York Human Rights City Network

About us

The York Human Rights City Network (YHRCN) is an exciting project that seeks to bridge the gap between international obligations and the everyday claiming of rights at a local level. Through networking organisations and individuals passionate about respecting rights in York, we seek to create a culture of rights amongst citizens, businesses and York City Council, making York the UK's first Human Rights City.

2016 was a ground breaking year for the York Human Rights City Network. On 8 December 2016, YHRCN launched the first annual Human Rights Indicator report, following the 13–14 January 2016 event on human rights cities. For more information see York Human Rights Indicator Baseline Report (2016) (PDF  , 975kb) and 'The Rise of Human Rights Cities: Why Cities? Why Now?' 

Human rights indicators

As part of the aim to make York a Human Rights City, we are currently embarking on an exciting, ESRC funded participatory research project with students from the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), in order to create a set of indicators and recommendations for York to measure its progress towards this goal. Working together with the Council, North Yorkshire Police and York CVS, as well as CAHR students, we are developing a whole new approach to local human rights measurement, which will be used in local advocacy. Students are also developing participatory photo projects with local community organisations to explore their relationships to the indicators and the rights they are measuring.

Combating hate crime

CAHR students worked in partnership with North Yorkshire Police and York Racial Equality Network in creating a workshop for local community groups, businesses and decision makers to formulate a new strategy for hate crime in North Yorkshire in March 2015. The report, Hate Crime Barriers, 2015 (PDF  , 247kb), written by three CAHR postgraduate students, can be consulted for more information on the outcomes of the workshop.


Human rights education is central to the philosophy of YHRCN. Opinionate, our termly workshops, are facilitated by CAHR students with children across a range of ages and schools, discussing current issues and hot topics. However, we also provide trainings for local organisations such as the Council, and work alongside the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) to deliver their annual Human Rights Tour.


Outside of research based advocacy, the YHRCN puts on events to raise local awareness of rights and issues. Recent speakers include Shami Chakrabarti, Director of the prominent UK civil rights organisation, Liberty. YHRCN has run an annual Human Rights Film Festival since 2013, organised by students on CAHR's master's programmes. In 2015 the Human Rights Film Festival took place in March in various venues across the city, showing internationally acclaimed documentaries as well as local community productions.

Human rights city pledge

In April 2017, the York Human Rights City Network hopes to declare York the UK's first Human Rights City and is seeking the support of York individuals and organisations. Please make your pledge here.

York Human Rights City Network pledge cardYork Human Rights City Network plege card


For any questions relating to the York Human Rights City Network, please email


or visit the website http://www.yhrcn.org/

 ‌Delegates at workshop January 2016

YHRCN workshop (2016)


Shami Chakrabarti giving a talk (2015)

BIHR Human Rights Tour in York (2014)