From Intentions to Commitments: Human Rights Go Local Academy and Conference 2022

The International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels co-hosted the second edition of the Academy and Conference “Human Rights Go Local – What Works”. In the outcome paper, participants of the Academy and Conference encourage local and regional governments to explicitly commit to the local implementation of human rights.

© GIZ / Britta Radike (Bildausschnitt)

The Academy and Conference “Human Rights Go Local – What Works” took place from 1 February to 8 February 2022. The second edition of this event series was jointly organised by the International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels under the auspices of UNESCO and the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security in Graz, Austria, together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN-Habitat, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG). This year, the participants discussed the subject “From Intentions to Commitments: Towards the Effective and Sustainable Implementation of Human Rights”.  

The Academy connects experts working in the field with practitioners, academics, and civil society to build bridges between institutions, intermediaries, and local communities. To work towards the overarching goal of implementing human rights globally on a local level, the event series compiles best practices, lessons learned, and innovative approaches to protecting and promoting human rights and improving the quality of life in urban areas. By facilitating exchange and synthesising experiences and diverse visions, the Academy is a learning platform for a wide range of participants.  

This year, practitioners and representatives from human rights organisations shared knowledge and experiences on the engagement of key actors and drivers of commitment to human rights on the local level. A highly contextualised and multilateral approach has been found essential to the implementation of human rights on a local level. Central to the discussion was the evaluation of the effectiveness of methods and tools to engage with civil society, particularly with young people. Obstacles for creating responsibility within the area of human rights were insufficient financial resources as well as a lack of recognition and knowledge of the frameworks to promote human rights. Intermediaries, such as think tanks and local initiatives, were found to be essential to build bridges and create a commitment to the implementation of human rights on the local and regional levels in the future.   

The Conference marks the end of the event series. In this high-level meeting, the outcomes of the Academy and the implementation of human rights commitments were discussed. In the outcome paper, the participants of the second Academy and Conference on Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels encourage local level governments worldwide to commit to human rights and inform their laws, policies and programmes tailored to the local context. Local governments are encouraged to build bridges to academia, civil society and other relevant actors to combine their efforts and increase advocacy and meaningful participation. The participants call for concrete action to incorporate human rights-based approaches informed by civic and youth engagement, and academia. Finally, they encourage local and regional governments to create alliances and global solidarity for the local protection and promotion of human rights. In total, the outcome paper includes fourteen encouragements.  

For more information, please click here