Local Government and Human Rights Feb. 26, 2014 Anselmo LEE

Local Government and Human
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. 2013)
 HRCAC’s report to the 27th session of the
HRC (Sept. 2014)
Main Points in the Resolution
 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
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 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
 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?
1) Demographic change – rapid urbanization and
70% of urban populations in 2050.
2) 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)
- human rights-based approach (HRBA)”
- Water and sanitation, literacy, health, etc.
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
- 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
economic-cultural lives of all inhabitants.
 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
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)