"Human Rights Cities Respond to Poverty and Inequalities" at the 13th World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) in Gwangju, October 4-7, 2023.

The Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG-CSIPDHR) with its co-chair from Gwangju Metropolitan Government, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute are organizing the 13th Gwangju World Human Rights Cities Forum 2023 (WHRCF), which will take place from October 4-7 in this city of Republic of Korea.

The WHRCF is the main meeting point for the global movement of cities for human rights. 

Over the last decade, it has played a central role in launching and coordinating collective human rights initiatives by local governments in different parts of the world.

This year's theme, "Human Rights Cities Responding to Poverty and Inequalities," invites local governments, international organizations, human rights experts, and future generations to focus on the main problems caused by poverty and inequalities and to reflect on local responses with a human rights approach. The main objective is to discuss and share experiences for the construction of systems and public policies that strengthen the foundations of human rights cities working for inclusion and social coexistence. This year, the forum will be articulated around three questions:

1. How are poverty and inequalities connected with human rights?

2. What are the current human rights agenda and issues arising from poverty and inequalities?

3. What are the new strategies and measures of human rights cities to respond to poverty and inequalities?

Learn more about the WHRCF 2023 through the concept note here.

CISDPDH contributions to WHRCF 2023

Within this forum, the CSIPDHR will lead the main plenary session of the Forum with the aim of addressing key issues to advance the role of local governments in the fight against poverty and inequalities through a multi-level dialogue.

Our Committee will also organise the workshop Human Rights in the City: updating the UCLG Charter-Agenda where we will leverage the process of updating the UCLG Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City to outline a common international framework on Human Rights at the local level, following the requests arising from Local Governments participating in the UCLG-CSIPDHR Global Campaign "10, 100, 1000 Cities and Territories for Human Rights", launched in 2022 by the Co-Presidents of the UCLG-CSIPDHR.

The session will take the format of a workshop with working groups. These exchanges will be useful to review the content of the rights included in the currently revised structure of the Charter-Agenda, identifying specific concepts and ideas that should be reflected in the formulation and content of each right.

Finally, the Commission will co-organise the session "Poverty eradication through human rights economics" with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The session will seek to explore the role of local and regional governments in adopting economic policies and programmes that enhance the realisation of human rights. The objective of the session is to share good practices, identify challenges and innovative solutions to better integrate human rights principles and obligations into economic policies and decision-making, including local government budget decisions, fiscal policies, the fight against corruption and the allocation of maximum available resources for the progressive realisation of economic, social and cultural rights.

Join our Committee delegation

As every year, the Committee will organise an international delegation of local governments at the Forum, to link the experience of Gwangju with that of other local and regional governments of the Commission aiming to work on human rights. The 2023 edition will also be a good opportunity to continue the momentum started last year with the first 100 local and regional governments expressing their interest in promoting human rights at local level in the campaign "10, 100, 1000 cities and territories with human rights by 2030".

The first results of this campaign highlighted the need to build common human rights frameworks at local and international levels to address systemic economic, social, political and ecological crises through international solidarity. Both efforts, this update and the session at the WHRCF seek to contribute to this priority.

Contact the UCLG-CSIPDHR secretariat for more information on how to participate online or in person.