Posted on 26 February 2016
The aim of the workshop was twofold:
1) To explore the diverse ways in which cities have sought to give meaning and content to the human rights city label.
2) To explore the potential for existing and new networks to support the development of human rights cities in the UK and Europe.
In addition to York, other cities represented included Bradford, Hull, Leeds and Kirklees in Yorkshire; Edinburgh and Dundee in Scotland; Belfast and Dublin in the North and South of Ireland; and Utrecht and Graz in continental Europe.
One of the keynote addresses was delivered by Professor Paul Hunt, University of Essex and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Moving forward, it was agreed that participants would create a 'community of practice' to support city-based human rights work in two inter-linked clusters - Yorkshire and Scotland - and discuss developing an action research project at a European level.
CAHR's Director, Professor Paul Gready, stated: 'There was a terrific energy at the event, and a desire to look into ways in which local authorities and city-based civil societies can be marshaled to create a positive local culture of rights. Attempts to develop such a human rights culture or counter-narrative is urgent given the hostile political environment for human rights in the UK and in other parts of Europe. YHRCN will work to support such work in other cities and, who knows, York may yet face competition in becoming the UK's first human rights city!'