational material on corruption and human rights for high schools.

He has reviewed for Journal of Human Rights, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights Practice, Contemporary South Asia, Development and Change, Focaal, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Asian Politics & Policy, The Oñati Socio-Legal Series.

Tuti Alawiyah

Tuti Alawiyah

Deputy Director of Regional Asia-Pacific Office


Tuti Alawiyah holds a PhD and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin (2013), specializing in administration, leadership, and non-profit management. She also has a master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Indonesia (2003).

She has over 15 years of experience working with several civil society organizations and research institutes. Since early 2000, she has been involved with women’s organizations, including Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, KAPAL Perempuan, and with the Central Board of ‘Aisyiyah,’ a women’s wing of the Muhammadiyah organization. From 2003–2006, she was a researcher at the Center for Religion and Culture (CSRC) at Universitas Islam Negeri (State Islamic University) Jakarta, researching Syari’ah, women, and human rights issues, as well as Islamic philanthropy and social justice issues.

During her academic career, she held positions as an assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin (2012–2013), a lecturer at the State Islamic University (2013–2015), and then at the University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta (2015–2021). She has taught a range of undergraduate courses, including Diversity and Social Justice, Social Work Ethics and Human Rights, Theories in Social Work, and Research Methods.

Before joining RWI, she had worked with international agencies for the past 7 years, including with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia and the Global Fund-Aisyiyah program. She was the Deputy Team Leader for the National NGO Study and Service Centers-Research and Design for DFAT Australia (2014–2015), managing the program and researching the enabling environment, governance, and services for non-government organizations. She worked for another DFAT Australia Program, KOMPAK (Governance for Growth) (2015–2017), to manage civil society organizations’ partnerships at the national and local levels. Most recently, she managed the three-year Tuberculosis Elimination Program funded by the Global Fund and implemented by the Central Board of Aisyiyah to deliver TB programs in 14 provinces and 130 districts (2018–2021).

Tuti Alawiyah has now joined the Raoul Wallenberg Institute as Deputy Director of the Regional Asia-Pacific Office in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lina Rachmawati

Lina Rachmawati

Programme Associate


Lina has been working with RWI since December 2017. She  has ten years of experience in various international development projects as an administrator. She performs administrative functions concerned with RWI’s projects.

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