The next edition of the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF 2019) of Gwangju (South Korea) will be held from 30 September to 3 October 2019. The metropolitan government of Gwangju, which is a co-chair of the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, co-organizes the WHRCF each year after the support of the Gwangju International Centre and our Committee.
The WHRCF is the main meeting point for the global movement of human rights cities. Over the last ten years, it has played a major role in triggering and coordinating collective initiatives on human rights by local governments from different world regions. It also offers a significant space for learning from already consolidating policy-making experiences, as well as to discuss different approaches to the topic and debating with civil society, researchers and international human rights institutions.
New horizons for the human rights cities movement
The WHRCF 2019 will be held under the title “Local Governments and Human Rights: Reimagining Human Rights Cities”. This edition will therefore provide a significant opportunity for strengthening and expanding local governments commitment towards human rights protection and promotion on a global scale.
The Forum will be divided into two plenary sessions that will explore the relevance that human rights have when thought locally, followed by various thematic sessions addressing issues such as accessibility, the rights of the child, women's rights or participatory democracy. The WHRCF 2019 will also host a presentation and debate on the latest OHCHR report on “Local Government and Human Rights”, to which 20 members of our Committee contributed.
You can know more about the WHRCF 2019 by checking the concept note here.
Take part in our Committee delegation to the Forum
As every year, the Committee will organize an international delegation of local authorities to the Forum, in order to foster the connection between Gwangju's experience and other local governments in the Committee network interested in local human rights policies. In this sense, the 2019 edition will also be a great opportunity to continue the momentum initiated at the Geneva meeting of 17 June with the OHCHR, and to contribute to the Committee messages on human rights for the UCLG Congress of Durban - eThekwini.
The Committee will also organize its annual meeting on human rights and the right to the city to share the latest networking progress on these topics and showcase various initiatives led by members. This meeting will bring together local authorities and civil society.
Furthermore, the Committee will also organize a session on the right to housing in connection to the “Cities for Adequate Housing” Declaration promoted and adopted by more than 40 local governments in the framework of our Committee, UCLG and the “Shift” campaign led by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing Leilani Farha. This session will also be held in partnership with civil society and UN-Habitat. This will be the first edition of the WHRCF to address the issue of housing as a fundamental human right.
Finally, the Committee will co-organize several other sessions with the Global Platform for Right to the City and the Polis Institute, with the International Network of Human Rights Cities and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute on Human Rights.
Do not hesitate to reach the Committee’s Secretariat for more information about the Forum.