Human rights cities
FYI- HUMAN RIGHTS CITIES
-To re imagine, redraft and recast human rights as a way of life through leaning, dialogue and action at the community level.
The Human Rights Cities Program
Imagine living in a society where all citizens pledge to build a community based on equality and nondiscrimination; --where all women and men are actively participating in the decisions that affect their daily lives guided by the human rights framework; where people work to overcome fear and impoverishment, a society that provides human security, access to food, clean water, housing, education, healthcare and work at livable wages, sharing these resources with all citizens—not as a gift, but as a realization of human rights. Such a city is a practical viable model that demonstrates that living in such a society is possible!
PDHRE, People's Movement for Human Rights Learning, works to develop, facilitate and implement the Human Rights Cities Program by, for, and with the inhabitants of the city and the local authorities, through learning, dialogue and discussions that lead to action. Human Rights Cities, as developed by partnerships from around the world, are based on the premise that all people wish and hope for social and economic justice, to move from charity to dignity. It stands on the conviction and the rich experience of the last 20 years that for human rights to be effective, all women, men, youth, and children must know, own and internalize the holistic vision and practical mission of the human rights. In a dynamic way they realize, human rights as a way of life, as relevant to their daily concerns.
A steering committee is formed in the city to represent all sectors of society, they learn about a new vision of human rights as a way of life, and develop learning programs for various audiences. The plan includes the examination, with a gender perspective, of laws, policies, resource allocation and relationships that prevail in the city, creating a vertical and horizontal progressive learning process. Step by step, neighborhoods, schools, political, economic and social institutions, and NGOs, examine the human rights framework relating it to their traditional beliefs, collective memory and aspirations regarding environmental, economic and social justice issues. As agents of change people learn to mentor/monitor, and identify, analyze, and document their needs. The most important action is developing an alternative participatory budget, to implementing the MDGs, with a special focus on women, poverty alleviation, and the environment.
Strategies and methodologies are designed to have governing bodies, law enforcement agencies, public sector employees, religious groups, NGOs and community groups, those working on the issues of women, children, workers, indigenous peoples, poverty, education, food, water, housing, healthcare, environment and conflict resolution, and non-affiliated inhabitants, join in the learning and reflecting about human rights as significant to the decision-making process.
The city, its institutions and residents, as a complex social economic and political entity, become a model for citizen's participation in their planning the development of the city within a human rights framework. This process leads to the mapping and analysis of causes and symptoms of violations such poverty and the designing of ways to achieve well being in their city. Appropriate conflict resolution is an inevitable consequence of the learning process as women and men work to secure the sustainability of their community as a viable, creative, caring society.
The United Nations Resolution A/RES/63/173 The International Year of Human Rights Learning, recognizes the need for all people to know human rights, which the PDHRE network will move forward with the year as a process to develop beyond the 20 existing Human Rights Cities, an additional 30 such cities. /2
Page 2 – Human Rights Cities FYI
Human Rights Learning highlights the normative and empirical power of human rights as a tool in individual and collective efforts to address inequalities, injustices and abuses at home, in the work place, in the streets, prisons, courts, and more. Even in "democratic" societies, citizens and policy-makers must learn to understand human rights and the obligations and the responsibilities that they entail in a holistic and comprehensive way. They must learn to enforce human rights effectively and efficiently. This is the promise and responsibility their governments have undertaken when ratifying various human rights instruments.
It is important to note the following:
-Two billion people live in cities today. Cities are a microcosm of a state.
-Four billion people will live in cities in 15 to 20 years.
-With the multitudes of people and issues interacting and interrelating there is no inherent knowledge, support systems, or guidance of how to live with one another and how to practically abide by moral values in today's fast changing world.
To effectively continue with the development of Human Rights Cities, we hope to discuss possibilities of funding this very unique, proactive initiative, working at the community level.
For more information:
Shulamith Koenig , Kathleen Modrowski and Robert Kesten
People's Movement for Human Rights Learning
526 West 111th Street, Suite 4E
New York, NY 10025 USA
Tel: 1-212-749-3156 * Fax: 1-212-666-6325
Award winning website: http://www.pdhre.org/