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Local Government and Human Rights

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1 Local Government and Human Rights
Feb. 26, 2014 Anselmo LEE Executive Director Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF)

2 Process in UNHRC Research proposal : concept paper on local government and human rights adopted at the 9th session of the HRCAC (Aug. 2012) Resolution on local government and human rights adopted at the 24th session of the HRC. (Sept. 2013) HRCAC’s report to the 27th session of the HRC (Sept. 2014)

3 Main Points in the Resolution (A/HRC/24/L.2)
National government has the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights while local government has a complementary role to play. Local government has different forms and functions in every State in accordance with its constitutional and legal system. The HRCAC is requested to prepare for a research-based report on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights based on the views and inputs from member states and other stake-holders.

4 Definition of Local Government
A form of public administration as the lower tier of administration within a given state. Local governments generally act within powers delegated to them by legislation or directives of the higher level of government (e.g. central, national, federal government). Local governments exist geographically in urban and rural setting.

5 Definition of Local Government
Related concepts and terminologies ; Local authority, local administration, local governance, etc. de-centralized, autonomous, self-rule, etc. Sub-national, regional, provisional, communal, grass-roots, State, District, prefecture, province, county, town, etc. City, municipality (urban) vs. village (rural)

6 International and regional initiatives
2000 European Charter for the Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City 2011 Dec. : Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) 2011 May : the 1st World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF), Gwangju, Republic of Korea 2012 Dec. : the 1st World Summit of Local Governments for the Right to the City, UCLG Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights Committee

7 Context and background : Why?
Demographic change – rapid urbanization and 70% of urban populations in 2050. Local responses to global challenges - Inter-local solidarity and cooperation (UCLG, ICLEI, C40, Mayors for Peace, Slow City, etc.) - Glocalisation (global+local)’, - Glurbanization (global+urban)’, “ 3) Human rights response to local (urban-rural) challenges - human rights-based approach (HRBA)” - Water and sanitation, literacy, health, etc.

8 Context and background : Why?
4) Local implementation of universal human rights - UDHR (1948) -> VDPA (1993) -> UPR (2008-) -> Localizing UDHR - ‘trickle-down’effect - Globalizing human rights from below - responsibility of every individual and every organ of society’

9 “Human Rights City” A local community in urban/rural context where human rights play a key role as the fundamental values and guiding principles for local administration and social, economic-cultural lives of all inhabitants. Two main components. Human rights in the city (geographical) Right to the city (political) Henri Lefebvre

10 “Human Rights City” Norms: human rights ordinance,
human rights charter, etc. Institutions : Local human rights commission, Human rights office, Ombudsman, etc. Policy: Human Right Indicators Human rights impact assessment and indicators Human rights code of conduct for civil servant Human rights education

11 Proposed contents of the Report
Conceptual clarification about local government and ‘human rights city’ Framework on the role of local government for human rights International and regional initiatives Best practices Main trends and challenges Recommendations

12 International Expert Workshop on Local Government and Human Rights
Date: 15 May 2014 Venue: Gwangju, Republic of Korea Organized by Metropolitan City of Gwangju and the Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF) Participants : about 20 human rights experts including some members of the HRCAC Main agenda : concept and context, international initiatives and good practices, challenges and recommendations, etc. Pre-session before the 4th World Human Rights Cities Forum (16-18 May, 2014)

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