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Local Government and Human Rights


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Title: Local Government and Human Rights

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

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.
  • HRCACs report to the 27th session of the HRC
    (Sept. 2014)

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.

Definition of Local Government
  • A form of public administration as the lower tier
  • 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
  • Local governments exist geographically in urban
    and rural setting.

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,
  • State, District, prefecture, province, county,
    town, etc.
  • City, municipality (urban) vs. village (rural)

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

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,
  • - Glocalisation (globallocal),
  • - Glurbanization (globalurban),
  • 3) Human rights response to local (urban-rural)
  • - human rights-based approach (HRBA)
  • - Water and sanitation, literacy, health,

Context and background Why?
  • 4) Local implementation of universal human rights
  • - UDHR (1948) -gt VDPA (1993) -gt UPR (2008-) -gt
    Localizing UDHR
  • - trickle-downeffect
  • - Globalizing human rights from below
  • - responsibility of every individual and every
    organ of society

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

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
  • Human rights code of conduct for
    civil servant
  • Human rights education

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

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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